What Happened In Portland Could Happen Anywhere. Here’s What To Know

During a peaceful march on Tuesday evening in New York City, an unmarked Kia minivan pulled up alongside protesters before random men in NYPD T-shirts, khaki shorts, and sneakers jumped out to grab 18-year-old Nikki Stone, dragging her into the van.

The protestors went mad, charging the white van, trying to rescue the girl. One bystander yelling, “What the f— is wrong with you pigs?”

Video of the incident went viral, racking up over a million views.

AOC went off. The New York congresswoman tweeted, “Our civil liberties are on brink. This is not a drill. There is no excuse for snatching women off the street and throwing them into unmarked vans.”

She’s right: Unmarked cars, clandestine arrests, nameless officers—oh, my! 2020 has taken a hard left (or right), and it’s all very sketchy.

Who Had Clandestine Cops On Their 2020 Dystopia Bingo Card?

Clandestine state law dogs and federal tactical teams have been targeting protesters in major cities, seizing people and using force without identification or markings. Portland has taken center stage, as videos of shadow officers striking, grabbing, and gassing citizens have gained national attention.

These covert acts by law enforcement raise a host of issues that impact your constitutional rights—primarily the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions says you have the right not to be searched or seized by law enforcement unless they have probable cause to believe you committed a crime. This requires more than a hunch or suspicion. Probable cause is about having articulable facts.

Basically, the Fourth Amendment means five-O needs concrete info to justify ransacking your stuff or hauling you away in handcuffs. Boundaries aren’t just the cornerstone of mature relationships, but also a functioning democracy. (Quote me on that.)

This has been the law for centuries. But even though the agents know the law, they may not always abide by it. Law enforcement is usually backed by the powers that be, so they rarely suffer any consequences for violating your rights.

In his spirited testimony on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General William P. Barr (the nation’s top cop) agreed that your Fourth Amendment rights must be protected—but he also made clear that he’s not backing down from sending agents into cities to aggressively police protesters.

You may be seeing more law enforcement soon. In fact, since sending agents into Kansas City and Portland in early July, the Trump Administration announced last week that it was dispatching officers into other major cities, claiming that federal troops are necessary to combat “a shocking explosion of shootings, killings, murders and heinous crimes of violence.” 

Sounds scary, right? Fortunately, criminologists confirm that we shouldn’t be sounding the alarm, as crime isn’t a big issue.

Across the board, crime rates are lower than they were last year. This recent spike in crime is a product of governors lifting the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders—basically inviting people to return to their typical shenanigans, which unfortunately includes crime.

Don’t let the fear-mongering get you. Even though crime isn’t something you should necessarily be concerned about right now, it is imperative to protect your constitutional rights by continuing to protest.

“A lot of people got scared off of joining the march after cops grabbed protestors, but that’s exactly when people should gear up and join in,” says a 30-year-old writer who attended Tuesday’s march in Manhattan. The avid social justice warrior, who prefers to remain unnamed, noted, “You have to operate from a cautious optimism: prepare for the worst but hope for the best.”

Stone likely hoped for the best upon being seized Tuesday by the unmarked officers. After spending the night in police custody, Stone was told that the NYPD arrested her for allegedly destroying surveillance equipment. We’ll have to see how those charges play out in court.

In the meantime, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio indicates that he doesn’t want what happened in Portland to happen in his city, adding, “I think it was the wrong time and the wrong place to effectuate that arrest” of Ms. Stone.

Whether or not you’re at the wrong place at the wrong time, know your rights and continue to unapologetically exercise them. No one needs the final stretch of 2020 to end with dystopia.

Images: Spencer Platt/Getty Images; Naddleez/Twitter

NYC May Reverse Phase 4 Reopening If We Don’t Behave

While other places across the country are closing down again amidst rising case numbers, New York City only just entered phase 4 of reopening today. While phase 3 saw the return of businesses like nail salons, spas, and tanning salons (though if you’re going to visit a tanning salon right now, might I recommend just going outside?), as well as an expansion of the NYC Open Streets program, which allowed for businesses to expand their outdoor dining setups into the street. Initially, indoor dining was meant to reopen as part of phase 3, but Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio nixed that idea, citing fears of coronavirus spreading more rapidly with people eating indoors. Phase 4, which begins Monday, is set to include activities like “low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment” like zoos and botanical gardens, professional sports without spectators, and media production (including film/TV production). But now, amidst growing reports of overcrowded bars and late-night ragers, Governor Cuomo is threatening to reverse NYC’s reopening. File this one under: why we can’t have nice things.

We all had a good week or two making fun of Alabama for having coronavirus parties and sh*tting on Florida for being Florida, but it’s not just the Southern states we love to hate on who are behaving as if coronavirus is not a thing anymore. New Yorkers are doing it too, so wipe that smug smile off your face. In Astoria, Queens, hundreds of people were packed on Steinway street over the weekend, hanging out outside bars like it was a block party, with not a mask in sight.

Steinway will be closed by tomorrow 😩😩 pic.twitter.com/izogF8nAvc

— Easy Taught You (@ItsM_E_Z) July 18, 2020

In response, Cuomo invoked new regulations, including a “three strikes, you’re out” rule, closing any bars or restaurants that violate COVID restrictions three times. Some of the more especially heinous offenders could be closed after one violation. He also made it a requirement that anyone buying a drink at a bar or restaurant also purchase food.

Even with the new regulations in place, Dad is warning that he will, figuratively, turn this car around if we don’t all behave. Cuomo threatened to roll back reopening and possibly shut down bars and restaurants again if people don’t start complying with the rules.

On Sunday, Mayor de Blasio announced over Twitter that sheriffs would be patrolling Steinway St. to enforce closing times, issue summons, and make sure people follow distancing guidelines. One of the Astoria restaurants that was responsible for a lot of the partying has been shut down, according to de Blasio.

Party’s over.

Dedicated sheriff patrols will be on Steinway until further notice. They’ll enforce closing times, issue summonses and work with the NYPD to keep the roadways clear.

We haven’t beaten COVID-19 yet. We can’t let up now. https://t.co/A7DOoq1RDj

— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 19, 2020

At the end of June, Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood topped a list of 311 complaints by zip code for social distancing violations with 82 complaints made in a two-week period. Other offenders included the Upper East Side with 80 complaints and 2 Astoria zip codes, with a combined 127 complaints.

According to NBC 4 New York, just over 500 new coronavirus cases were reported in New York State on Sunday, and total hospitalizations fell to 716, the lowest number since March 18. But let’s not get cocky, because as we’ve seen in other states, we can easily backslide if we all decide to be lax about distancing, wearing masks, and limiting outings. As Governor Cuomo said on Monday, “We have to protect the progress we have made.”

Images: Accent / Shutterstock.com; NYCMayor, ItsM_E_Z / Twitter

Social Distance Stories: I Tried To Walk 10,000 Steps Without Leaving My Apartment

I’ve been social distancing since last Wednesday, when I’ve been working from home. I haven’t been doing too bad: I work, chill, stalk people I don’t like on Instagram for an amount of time my therapist considers “unhealthy”, go on a run to get outside for a few minutes—all in all, not that different from my normal routine (on the rare occasions when I decide to lay low and not black out at brunch). However, as of late, going on runs outside has made me more anxious because every single f*cking person in my neighborhood is also out and about. Staying six feet away from a stranger at any given point is impossible. I tried it all: running in the morning. Running at night. Running in the middle of the afternoon. Same problem. So I decided to kick the social distancing up a notch and not leave my apartment, at all. (Also, to be real, I’m just lazy and don’t love running to begin with.) The only problem? Getting enough exercise. I do workout videos, but I like measuring my activity in steps. So on Friday, I attempted to do the impossible: get 10,000 steps without leaving my apartment. Oh, I should mention, I live in New York City (pauses for collective gasp). Conveniently, my roommate and I had just measured our apartment, and it is about 600 square feet. Prognosis: not good. 

These are my stories.

9:17am: I begin my day with 251 steps. This is going to be hard.

9:36am: I have to write an article, ya know, do my job. This makes it hard to get up and move in any capacity.

10:20am: Decide to make scrambled eggs on a low heat because they take longer to cook that way. I first walk, then jog back and forth in my kitchen until they are cooked, scrambling occasionally. It works decently well: I’m up to 1,314 steps.

11:11am: Unlike every other day where I’ve been too lazy to get up to get more water once I finish mine, I’m going to the kitchen every 10 minutes. I’ve started making long loops around my apartment for no reason (going to the kitchen, heading all the way back into my room before going back to sit down at my desk). Current step count: 1,605. The goal is to get 1,000 steps per hour for 10 hours #math.

11:25am: I do suicides in my kitchen while waiting for my tea to warm up in the microwave (a minute and a half). Step count: 2,107. I am out of breath. My kitchen is maybe 10 feet long. Don’t judge me.

12:20pm: I am quickly falling behind on my 1,000-steps-per-hour goal. I make more tea (I don’t really want it, but it’s an excuse to move some more). I do suicides in my hallway this time, which is a lot creakier than my kitchen and therefore more likely to piss off my downstairs neighbor, but my hallway is a lot longer than my kitchen. Still not good enough; I’m only at 2,300-ish steps. I run back and forth in the kitchen a few more times. Still not making a huge dent: 2,444.

12:26: I pace around my apartment a bunch more times. 2,535. I need to do something crazy to get up to 3,000. I’ve taken a poll on my Instagram story on whether or not walking in place counts; most people think it does. Still, that feels kind of like cheating to me, so I’ll save it for a last resort.

1:10pm: I’ve tried to make as many unnecessary laps around my apartment as I can, but I’m still only at 2,874. Need to magically figure out a way to get 1,000 more steps in in the next 20 minutes so I can stay on track. Oh yeah, and do my job. That.

1:14pm: The downside of drinking so much water (to get more steps to the kitchen) is I’m peeing constantly. On the upside, this bitch will be hydrated af.

2:21pm: 3,231 steps. Gonna have to take drastic measures.

2:50pm: 3,371, but to be fair, I’ve been like, actually sitting at my desk doing work for a while.

3:01pm: Decide to call my internet company to ask them a question. (This will later prove to be a grave error.) But while I’m on hold with Spectrum, it is a good time to start pacing again. Downstairs neighbor must think I’m going through it.

3:10pm: Still on hold. Graduated from pacing to kitchen suicides. Step count: 4,143.

3:20pm: I give up on Spectrum. Nothing is that important.

3:30pm: I get an email that the fitness mat I had ordered a couple days ago says it’s arrived. Time to put on sneakers and go downstairs the three flights to check—not touching any banisters. 

3:34pm: I consider running up and down my steps a few times, but ultimately, laziness wins out. 4,315. 

5:12pm: Currently at 4,819 which is almost half (for those of you who can’t do basic math). The good news is I still haven’t done my workout video yet, which should bring me very close to my goal. The bad news is that I have zero desire to move my body at all. Maybe after a snack the motivation will suddenly appear.

5:13pm: A King’s Hawaiian sweet roll and peanut butter is a healthy snack, right?

5:55pm: Workout time. I’m debating between a 305 Fitness video (which they put up on Youtube after the daily live streams), which I know will get me to the goal, vs. Sweat440, which is my personal favorite and more HIIT/toning than straight cardio like 305. I low-key hate cardio. Plus, I can’t booty pop or body roll, which makes up a significant part of 305’s repertoire. What I’m saying, is, I can’t dance!! Double plus, my downstairs neighbor is… shall we say… vocal… and all the jumping with 305 seems like a bad idea. I choose Sweat440.

6:35pm: I finish the workout, dripping in sweat—the studio lives up to its name, that’s for sure. I check my step counter: 6,069. Welp. All that, and only like, 1,000 extra steps. I am basically giving up at this point.

I am dead inside

10:18pm: Finishing a Netflix documentary before bed (it’s true crime, why do I do this to myself) so I’m going to walk around my living room, but hitting the goal is not looking likely. Current count: 8,255. If I can get to 9,000 I’ll feel accomplished. But now I have something to prove, so maybe I’ll resort to walking in place.

10:27pm: No. I won’t go down without a fight. Back to the kitchen it is, where I can put my laptop on the island and walk back and forth with minimal creaking.

10:45pm: Victory!

While it is possible to get 10,000 steps without stepping foot outside, it is not exactly easy and I had to get creative (read: a little loose with my definition of “walking”). It’s not a bad alternative if conditions worsen and you really cannot go outside, but I would only do it again if I like, was once again motivated by the idea of doing something seemingly impossible. Otherwise, I’d just go about my normal indoor routine and disregard my step count. Or just go on a walk or jog outside as long as officials say that’s safe. Stay safe, everybody!

Images: George Rudy / Shutterstock.com; Sara Levine (2); Giphy (2)

These Are The Worst Cities For Dating In The Country

Valentine’s Day is almost here! And what does that mean? I’ll be dressing up in my best pink dress, receiving roses at the office, and then heading out for a night on the town with my perfect man, Keanu Reeves. Oh sorry, that was just something I’ve been manifesting. More accurately, I will be sitting on my couch in my best PINK sweatpants, watching the sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before while sobbing lightly and going to sleep. But I hope you all have, like, such a fun night!

Thankfully, this year I have someone to blame other than myself for my singledom. And that “someone” is the hellscape that is New York City. That’s right, the kind folks over at Apartment List have compiled a ranking of the best and worst cities for dating. And wouldn’t you know, New York is ranked all the way down at NUMBER 50! So it turns out, I don’t have “a personality not conducive to interaction with other humans,” it’s just that the city I live in is a dating dumpster fire. Thank you, Apartment List, for having my back, now can you please send this article to my mom? Let’s take a look at how the rest of the cities ranked, and see if you all can blame the place you live on your terrible dating life, or if you’ll have to look in the mirror tomorrow and admit you and your bad attitude just might be the problem. 

According to the data, Provo, Utah is the best place to date, with 47.5% of respondents reporting they are happy with the dating scene. Congrats, Provo! I mean that so sincerely! Apartment List says Provo is home to scenic views and great date spots, and that’s why it’s ranked so high. Sure… it’s definitely that and not the fact that men can have multiple wives. I’m just saying, how could it be that hard to date when no one is ever actually off the market? You see it, you like it, you want it, you marry it, you move into a house with its three other wives. Simple as that. 

The top ten is rounded out with a bunch of cities I’ve never been to, including Raleigh, NC, Pittsburgh, Denver, Houston, and Grand Rapids, MI. And oddly enough, Bridgeport, CT is ranked fourth. I’m SO confused. Has anyone ever heard about the dating scene in a random Connecticut town? And, more importantly, is it close enough that I could still commute to NYC? I’m not opposed to getting out of the city if it helps me meet Keanu. Or literally any other man at this point. Even if they do wear pastel sweaters tied across their shoulders and spend their weekends on a boat named after Jordan Belfort. 

Now let’s get to the bottom of this list, which I know you’ve all been waiting for. Three Florida metros round out the very end of the list, which makes sense because all the state’s residents are either in the process of dying, or kicking swans in the head to practice karate. Not very dateable, unless you’re into pre-serial killers, I guess. 

Hello, Florida dating pool 

Also included on the worst list is New Haven, CT (why don’t they just scurry on over to Bridgeport, I hear the dating scene there is LIT). We also have Syracuse, NY, which I am very pleased about because my baby cousin goes to school there and I don’t want her wasting her time with boys—she’s supposed to be showing me how to use TikTok, and that will be VERY time-consuming. That, and obviously she can’t get married before me or I’ll actually rip her throat out with my bare hands. Love you, Erin! 

The list I find the most telling is the one that ranks what cities men think are best to date in vs. the cities that women think are best to date in. Men rank San Diego as the best place to date. SHOCKER! Men enjoy dating athletic, outdoorsy women who wear bikinis and go on beach dates, where the bodies are really showing. I have never been less surprised by anything in my entire life. In fact, men chose lots of cities where you can take a good long look at a woman’s body, including Virginia Beach and Miami. Men: predictable since the year 100 BC. Women, on the other hand, rank Columbus, OH first. This also tracks, because we just want a man that’s not checking out some other woman rollerblading by us in a bikini while we try to have a conversation. THAT IS LITERALLY ALL WE ASK. 

Now, it’s time to talk about the biggest surprise on this list. As I touched on earlier, you’ve got to scroll pretty far down to find New York City, which is ranked 50th! Only 29% of men are satisfied with the dating scene in this rat trap masquerading as a city, and only 22% of women responded that they’re satisfied. This is dismal. The MTA literally gets better approval ratings than this, and yesterday I had to fight a 9-year old who tried to steal my bagel on the J train. Normally, I don’t condone interacting with children, but I paid for the expensive cream cheese! And we still like this situation better! For some added perspective, here are a few other things that have higher approval ratings than dating in New York City: Donald Trump, Boeing, American Dirt, guns, and Lori Loughlin. We in trouble now.

I advise all you fellow singles to take a close look at this list and seriously reconsider where you’re living. I’m on Apartment List right now conducting a search for a new apartment in Provo, UT. I can’t wait for NEXT Valentine’s Day, which I will most definitely be enjoying with my new boyfriend and his many wives. Built in girlfriends! You can’t beat it!

Images: @timberfoster / Unsplash; Giphy (4)

5 Indoor Rooftop Bars You Need To Try This Winter

When most people say they’re outdoorsy, they mean that they enjoy going on hikes. When I say I’m outdoorsy, I mean that I like drinking on rooftops. Maybe that’s why I don’t get many Hinge messages? Oops. Participating in my favorite pastime is obviously easiest in the summer where I can knock back rosé outside and tan, but doing it in the winter is obviously more difficult. Thank god for indoor rooftop bars, where you can get all the same NYC views without freezing to death. Here are some of our favorite indoor rooftop bars to hit when it’s f*cking cold outside.

The Crown

View this post on Instagram

Just add you, your girlfriends and some jean jackets. We’ve got drinks & views on deck 😉 Open late, til 4am! #CrownNYC at @50Bowery // pic: @hypebae . . . . #CrownNYC #infatuationnyc #thirstynyc #LESismore #lowereast #50bowery #elizabethstreet #bucketlistnyc #nycbucketlist #cocktail #rooftop #nycviews #todoinny #rooftopvibes

A post shared by The Crown (@thecrownnyc) on

Gerber Group’s The Crown is located on the roof of one of the few gems Chinatown has to offer, Hotel 50 Bowery, and it’s one of the only places in the city where you can get unobstructed views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. That means double the Instagrams that you can queue up to post later on—what more could you ask for? Inside, there are plush couches (and a neon sign, because who doesn’t love a good neon sign?) and floor-to-ceiling windows so you can still capture your candids. The menu changes seasonally, but when I went over the summer, their fruity drinks and lobster roll were really f*cking good.

Hotel Chantelle

View this post on Instagram

Coming up here this week?

A post shared by Hotel Chantelle (@hotelchantelle) on

Fun fact: Hotel Chantelle, the Lower East Side classic, is not, in fact, a hotel! Makes sense. Like my Bat Mitzvah, the rooftop is Paris-themed, but unlike the social event of 2007, Hotel Chantelle doesn’t look like a 13-year-old-girl’s wet dream. But unless you’re going there specifically for French feels, the decor doesn’t really matter. It just looks like a cute, small rooftop bar, which is more than fine by me. 

If you and your work “friends” are into happy hour, Hotel Chantelle is definitely the move because there’s rarely a line before 1am and the deals are legit. For instance, $8 for a cocktail and $42 for a pitcher. There are also $8 food specials like chicken meatballs and white truffle flatbread. (Also, fun fact, they also have a good brunch with even better drink deals.) 

Broken Shaker

View this post on Instagram

Shop with a cocktail in hand! Join us for a fall preview with @acurrentaffair today from 11-5 and shop incredible vintage! 🍹✨🍹#nyfw #shakervibes

A post shared by Broken Shaker (@brokenshaker) on

Broken Shaker is my favorite bar in New York. I know no one goes to a bar for the interior design, but this place has noticeably cool interior design. It was giving me Tahiti vibes in the best way possible, and the drinks were amazing. I actually went here on my birthday, and because I wouldn’t shut the f*ck about it being my birthday we were so sweet to the other bar-goers, we managed to snag a cocktail table with two wicker peacock chairs and drink all damn night. The views were sick, the drinks were delicious, and the bartenders were really hot. What else could you want in a bar?

The Water Tower

View this post on Instagram

We love both views; when the city lights illuminate the dark sky and river at night 🌃, and when the Sun ☀️ shows us in the light how beautiful city we live in. The Water Tower is open from 2 pm on weekends. • • • • #thewatertower #williamsburg #hotspot #hotelrooftop #thewilliamsburghotel #cocktailbar #nycnightlife #nycnights #brooklyn #rooftopbar #nycviews #newyorklike

A post shared by The Water Tower Bar & Rooftop (@thewatertowerbar) on

Williamsburg is usually not on my list of places I want to go, because hipsters with micro-tattoos and ironic top hats aren’t really my cup of tea, but The Williamsburg Hotel is my exception. It’s hands down the coolest hotel I’ve ever been to, and I will gladly stay here when I make more money and can afford it. The Water Tower is, you guessed it, on the roof and it definitely fits with the funky aesthetic of the hotel. Even though most rooftops have pretty decent views, The Water Tower’s view is truly unreal because you’re looking across the East River at all of the Manhattan apartments you can’t afford. I’ll drink to that. 

Also, unlike other misleading names, The Water Tower is kind of a water tower. No, it never held water, but it’s a giant glass structure shaped like one. So the views are too legit to quit because they’re panoramic. It’s kind of mesmerizing being in there because it feels like you’re in a bubble floating above the street. 

JIMMY at The James

View this post on Instagram

a girl's night out is better 18 floors above soho.

A post shared by JIMMY at The James Rooftop (@jimmyatthejames) on

Unlike a lot of rooftop bars, this place looks like it was designed for the winter. By that, I mean it’s really cozy and decorated kind of like a super chic ski chalet. I’m definitely into that and will probably be holed up there all weekend. No, you can’t go in the pool this time of year, but that’s why they designed the inside to make it so appealing. And the drinks all have cute/weird names like Grapes of Wrath, Catch Your Pikachu, and Legal in Vermont. I don’t know what those last two drink names mean, but whatever. The drinks are tasty and the atmosphere is really cozy, so if you don’t feel like drinking a cocktail with a lame name at your apartment, go here.

Images: The Crown at 50 Bowery; jimmyatthejames, thewatertowerbar, brokenshaker, hotelchantelle, thecrownnyc / Instagram

The Most Festive NYC Bars To Drink At This Holiday Season

I’ve lived in this city for so long that truly nothing phases me anymore, and that’s a personal achievement of which I’m very proud. However, there is one exception to my inability to experience awe, and that is when Gingerbread Lane comes to town, when Bloomingdale’s is decked in twinkly lights and, of course, when drinking spiked eggnog and hot chocolate is not only acceptable, but encouraged. I’m talking about the most wonderful time of the year, people! The motherf*ckin’ holidays! Am I getting too excited? Whatever. One more thing this New Yorker loves about the holidays in this godforsaken city is the festive decor that takes over my favorite watering holes, hotels, and restaurants. If you, too, have no shame in your game and want to sip spiked eggnog under mistletoe, but don’t know where to go, I got you. These are the most festive holiday spots that you don’t already know about.

Dream Downtown

This is the type of place I usually avoid because lots of people and staying out past 10pm aren’t really my vibe, but I think I may just move in here between the months of December and March for the holiday themed pop-up. The Lobby Bar will be transforming into what the Dream is calling The Winter Rose Garden and what I call What Dreams Are Made Of. This particular pop-up is exciting because it’s the downtown hotel’s first foray into holiday festivities, and rest assured, they’re pulling out all the damn stops. I’m talking oversized rose walls (made with 15,000 red roses), red furniture, and more candles than Anthropologie. And obviously, they have a special menu of holiday-inspired cocktails. The Primrose Cider is my personal fave because it’s made with classics like sparkling rosé, Barking Irons Applejack, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, and a rose ice cube. I mean, yum?

PHD Terrace

This is the only place in Midtown I’ll go without complaining about all the finance bros Juuling everywhere I look. For this holiday pop-up, which they’re calling Midwinter Nights’ Dream, they are seriously going all out, and I’m not mad about it. As much as I love holiday-themed alcohol, the actual reason I love this time of year is because of the genuinely cheerful atmosphere, and this place understands that. Obviously, they’re doing the red and gold ribbons, the hanging lights, and the gorgeous garland, but most importantly, they’re having a tunnel of light, because if you go to a holiday pop-up and didn’t post an Instagram of it, did you even go? As for the holiday menu, def opt for a Peppermint Mojito, which is a normal mojito, but served in an ornament! Is that festive af or what?

Magic Hour

If you don’t remember from my last article where Magic Hour got a mention re: where to drink enormous drinks, let me just say that I love this place. For the holidays this year, it will turn into what I can only imagine is Nicki Minaj’s wet dream. It’s called Pink Holiday Playground and will boast ceilings covered in hot pink twinkly lights, oversized disco balls, and human-sized festive bears. Oh, and there’s also a carousel, because why not? Not that it’s a competition, but Magic Hour is playing to win and they got my vote. Also, my general policy at bars is to not eat the food, but I’ll make an exception for the Pink Dough Pie, which is not only meant for 12 people, but it’s also a delish boozy apple cider doughnut-pie hybrid (sold) filled with Honeycrisp apples and drizzled with a maple bourbon glaze, topped with pink sprinkles and pink chocolate balls. My love language is officially sweet pizza that will get me drunk. How do people even come up with this stuff? 

Club Wyndham Midtown 45

Though technically neither a bar nor a restaurant, Club Wyndham earned its spot on this list because it is committed to spreading holiday cheer, like, for real. Don’t believe me? Check out the aggressively Instagrammable holiday suite inspired by, you guessed it, Buddy the f*ckin’ Elf. By the way, that movie was released in 2003, so if you don’t already feel old af, how about now? Just from looking at the photos of this suite, I can say with confidence that there were no cotton-headed ninny-muggins on this hotel’s design team, and that I am blown away. Because you are absolutely playing yourself if you think you aren’t already dead-set on booking this suite, I’ll let you know what’s included, starting with the full kitchen that’s stocked with the ingredients to recreate Buddy’s famous spaghetti and syrup dish. Honestly, I don’t really know if that’s a selling point, but I do love a hotel suite with a full kitchen. My personal favorite element of this suite, though, is the enormous living room that’s fully decked out in holiday garb (including an oversized Christmas tree). If that’s not festive, tell me what is. I’ll wait.

Sunday in Brooklyn

I am a Manhattan snob and generally don’t acknowledge the other boroughs, but Sunday in Brooklyn is the one exception. Running through the end of December, this beautiful restaurant that makes a case for minimalist design is doing SNOWday in Brooklyn. Yes, their holiday pop-up has arrived and I’m already on the L. I’ll get to the menu in a minute, but first I want to talk about the vibe of the place during this magical time. Some of these pop-ups go a little overboard (do a bar crawl one weekend and lmk which ones you think those are), but Sunday in Brooklyn is classy af. It’s how I imagine Aidan and Carrie would decorate his Suffern house for the holidays if they had stayed together. The place generally has kind of a rustic feel, but with the garlands hanging from the wooden beams on the ceiling and the wreaths in every window, it’s hard to stay away. I ordered the Scroogin’ For A Bruisin’ because I love a good Grease reference, but also because it’s delicious with scotch, baijiu, China-China Amer, pineapple, cinnamon, sesame oil, and brown rice. Those last two ingredients threw me too, but they’re only there to give the drink a little bit of texture, not to give it a salad dressing flavor. 

The NoMad Bar

Before this past Sunday, the only time I’ve ever been to The NoMad Bar was on a horrible date that ended with him telling me how much he misses his ex girlfriend. Awesome. Anyway, after hearing about this place’s new Holiday Spectacular cocktail popup, I decided to start positively associating it with two things I love: Christmas and alcohol. Honestly, they didn’t have to do much beyond the bar’s typical decor because it’s already pretty festive in a very chic way. Dark leather tufted booths, glossy wooden tables, the kind of lighting that only seems to exist in Woody Allen movies…etc. The one thing they’re doing differently for their Holiday Spectacular is the charming cocktail menu that’s separated by Naughty and Nice cocktails. Lol. I had one from each column and let my reaction determine which I am and, to everyone’s surprise, I’m nice! The Winter Wonderland, which is a milky punch—that tastes like pumpkin pie in cocktail form—is served in a snow globe. I can’t resist a snow globe. This is also a fun bar to hit up because the NoMad Hotel is a cool place to walk around afterwards, especially when you’re a little tipsy.

Images: Winter Rose photo by Edward Menashy; Midwinter Nights’ Dream photo Courtesy of Michael Kleinberg; Magic Hour photo by Sarah Kelley; Club Wyndham photo courtesy of Club Wyndham; Sunday in Brooklyn photo by Eric Medsker; The NoMad Bar photo courtesy of The NoMad Bar

The Betches’ Bachelorette Guide To Manhattan

Planning sucks, and bachelorette parties are a ton of work. So we’re taking all the guesswork out of planning a bachelorette party by breaking down top bachelorette destinations. Our guides will tell you where to stay, eat, party, how to get around, and give you a sample itinerary that you can follow. You’re welcome.

? “Concrete jungle where (bachelorette) dreams are made of…” ?

Manhattan is an obvious choice for a weekend of debauchery and making poor decisions life-long memories with your best friends. Not only is it one of the easiest cities to get to—and get around in—but it has everything, and we mean everyyyyyything going for it. World-class shopping (or questionable thrifted finds), 5-star hotels and spas (plus a gazillion Airbnbs that may or may not be legal), more restaurants, bars, and clubs than you could ever stumble into, and a boss bitch attitude that suits a bride-to-be and her crew planning on taking over the town.

Regardless of your personality, or goals for the trip, there’s a neighborhood that can satisfy the greatest of expectations—and get you drunk at the same time. Go all Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen on the Upper East Side, embrace your inner hipster in the East Village and Alphabet City, and act like you’re better than everyone else in the Meatpacking District. Or go everywhere and do it all, quasi inebriated. That’s the beauty of the Big Apple! Here’s how to bach it up once you’re there.

How To Get There

The great news about choosing Manhattan as your bach HQ is that it’s easy as hell to get to. If you live in New England or the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT) you can drive, train, or bus into the city (not that we suggest the latter, though…it is your bachelorette, after all). And if you live anywhere else in the country, or world, you can fly directly into one of three airports: JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark. There are about a million flights that go in and out of NYC every day, at all hours, and on all airlines, so booking your travel will be the easiest part of your trip. That means more time for researching bars, obvi. It’s also pretty cheap to get to Manhattan and flight deals can be found on sites like Orbitz, Kayak, and Expedia, starting at $50-60 one way, depending where you’re flying from. If you book far enough in advance, you’re only looking at a couple hundred dollars for a roundtrip ticket. That’s less than what you’ll spend on hotels, food, and drinks, and think of everything you can spend that extra cash on like strippers! quality bonding experiences with your mains.

How To Get Around

We’re pretty sure this city was plotted out with tipsy girls in mind, it’s that easy to navigate. If you have a Type A personality in the group, have her schedule your nights, because arranging dinner, drinks, and after-party spots in the same neighborhood means you can just walk (or try balancing three sheets to the wind in heels) from one venue to the next, without having to go too far. When you need to get back to basecamp, because someone’s on the verge of passing out, Ubers, Lyfts, and cabs are your best friend. They’re everywhere you need them to be, reasonably cheap, and some even come with saintly drivers who honor wasted song requests mumbled from the back seat.

Where To Stay

Pro Tip: Use HotelTonight to book. The top-rated hotel app offers steep discounts on rooms up to 100 days out, as well as suite upgrades and HT Perks (their rewards program).

The James New York, SoHo: This boutique hotel landmark is on the corner of Thompson and Grand and pretty much slays when it comes to checking off every hotel box in Manhattan. The best staff ever? Check. Posh rooms and corner suites for pregaming, glamming, and sleeping in style? Check. A rooftop oasis with a pool and bar? Check. (Jimmy at the James is the jam, as is Gitano Jungle Room downstairs) and it’s in SoHo. You don’t do NYC without doing SoHo.

View this post on Instagram

?: @thebabooshka #jamessoho

A post shared by The James Hotels (@jameshotels) on

Lotte New York Palace: If you’ve never watched Gossip Girl, we don’t know you, but if you have, you’ll immediately recognize this one as the courtyard where Blair, Serena, and co. used to REIGN. The Palace is the city’s largest luxury hotel (with a whooping 909 rooms and suites) and perfect for bachelorette groups traveling to New York City. They offer room blocks and extended stay rates, but you’ll want to book in The Towers as they’re recently renovated and more royally appropriate for this kind of event. They even have a Gossip Girl Getaway package available and for that, we’re eternally grateful.

View this post on Instagram

Retreating back to your favorite place feels a lot like meeting up with an old friend. #StayIconic ?: @elsmorgan

A post shared by Lotte New York Palace (@newyorkpalace) on

BTW, engagement ring designer extraordinaire Martin Katz designed The Jewel Suite, and there’s a Champagne Suite with an expansive rooftop terrace and custom waterfall spa, so you’re probs going to want to book one of those…just sayin’.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A life-size jewelry box in the middle of Manhattan. #JewelSuite

A post shared by Lotte New York Palace (@newyorkpalace) on

INNSIDE New York NoMad: If you want to be closer to downtown, but can’t swing (or deal with) hotels in the Meatpacking district, set up bachelorette HQ in Chelsea. INNSIDE by Melià New York NoMad is ideally positioned (on West 27th Street) and features all the things girls gone wild love: reasonable rates starting at $150 a night, selfie-friendly backdrops, and places to rest, work out, and play. The spacious (for New York) accommodations and cozy beds are key for when you’re ready to catch zzzzs, but in-room essentials like Nespresso machines, plush robes, and rain showers will really save your life after a night of not sleeping, when Pedialyte and eye patches just won’t cut it. When you do finally emerge from your quarters to see the light of day, go straight to INNSIDE’s new signature restaurant, The Wilson. The new neighborhood mainstay is known for seafood dishes, al fresco dining, and top-notch cocktails, plus a menu just for dogs, in case your pooch is part of your wedding party.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

New York or Nothing! We couldn’t agree more with style blogger @tonyamichelle26 #worktripping #newyorknewyork #nyc Photo credit @juliaotestphoto

A post shared by INNSiDE New York by Meliá (@innsidenewyork) on

Le Méridien New York: What used to be the Viceroy New York has recently been rebranded as Le Méridien New York, and after a cute little refresh it’s better than ever, with a penthouse suite that’s begging for a group of girls to move in for the weekend. What you can expect upon arrival: a baller presidential bathroom (plus two smaller ones for guests who don’t deserve to invade the queen’s throne), living room, dining room, kitchen, multiple bars, and two bedrooms. We would argue another reason to stay is because it’s luxe, yet more affordable than some of its downtown counterparts. It’s also within walking distance of Central Park, the Theater District, and Columbus Circle, and it has a roof for Insta opps galore.

View this post on Instagram

Rosé with a view ?

A post shared by Susie (@susieisabella) on

Where To Eat

NYC is equal parts brunch culture and then dinner-into-nightlife culture. Listen, we take our “restaurant capital of the world” moniker seriously, okurrrrrr? Basically, you’re going to be wasted all day, since day drinking turns into night drinking and then after-hours drinking. The good news is, we’re going to hook ya up with plenty of spots to carbo-load so you don’t faint midway through the marathon.

Bagatelle: Smack dab in the heart of the Meatpacking District, Bagatelle is a “New York Institution,” and a given for bachelorette shenanigans. Open for brunch and dinner, it deserves a place on your itinerary. After devouring platters of avocado tartine and poached eggs, or truffled gnocchi and smoked salmon pizzas, there are magnums of champagne and rosé to drink, along with Rich and Famous cocktails, and overflowing bowls of booze that come with 20 straws. Then the party really gets started once the sparklers come out and everyone tries to dance on said tables without falling off. Issa French-Mediterranean-live-your-best-life kinda vibe, and we’re here for it.

View this post on Instagram

Chasing that Joie de Vivre will always lead you back to brunch at Bagatelle ✨ #Bagatelle #Brunch

A post shared by Bagatelle New York (@bagatellenyc) on

Añejo: For boozy brunch on a budget, look no further than Añejo in Hell’s Kitchen or Tribeca. There’s no better place to go bottomless! In terms of drinks and food, we mean—it’s too early for the other stuff. Seriously though, they have the deal of the century with two hours of unlimited Mexican-inspired libations and small plates for $47 a person. Cure your pounding hangover with scrambled egg tacos and chorizo hash or carne asada con huevos with grilled skirt steak and yuca tots, then blackout cheers to the bride with six different kinds of margaritas and Bloody Marias, which sub vodka for tequila. Salud!

View this post on Instagram

Rain or shine, our bottomless brunch is going strong! Cheers! ? . . . #bottomlessbrunch #salud #cheers #saturday #daydrinking #celebrate #funtimes #anejonyc #anejotribeca

A post shared by anejonyc (@anejonyc) on

Baccarat Hotel: If you don’t wake up in time for brunch, go for fancy AF Afternoon Tea in the Grand Salon at Baccarat. There are tiered masterpieces of crustless sandwiches, tiny cheesy gougères, to-die-for mini quiches, and enough petit fours and scones with clotted cream to make Marie Antoinette roll over in her grave with envy. Arguably the best part of this extra affair will be sipping champagne from cut-crystal tumblers that cost more than your life. That, and ‘gramming it up with the girls in the mirrored jewel box setting. Just try not to break anything.

P.S. The Baccarat’s cushy suites (complete with lacquered red mini bars and Hermès throws) also make a viable candidate for alternate lodging, if you and your crew are next-level bougie.

View this post on Instagram

Savor every moment in style at Afternoon Tea. ?: @cheraleelyle

A post shared by Baccarat Hotels (@baccarathotels) on

STK: This steakhouse-meets-hot-spot lounge is where it’s at for sexy GNO dinners. Friday and Saturday get lit (thanks to DJ-spun tunes) and with two locations in Midtown and Downtown (Downtown has a rooftop BTW), you can party wherever’s convenient. Crazy good martinis, surf and turf, and all the apps in between are par for the ordering course (get the lobster mac, tuna tartare tacos, and truffle fries, duh) and if any members of your squad are single, even better. STK is always crawling with hotties you can sweet talk into buying you more drinks, since your tab is bound to be on the pricey side. Whatever, YOLO.

View this post on Instagram

Rooftop Season Starts Now! STK Rooftop in the #Meatpacking District of NYC is now accepting reservations for dinner, and open weekdays for #HappyHour! DON'T MISS OUT on "The First Taste of Spring." BOOK NOW -> STKsteakhouse.com

A post shared by STK Steakhouse (@eatstk) on

Catch Roof: Celebs, influencers, and social climbers love Catch, and so do we. It’s sushi goals in an upscale venue that’s always packed and high up on NYC bachelorette guides. As an OG Meatpacking haunt, it’s a must. You’re also likely to bump into famous people here (the Kardashian-Jenners, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, and the Biebs have all been), but don’t be that girl who gets kicked out by security trying to take pics with them, alright?? Nosh on over-the-top rolls al fresco, then after the party it’s the after-party when the restaurant transitions into a lounge with bottle service after 10pm.

View this post on Instagram

Three. Day. (Brunch) Weekend. ? Catch NYC + LA open for brunch on Memorial Day ?? #MDW #catchrestaurants #catchnyc ?: @viibekee

A post shared by Catch Restaurants (@catch) on

Santina: Nestled under The High Line, Santina is helmed by the Major Food Group dream team (of Carbone, Dirty FrenchSadelle’s, and The Lobster Club fame) and it’s coastal, casual, and chic. AKA necessary for lunch. You’ll feel like you’re in Positano sipping spritzers, even if there are sirens blaring while you do so. It’s also one of the few entirely gluten-free Italian restaurants in the city. Must-try specialties include: squash carpaccio, capellini blue crab, and caprese grilled cheese.

View this post on Instagram

Some favorites from Santina, including the Tortellini Sorrentina, which you can also get again today at the @nikenyc Joyride Cafe. Check the “Nike Cafe” story highlight for more info. ? #majorfoodgroup

A post shared by Major Food Group (@majorfoodgroup) on

Where To Party

There’s definitely no shortage of places to get f*cked up in the city, but it’s very easy to go down a Google rabbit hole trying to decide which velvet rope blocked door to hit first. So we thought we’d make it easy on you with this vetted list. Oldies but goodies like TAO Downtown, AvenueMarqueeUp&Down, and 1 Oak are always name dropped, but they often come with long-ass lines, crazy covers, and annoying door guys and can be impossible to get into—unless you’ve got a hookup. Then again, a group of girls on a bachelorette party is basically a free hookup card and promoters are usually creeping around outside ready and willing to get you in. In any case, here are our tried-and-true faves:

PHD: With two outposts in the city—PHD Penthouse at Dream Downtown and PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown—you have double the opportunities to live up your last single days. Both venues have a few things in common: prime outdoor space and killer skyline views, big name DJs, and party people dancing and drinking until the lights come on, so you can’t really go wrong at either. If you want to be Downtown, PHD Lounge is also in the same building as Bodega Negra, Dream Beach, and Electric Room, which is a trendy basement bar in the hotel that goes from dusk to dawn, to dusk again. Our kind of place.

View this post on Instagram

We own the night ✨

A post shared by PHD Rooftop Lounge (@phdrooftopny) on

The Box: Things get weird at The Box. Weird as in, I once saw a guy do some pretty questionable stuff to a slice of pizza on stage, but that’s precisely the reason to go. It’s also fun AF when you’re with a big group and feeling rowdyyyy, as you do on a bachelorette. It’s all about the theatrics here, so most people go late for the kinky burlesque show portion of the evening, although they do have a full bar and dining menu so you could technically make this a one-stop-shop for the night. Just do yourself a solid and book a table in advance. You don’t want to deal with any door hassles because you’re queens and shouldn’t have to, k?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

No matter the weather it’s bubbly in here??

A post shared by THE BOX (@theboxnyc) on

Le Bain: Cat Marnell famously once wrote: “I couldn’t spend another summer meeting deadlines behind a computer at night when I could be on the rooftop of Le Bain looking for shooting stars and smoking angel dust with my friends,” and when you step inside, you get it. The penthouse discothèque and rooftop bar (with a pool in the middle of the dance floor #NBD) is where epic times are had—that you probably won’t remember the next day. It’s also important to note Le Bain is in The Standard hotel in Meatpacking, so you could hit The Standard Beirgarten—an NYC staple for steins, pretzels (which you need to soak up the alcohol), Ping-Pong, and hottie banker boys.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Sunday sunset coming up at 7:38pm and then we celebrate @christina_visca’s birthday in her Birdcage featuring @quentin_harris_music and @hexhector ? Doors 2pm, party 10pm ? @aadityankothari

A post shared by Le Bain (@lebainnyc) on

The Fleur Room: Moxy Chelsea has everything you could ever want or need in one hotel (restaurants, bars, bunkbed-style rooms if you want a true sleepover moment with your baes), but the #1 reason to visit is for The Fleur Room. This new(ish) lounge is 35 stories up and swankkkky. Think: dimly lit, major chandeliers, 360° vantages of Manhattan (thanks to all-glass walls) and floral touches everywhere. They are in the Flower District, after all, and love a theme.

View this post on Instagram

Incredible party to start the week! Delighted to have hosted @la_detresse by @lanzybear & @emilyperlstein

A post shared by The Fleur Room (@fleurroomny) on

Magic Hour Rooftop & Lounge: As you may or may not be aware, the Moxy Hotel Group is all over NYC. They have numerous locations and cool bars at each. Over at their Time Square location, there’s a year-round carnival going on upstairs on the 18th floor. As the largest indoor/outdoor rooftop in Manhattan, it’s sorta like a garden party playground on steroids. There’s Foreplay for mini golf amongst a bunch of fake animals in naughty poses, state fair-style snacks (such as disco waffle fries with nacho cheese), and wild cocktails dreamt up by magician bartenders most likely after a bender. They’re made for sharing—and getting the bride tanked. Order the Disco Ball for All.

View this post on Instagram

Enjoy the last few days of warm weather Where The Magic Happens! Head on over to the roof @MagicHourNY for some after-work cocktails in the ☀️ || ? @@KateMcKay_

A post shared by Magic Hour Rooftop (@magichourny) on

Friday, Day 1

Pro Tip: Download the GetYourGuide app so you can easily book last-minute actives i.e. bar crawls, group-discounted meals, and touristy bachelorette sh*t on the fly. Sex and the City Tour, anyone?

  1. First stop: your hotel to drop your stuff, check in, and aggressively hint it’s a special occasion at the front desk to score free glasses of bubbly.
  2. Saturday and Sunday are your biggest day drinking times, so take Friday as an opp to do ANYTHING else. Go vintage shopping in the Lower East Side, mingle with the city’s label whores on 5th Ave and Madison, hit up the new Hudson Yards, get your culture on at MoMA, walk The High Line, and once noon strikes, pause for lunch and maybe a shot or three.
  3. Grab lunch at Santina.
  4. Insert a meaningful and important culture moment here—like partaking in NYC’s Drunk History Tour, where you visit New York City’s underground and hidden bars while learning about the city’s Prohibition era.
  5. Chug as much water as you can and, I cannot stress this enough, NAP.
  6. If you’re still a bit intoxicated when you wake up and can’t work a blowdryer probably—or shouldn’t be trusted with liquid liner—there’s NYC’s answer to the get-ready dilemma: Glamsquad. They’ll come to your hotel room, do your hair, makeup, nails, etc. and have you moving faster (and looking way better) than if you attempted this feat on your own.
  7. Head to Dirty French, Carbone, or STK for dinner.
  8. If on the LES, do The Box, if in Meatpacking, end your night at PHD, Le Bain, Electric Room, and Brass Monkey for last call.

Saturday, Day 2

Pro Tip: Book an detox treatment with The Hangover Club, who will send angel registered nurses to your hotel room to IV you back to a state of normal, just in time for boozy brunch.

  1. Get up and raid the mini bar—for water and electrolyte-packed bevs.
  2. Make your way to rager brunch at Bagatelle.
  3. Head back to the hotel to nap. You’ll never power through otherwise.
  4. Get up, try to rally, and blast single lady anthems with the bride, then break out the concealer and other makeup must-haves…you need extra coverage.
  5. Do dinner at Catch and then stay for the after-party or try one of the Moxy spots, Fleur Room, or Magic Hour.
  6. Try not to lose your room keys or your dignity on your way home.

Sunday, Day 3

Pro Tip: Check your wallet before checking out. 9 times out of 10, our credit cards are still at last bar from last night.

  1. Do boozy brunch at Hotel Chantelle, Añejo, Black Ant, Poco, or Essex on your way out of town. Your liver isn’t going to shut down…for at least another few hours.

Images: Andre Benz / Unsplash; magichourny, fleurroomny, lebainnyc, theboxnyc, phdrooftopny, majorfoodgroup, catch, eatstk, baccarathotels, anejonyc, bagatellenyc, susieisabella, innsidenewycrk, newyorkpalace, jameshotels / Instagram

The 8 Prettiest Rooftop Bars In New York

Spring is finally here, which means New Yorkers will actually start to enjoy paying an exorbitant amount of money to survive living in this city. Unlike most places, spring in New York occurs for approximately two weeks between a disgustingly freezing winter à la March of the Penguins and a summer that is essentially just one giant heatwave. Fun times! New Yorkers generally don’t enjoy nature (at least I don’t), but that doesn’t mean we don’t like being outside when the arctic conditions have finally peaced the f*ck out. And because I refuse to pretend that I want to take advantage of the nice weather in Central Park, I will always be the first to propose the plan in the group chat before anyone else has the chance: rooftop bars.

Seriously, name one thing better than drinking against the backdrop of a beautiful skyline in pristine weather conditions. I’ll wait. Here’s the thing, as much as this city makes me question my will to live, there are times when I am happy to exist in a place where I can have a sit-down dinner at 11pm or run into Karlie Kloss every now and then. One of the most amazing qualities of this city is its ungodly amount of bars serving generous pours. So, while I couldn’t tell you where the f*ck to eat in the Theater District for a 6:30 show (which is what most people want to know), I can tell you where to knock a few back as the weather warms up. You’re welcome, darlings.

Gallow Green

If you can’t picture where Gallow Green is on a map, would West 27th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues help? I know what you’re thinking, “Wait. Isn’t that where Marquee is?” Why, yes it is, but if you’re not in college anymore, you have absolutely no reason to be at Marquee, so just keep walking west and you’ll find yourself at the door of the McKittrick Hotel. Now, if you’re a cultured New Yorker, you’ll know that the McKittrick Hotel is home to the only reason any of us know what Shakespeare’s Macbeth is about aka Sleep No More. So far, so good! Just above the steamiest play of all time is a seriously chic cocktail-slinging garden-vibes rooftop bar called Gallow Green. To paint a picture for you, it’s the Garden of Eden with a bar in the back. It’s named after a Scottish field where accused witches were hanged (neat!), so the bar has kind of an old-timey feel complete with string lights, greenery and tattered white flags hanging from the ceiling. Most importantly, the cocktails are to-die-for and the food is actually pretty amazing, too. I’ll take a Sleep No More cocktail with a side of assorted pizzas, please.

Vida Verde

View this post on Instagram

Raise your glass to nice weather! Rooftop patio is open from 6pm ☀️☀️☀️ #vidaverdenyc #mexicandrinks #rooftopbar #diningwithaview #rooftop #tequila #cocktails #delicious #mexico #comidamexicana #tacos #tacotuesday #margaritas #happyhour #tequila #foodporn #bar #mojitos #fiesta #mexicanbar #mexicoparty #mexicanrestaurant #mexicanfood #mexicostyle #midtownmanhattan #cocktailtime #cocktailbar #cocktailhour #happyhour

A post shared by Vida Verde (@vidaverdenyc) on

This place has a spring break in Cancun vibe, but for adults, and I am not mad about it. It’s right in Midtown, so you can head straight here after you’re done pretending to make the world a better place at your finance job. Vida Verde isn’t like, revolutionary, but there are two things about it that make me want to go here over every other Midtown rooftop. First, there are more tables than I’ve ever seen in one place, which is ideal because I have a standing desk at work and now associate standing up with Excel and calendar invites. If there is a drink in my hand and nachos in the vicinity, I need to be sitting, mmkay? Second, there are 10 flavors of margarita. Lastly, a drinking establishment is only as good as its vibe, and Vida Verde clearly knows that, which is why the roof is literally covered in murals and every chair is a different color. I know the menu is prob the most important, but you’re playing yourself if you think you’re not going to take any Instagrams up here, honey. Take a seat, sip one of your 10 margs and enjoy the beautiful weather up here.

Ophelia

Ophelia Lounge NYC

Ophelia is set in midtown East, but like, all the way east to the point that you are almost walking into the East River. But once you get inside, you’ll realize it’s well worth the trek. Perched 26 stories above the city, the Gatsby-reminiscent bar offers 360-degree views of the East River and Manhattan skyline in both its indoor and outdoor sections, so checking out this rooftop is not weather-dependent. The cocktails are delicious (and will sneak up on you—buyer beware). I had the appropriately named Flapper drink, which came in a glass dusted in sugar, and was prettier than I can ever hope to be (and tasted as good as it looked).

Refinery Rooftop

I avoid the Garment District harder than I do making eye contact with my ex in the Trader Joe’s line on a Sunday morning. But I’ll gladly step foot in New York’s equivalent of District 12 for Refinery Rooftop. If you’ve ever experienced the nightmare that is a fashion internship, you’ll know that those four miserable blocks between 6th and 9th Avenues are the bane of human existence during the summer months, but Refinery Rooftop is a game changer, I promise. I don’t even get PTSD-induced flashbacks from my trips to Mood anymore! Anyway, Refinery is not a massive frat house like so many rooftop bars. It actually kind of feels like you got lost in someone’s enormous house and just stumbled around until you ended up on her outdoor deck. I mean that in the best way possible: it’s quaint, it’s chic and it’s surprisingly homey! The roof has a giant skylight and the walls are exposed brick, which is chic af. The cocktails are pretty decent, but be sure to order the bar’s signature sips because for each one sold, one dollar will be donated to GrowNYC! According to Refinery Rooftop, GrowNYC “improve New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities and empower all New Yorkers.” It’d be cool if they could improve New York City’s quality of life by fixing the f*cked up subway system, but I guess environmental programs are cool, too. 

The Crown Rooftop at 50 Bowery Hotel

When it comes to sweeping views, this Chinatown gem truly has them all: Brooklyn, Manhattan, maybe even Queens! Don’t get me wrong, Chinatown can def be disgusting what with the constant stench of freshly dead fish and enormous crowds that insist on taking up 110% of the sidewalks, but honestly, this is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan thanks to the mom in Broad City. Ok, back to The Crown. This summer, The Crown is rolling out all the stops with its new theme, Royal Summer. I’m into it. TBH, one of the things I love most about this place, aside from its bougie theme, is the fact that there are indoor and outdoor sections. As much as I love breathing in the polluted-beyond-reason New York air, sometimes I just want to sit on a plush sofa in an air-conditioned space with a drink in my hand. Is that too much to ask? The Crown doesn’t think so! This season’s new menu items include a lobster roll with North Fork chips and a “backyard” burger (among other items) and, for the drinks, Rose-Colored Glasses. My friends tell me I wear these on dates with attractive guys, fully knowing they will ruin my life for a few months, but whatever. To each her own, right?

Pod 39 Rooftop

View this post on Instagram

OMG it's #rooftopseason and we're celebrating spring FINALLY arriving at @salvationtaco at Pod 39! #PodLife ?

A post shared by The Pod Hotels (@thepodhotels) on

Truth be told, I went on a horrendous date here when I first moved to New York, but the date was bad only because the guy absolutely sucked. The location was amazing and I have since been back many times. This bar is the perfect size, too: it’s not too big and not too small, but more importantly, they let only a certain amount of people up at a time, so you will never have to take baby steps with your arms bent and pressed against your body like chicken wings as you try to squeeze through a crowd. I’m not sure if there’s a theme, per se, but I have gotten chips and guac and a spicy marg more than once, so I’m going to go ahead and say Mexican is a safe bet? Like The Crown, there are indoor and outdoor sections, but the outdoor part is significantly better than the indoor one, which has exactly one sofa and one table. Feels like they are setting us up to fail here, but whatever. The outdoor part is also just really cute. There’s no roof, so obv plan to go on a day/night when it’s not monsooning, and enjoy the best views of Manhattan. The lack of roof also means the whole space looks and feels really open, so it doesn’t get so loud to the point where you’re scream-talking with your date/friends.

A.R.T. Soho

It’s the Arlo rooftop in Soho, get it? The Hudson River provides the backdrop to this rooftop bar, so your Instas will be on point. The bar has plenty of seating (and a number of plush chaises), so you won’t be fighting anyone for a seat (or, more likely, staring daggers at that table who just. won’t. get. up). They’ve got an inventive signature cocktail list and a respectable selection of craft beer, plus snacks and small plates that I can personally attest are amazing. (Try the deviled eggs or grilled wings and thank me later.) And when the sun goes down, you can check out what’s going down at the hotel downstairs, where they host all kinds of fun events, like a CBD pop-up, Movie Night, and once, a haiku poetry slam.

Brass Monkey

View this post on Instagram

Our rooftop is so sweet!!!

A post shared by BrassMonkeyNYC (@brassmonkeynyc) on

Say what you will about this place, but I f*cking love it. It’s in the Meatpacking District, which like, chic, and the music here is on fire. The journey to get from the terrifying college-bar vibes of the first few levels can be a lot, but once you actually get to the roof, all feels right in the world again. It’s the perfect place to go with a small group because there is so much space up there. You can push tables together, sofas together, your two friends you’ve always wanted to date together…etc. The drinks are like, fine, but no one really goes to rooftop bars for a truly quality craft cocktail. They are open pretty much all day and night, so go whenever you feel like, but I personally prefer to spend the day here than the night here because, after midnight, this place can be a cesspool rife with body con dresses and dudes asking what sorority you were in, which just shouldn’t happen if both parties have graduated. The French Toast and anything from the Something Sparkly part of the menu is a perfect pair, so order up! Be sure to wear sunscreen because there is zero shade up here and no one wants brunch with a side of fine lines, amiright?

Images: Gallow Green; Refinery Rooftop; The Crown at Hotel 50 Bowery; Ophelia NYC; Arlo Hotel; Pod 39, Brass Monkey / Instagram