Referring to my list of Things I love about New York City, it’s time for an update in the party and nightlife category. Last weekend was one of those
innumerous great examples of how unexpected and unpredictable a night can turn out to be.
The Roomie and I had decided to meet up on a rooftop bar in the City. Until this date it stands undefeated as the best rooftop location I could find, read more here. On this particular Friday the Sky Room offered a special deal during which you could get one free drink when you RSVPed early enough ahead of time (this means simply sending an E-mail to the party hosts) and showed up before 8PM. I was one of the last ones to dive through their elevator door and to order their advertised Bacardi mix.
My drink in one hand and my camera in the other, I made my way outside and met this sibling couple from New York/New Jersey. I believe it was her 22nd birthday and they were trying to have a fun time just hanging out in a bar before hitting up the clubs. I still wonder why they picked this one, as drinks were pricey and they didn’t seem to want to spend too much money, but then again, the view is just gorgeous. We decided to go all the way on top, which was open to general customers this time (they usually reserve it for private parties during the week) and where we took in a wide view over the Island, with many comfortable seats, benches, and couches to sit on. It really cannot get much better if you want to inhale Manhattan air and flair, I’m telling you!
Over there, through pure coincidence, I met a son and his mother from GERMANY, and in addition to this, they weren’t too far from the town I am originally from, so many homeland feelings were evoked in me during this evening. Both Germans were lovely and entertaining. If I remember correctly, the son, about my age, had bought his mother a one-week-trip to New York for her 50th birthday and they were finally redeeming it (I know, many birthdays going on in this blog). We talked a bit and after a while of being up there along came the Roomie. At this point in time, the free drink deal had evidently expired and she got kind of bored at listening to a foreign language she didn’t understand. Understandably she wanted to leave and I didn’t mind, so we said our goodbyes. The sibling couple invited us to join them in a club around Times Square and at this time we were seriously considering the possibility of catching up with them.
Well, of we went, on our way to Hell’s Kitchen first and with the best intent to check out another rooftop bar on 12th Avenue. On our walk over there, I remembered that Rudy’s was right in between and that we should maybe get a cheap beer before we head off to bars that have drinks for the
normal insane price of $15 and above. Rudy’s offers a normal-sized pitcher for $7 and more, and it doesn’t taste that bad, either. For all those who care, you can snag unlimited hot dogs, too – I heard they taste descent enough. Rudy’s is a classic since 1933 and it’s funny because I only discovered it this year for my Austrian friend was told to go there when he was visiting me. I suppose it is handled as an insider tip in tourist guides, and you find foreigners mixed with hard-core Hells’ Kitcheners and other classic New York stereotypes in this establishment.
We had just ordered our pitcher of Rudy’s Blonde when we decided to take a seat at the second half of a table that was already owned by a mixed group of folks: A Mediterranean guy, a punk-rock girl and a blond Hipster-looking dude didn’t mind at all to share the space with us. As it turned out, we had seated ourselves next to an interesting bunch. All three were passionate travelers – but not just that. They belonged to a very special species of travelers called couchsurfers, meaning they are courageous enough to stop by at random people’s houses and use their couch as a hotel bed.The dark-haired guy was originally from Bay Ridge in Brooklyn and had met a freshly immigrated New Yorker girl from Russia who had stumbled upon a traveler and dancer from Australia. What a “coincidence” to meet just these folks in a random overcrowded Manhattan bar. We all had a pretty good time and decided to continue the night together at Hudson Terrace (the aspired rooftop bar). Unfortunately, the bouncers are
unbelievably strict when it comes to guys and dress codes (not a great mix in New York anyways!), and because one guy was wearing shorts we didn’t make it in. No regrets, though. We waved good-bye to the Russian girl at Times Square and then went on to a gig in the Lower East Side. This turned out to be one of the best ones I had witnessed so far in New York. Thanks to the Aussie Benji, for making friends with the right people and being able to show us this hotspot!
The location hosts a soul music band introducing new artists to the crowd every Friday night (probably only during the summer). This time a shy Carribean singer from Montreal tried her luck and was met with enthusiastic waves of applause from a thrilled audience. Good for her! Her voice was impressive and it went well with the funky tunes of this particular band. A goodie was saved for the end, as there was a keyboard player who sang about masturbation and how good it feels… Yes, this is New York, you need a “shocker” like this once in a while. Considering the topic he’d chosen, he was able to convey it in a nicely worded song and it was a real hit with the audience. The entire one-hour –show in this location was for free. You just have to know where to find these things…
2 PM came and went and the Roomie and I were pretty tired from our week of work, so we decided to call it a night and save up our energy for the next day. (On Saturday night we completely avoided the City and tried out the Williamsburg crowd, but that belongs into a different post.)
For your information, we didn’t get a chance to catch up with this sibling couple from NY/NJ, but I hope they celebrated her birthday well and had a good time during the weekend.
I am also still impressed at how easy it is to bump into fun people on a random night out and how some of these acquaintances turn out to last for a longer time than expected. Benji, the Australian, joined us for a fun surf trip to Far Rockaway two days after this and ended his stay in New York with a
hopefully fun time. Thumbs up to New York City nightlife and the adventures they lead to!