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A Bar With a View

Aprile 2014
Dopo aver passato tutto il giorno con il naso all’insù, la sera è bello guardare la città dall’alto. A New York sono di gran moda i rooftop bars, locali elegantissimi (spesso all’ultimo piano di grandi alberghi) da cui si godono vedute spettacolari dello skyline. Vi spieghiamo come aggirare il buttafuori e passare una serata da VIP.

di Marina CarminatI

File audio:

clicca qui per andare alla relativa traccia audio (contrassegnata dalla scritta "speaker")


A spectacular view of the Empire State Building at night, from the Monarch rooftop lounge on West 35th Street.
A spectacular view of the Empire State Building at night, from the Monarch rooftop lounge on West 35th Street.
Sanel Huskanovic
Sanel Huskanovic

New York, particularly Manhattan, is famous for its skyscrapers, but most visitors tend to admire them from ground level. OK, so you can take a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, but now there’s a way to enjoy the city’s spectacular views at a more leisurely pace: from a rooftop bar or lounge. And there are even companies that specialize in "rooftop lounge tours."

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

In actual fact many of the rooftop lounges aren’t just bars. Some have solariums and swimming pools and, in the long hot summer, they offer New Yorkers the chance to go “to the beach” without leaving the city. They can also provide something for residents in winter, like a warm fireplace from which they can enjoy the view. These places are frequented by “real” New Yorkers and this is what makes a rooftop lounge tour an attractive proposition both for tourists and for people who have just arrived in the city. And if you don’t know what to talk about to "real New Yorkers" when you meet them in a rooftop bar, then you can always “break the ice” by mentioning the wonderful view!

A PRIVATE FUNCTION 

The tours last about three hours and cost between $40 and $70. This does, however, include the cost of drinks. The tours also provide access to exclusive places. During the day the lounges are accessible for everyone, but that changes at night, especially if there are parties or private events going on. There’s also a dress code: no sneakers, for example, but even if you respect the code, that might not be enough. As Sanel Huskanovic explains (see interview), many places have a "List” and, if you’re not on “The List,” then you won't get in, no matter how well dressed you are. But, if you’re part of a tour, then that won't be a problem.

230 FIFTH

Somewhat surprisingly, the rooftop lounge is a recent phenomenon in New York. The first one to open was "230 Fifth" (at 230 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of 27th Street). It has a "rooftop garden" (which is heated in winter) and an indoor "penthouse lounge." It started life in May 2006 but, as Sanel Huskanovic says, it soon became a hit. This was thanks to its views of the Empire State Building, only seven blocks away. 230 Fifth is open for Saturday and Sunday lunch, but in the evening it hosts private events. 230 Fifth's success began a trend which New Yorkers – and tourists – are enjoying today.

INTERVIEW

I'M ON THE LIST

LANGUAGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED)

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

New York has many fine bars, but if you go to a “rooftop” bar you can also appreciate the beauty of the Manhattan skyline. And for tourists there is even an organisation that picks the best rooftop bars for them. It’s called SP & Big Apple, and its CEO, Sanel Huskanovic, talked to Speak Up:

Sanel Huskanovic (Standard American accent)

The spectacular thing is that when you first arrive in New York City it overwhelms you because it’s a vertical city and you feel like you’re an ant in the city because everything is so, so, so mighty, and the streets really are like stone and steel canyons, and you’re just walking through these canyons, and all of a sudden, you go up on top, and the whole thing reverses. All of a sudden you’re the giant looking down on this magnificent city, and it’s an experience that no widescreen television or movie can replicate, it is a breathtaking experience that is only to be had on a rooftop bar.

We asked him to list the best examples:

Sanel Huskanovic

The Ph.D at the Standard Hotel, which is pretty incredible because they have a pool in the summer, so you, all of a sudden, get to go to a beach in the middle of Manhattan, which no-one realises that they can.
230 Fifth Avenue because it has the fantastic Empire view, and in the summer they have a palm garden up on top, so you would never think that you would get a tropical view of the Empire State Building, but you get a photograph of the Empire State Building surrounded by palm trees. It’s incredible, there’s nothing like it. The Monarch is absolutely fantastic because you get a view up and down Sixth Avenue, so that is part of the fashion district, you get a view of Central Park and all those beautiful Rockefeller Center buildings. At the Sky Room you get a fantastic view of the West Side skyline, which is pretty much iconic, and at the Skylark that is really fantastic because you are in the centre of the fashion industry, it looks like it’s a designer showroom, so you’ve got already the industry people who are there, but on top of that it looks like it’s something out of a movie set or a designer showroom, so you’ve got absolutely everything right there.

THE “IN” CROWD

And if you go on an organized tour, you don’t have to deal with the classic New York problem:

Sanel Huskanovic

If you’ve ever watched any television shows or movies, you’ll always see – especially in the nightclub scenes – you’ll always see there’s a big bouncer8 standing outside, and he’s got “The List” in his hands, and if you’re not on “The List,” you don’t get inside, and you stand there all night hoping to get in. Well, the really great thing, the advantage is that, if you’re with newyorknightlife.com, you’re already an insider, you’re on “The List,” you are already part of the “in” crowd. You don’t have to stand, you get out of your car, you get in, you walk in, you’re immediately a VIP, which is a fantastic experience, and it’s the ultimate New York experience: you don’t stand outside, you already are in: fantastic! 


NEWYORKNIGHTLIFE.COM

For more information go to www.thenewyorknightlife.com
The tour's rooftop lounges include:

The Monarch: A Scandinavian chic decor lounge with a great view of the Avenue of the Americas.

The Skylark: A modern three-floor Cocktail Lounge with an astonishing view of midtown Manhattan.

The Skyroom (in Times Square): offers a breathtaking view of the West Side.


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Explains

West Side skyline. Il profilo dei tetti della West Side. The Manhattan skyline è famoso e the West Side skyline ne fa parte. La geografia di New York è relativamente semplice: c’è downtown (Wall Street, SoHo, Greenwich Village ecc.) a sud, midtown (Times Square ecc.) al centro e uptown (Harlem) a nord, ma tra midtown e uptown c’è Central Park.

Bouncer. 
Buttafuori. Il verbo to bounce significa letteralmente “far rimbalzare” ma in passato nello slang americano significava anche “colpire, picchiare”. Quindi il bouncer era il “gorilla” che ti picchiava (se non rispettavi le regole del bar).