On Top of Manhattan

Living in the city with one of the most impressive skylines in the world makes taking in its sight a must-do-as-often-as-possible. In the past two weeks I had the chance to check out two very sweet rooftop bars, which are among my favorites in the City.

One Wednesday afternoon our goodbye-party from work was held at the Sky Room in Hell’s Kitchen. It offers some gorgeous views from its middle deck. Unfortunately, the top was closed because of a private party, but I am sure it exceeds what I got to see that day. The bar has happy hour until 7PM. Their deals are not really bargains, but you can get different kinds of cocktails each day from Monday to Friday for half the price (meaning 7 bucks). Well drinks and wine are cheaper than usual, too. I wasn’t too impressed by their oversalted Caipirinha but it had a decent amount of alcohol in it and the breathtaking view down 40th St made every other problem simply disappear out of my head. The bartenders are nice folks, so make sure you leave a good tip. What impressed me and my coworkers from the start was the red carpet rolled out in front of the building and the luxury elevator with the courteous doorman inside. A plus for feeling like a queen/important person/ anything from the usual in New York!

Anyone recognize this from their college years? 😉

On a Friday evening I went to a French Meetup group around Times Square. It was in Bar XVI on 48th St near 8th Ave. The bouncer tried to give us a hard time because he wanted to convince my roommate that her Illinois ID is a fake (it isn’t and she is well above the age at which she should be asked for an ID, by the way. I guess it’s my young age that makes other people seem youthful and vibrant next to me… 🙂 ), but then he ended up letting us in. We walked through some shady hallway until we found the elevator after circling five corners – and I felt myself transformed into a maze, wondering if I had lost my way.
The bar itself is smaller than the Sky Room, and most of it is indeed outside. The view is interesting, albeit not breathtaking. It shows you what Times Square and the harbor area is about. The drinks are very pricy, the cheapest being $14, and they do not have a decent happy hour. We splurged on free cheap bubbly wine Americans call champagne for an hour because that was part of the French Meetup thingie deal. The crowd was definitely interesting and consisted of many individuals in suits on that particular night. I know this all does not sound GREAT and is probably not an incentive for you folks to stop by, but if you are looking for a nice relaxing atmosphere please don’t hesitate to show up. And bring your extra pay check with you, you ‘ll need it!

Roomie n I

Other roof top classics are the Standard Hotel and Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District. I don’t know how people manage to get past the feisty bouncer at the Standard but my group did try its luck and we were able to convince him (only one time, though). Maybe the fact that we were eight girls from Europe might have helped… a little. Well, once on top of the roof, we were impressed by the view you have, especially from the restroom. They are little personalized cubicles surrounded by glass walls which make you feel you are doing your business onto Manhattan. Outstanding sight at night! The people fit into the usual Meatpacking crowd: Young, on drugs, and giving the appearance of not enjoying themselves TOO much. The music was decent but I am sure it depends on the night.

Gansevoort Hotel has a relatively small terrace which leads around the inside lounge. If you’re a guy, leave your khakis or short pants in your closet and come in long trousers. For some reason they won’t let you in if you’re exposing your male hairy legs – no matter how stunningly amazing you look. Believe me, I tried to smuggle in some friends before.
Prices are around 14 Dollars a drink, which is average Meatpacking insanity, but they aren’t watered down as in other places. Sometimes they have a great DJ playing some mixed up tunes, but this is only on the weekends. If you’re in the area, stop by, it’s not that hard to get in and you have a view on New Jersey,too.

3 thoughts on “On Top of Manhattan

  1. Loved the tip of bringing your extra pay check because you’ll need it! Ha ha! It looks like you’ve been having some wonderful summer nights!

  2. Reading this page has made me green, with envy! THis post is a fab insight to real life there. I’m checking that meetup page too im intrigued. I think my friend has been to something similar here in the UK!
    Great post, thanks Laura!

  3. AMAZING! what else should i say… reading this and watching the pics is giving me the great feeling, to enjoy the time with you “over there”…
    🙂 keep on writing, THANKS honey!!!

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