I have a rooftop in my building. It faces both Brooklyn and Manhattan. It offers the most beautiful panorama in entire Park Slope and it comes for free (well, or with the rent, however you like to see it).
When seeking out locations, the room and the roommates were not the only reason I took the apartment I am in right now. On the day of the room-seeing, my roomie-to-be said I should take a look upstairs after I was done talking to her. Not expecting too much since we were in Park Slope and I couldn’t imagine anything off from Williamsburg to be known for its views, I climbed up one staircase. When I opened the door, my first image was a nice white area wider than I had thought. It showed a view over our Brooklyn neighborhood. Then I turned around, peeked around the corner – and was dumbfounded: I saw the entire Manhattan skyline spread out in front of me. What a great surprise such a breath-taking panorama was, and how stupid would it be of me not to consider a hidden treasure like this.
Luckily enough I got the room but that was during the winter. The winters are cold, windy, snowy, and unbearable here (more about this in a different post). Hence, during the winter I was not up there quite as often (translates into almost never). This was for practical reasons, too, though. The door that led upstairs was knocked in with snow and it was hard to open it. So no luck and really no desire to go up there in January and February. Then the spring came along in March and with it some nice mild days. May was finally the season that started my real rooftop love: Hanging out on top for hours after work, just eating, contemplating, inviting friends, writing down my thoughts, doing some serious work… And for three months straight I have had my rooftop now and my rooftop has had me.
To give you a specific idea of what I am talking about, our roof is made of three roofs combined into one nice area, only separated by small walls you can easily climb over. The rooftop to our left is fancy: Our neighbors built a complete terrace area with seating and planted a green garden next to it. It makes our part look rather bland. But then the roof to our right looks as equally bland, if not even blander, because their door is slightly broken. I really love the small courtyards which I can look down on from the top. It reminds me of Roman architecture for some reason I cannot fully explain.
If the landlord would agree, we could use all three roofs together and have a huge party here with a DJ and open bar. If life were that easy. The space would be big enough and I’m sure the roof would not collapse. But life isn’t that easy. Technically we aren’t even allowed on the roof for safety reasons.
Aside from the amazing view onto the Manhattan skyline, I can also see parts of Staten Island and New Jersey. And sometimes, if I scoop around the trees which are planted in the way or if I wait until the trees don’t have any leaves anymore, I can even see the Statue of Liberty.
Our neighbors have hosted many small parties during the summer. They also use their terrace for just sitting outside when taking in their dinner. On 4th of July this roof was witness to a nice assembly of people as all three roofs were taken: To the left, the family of 3 apartments had gathered. On our roof, some people from downstairs together with their friends were anxiously awaiting the fireworks. And to our right, some old man took up the space. We weren’t the only ones around celebrating Independence Day. Practically every other roof in our neighborhood was packed. Some even blasted their patriotic songs across Park Slope via boom box. It was fun to be part of this. For the second time already the fireworks did not go off over the East River (this would have been a splendid view!), but on the other side over the Hudson River. It’s good to see the spectacle from New Jersey. Since we do have a view onto NJ, we all had the same idea and were trying to figure out if the fireworks were see-worthy from our building. They were but only partly. I have to tell you, though, that it was still better than last year, when I had been in Times Square and all the buildings had covered up the night sky.
I usually show everyone who visits us our hidden treasure. And all visitors have been impressed so far. You just cannot beat this view, unless you live in a loft in Williamsburg right at the waterfront (and pay three times the amount of rent you would pay here).
The roof is the spot to hang out, have a glass of wine, or to remember what I came here for.
I can still hear the streets but all sounds are dampened by the heights. It’s sometimes entertaining to lean over the edge of the roof and look down at Park Slope’s hasty crowd.
Now if I could live on a bridge because of its stunning view, it would be on the Manhattan Bridge, but unfortunately, this is not allowed, so I seek refuge on my rooftop. Not bad, either, what do you think?