Cocktails With View as Sun Sets on Sail Boats, Canoodling Dogs
When summer turns to fall I usually bemoan the arrival of shorter days and worry about the lack of sunlight that follows in my part of the world.
There is a silver lining though: The sunset is fast approaching the cocktail hour.
For the next month, the sun will set between 6 and 7 in New York and that’s a perfect hour to get situated with a good view and still get home in time for dinner.
Sunsets from bars in the Meatpacking District or from the World Financial Center’s western plazas are fantastic. Many rooftop bars don’t offer clear views of sunsets, though, because of buildings in the way.
If you still don’t have access to a private terrace facing west and a frozen bottle of Stolichnaya, here are my suggestions for the drinking people of Manhattan.
Gigino at Wagner Park at the southern tip of the island offers unparalleled views of sunsets, the Statue of Liberty and lots of activity in the harbor.
The tight, outside seating area is reserved for diners, though I’ve never had trouble lingering over a drink and a small bite. Last week, I watched sailing-school students and sipped a $9 glass of Prosecco. Your experience is going to depend on the day and the number of reservations.
Gigino is at 20 Battery Place, a short walk from the Bowling Green subway station. Information: +1-212-528-2228 or http://www.gigino-wagnerpark.com.
Miracle on the Hudson
P.D. O’Hurley’s at Pier 84 is just south of the USS Intrepid Museum and near where pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger smoothly ditched US Airways flight 1549 in January 2009. Relive the moment with your own Miracle on the Hudson: Grey Goose vodka poured over crushed ice with a twist of lemon for $10.
The outdoor bar and restaurant area has comfortable silver- mesh bar stools and patio furniture from which you can watch the huge Circle Line sightseeing boats negotiate parking spaces in the Hudson. I saw children frolicking in a fountain, dogs canoodling in a dog run and the bartender using a marble mortar and pestle to prepare a mojito, all while I watched the sun set.
P.D. O’Hurley’s outdoor seating area is open until about 8 daily to mid-October, maybe later if the weather permits. It’s located at 557 12th Ave., at 44th Street. Information: +1-212- 643-6233 or http://www.pdohurleys.com.
Pier and Basin
The southern end of Riverside Park, on the West Side, offers two choices for sunset drinks, Pier I Cafe at 70th Street and Boat Basin Cafe at 79th.
The drink selection is better at the Basin with its full bar and frozen-drink machines. Head for the terrace so you can see the bobbing boats in the setting sun. At the Pier, all the tables are outdoors where you can also enjoy the little dramas unfolding as parks-service people try to ticket cyclists for not dismounting when the signs are everywhere.
Pier I Cafe information: +1-212-362-4450 or http://www.piericafe.com. Boat Basin information: +1-212-496- 5542 or http://www.boatbasincafe.com.
Amid the car dealerships on 11th Avenue is the Ink48 Hotel, where the 16th-floor Press Lounge has one heck of a view of the sunset from the outdoor, wrap-around terrace. The bar menu, served until 10, consists of a farmstead cheese plate for $18 and a selection of salumi and olives for $14. A friend and I sat inside at the bar with $12 Stoli and sodas chatting about Oracle OpenWorld with brokerage-house suits.
Press Lounge is located at 653 11th Ave. at 48th Street. Information: +1-212-757-2224 or http://www.ink48.com.
The newly opened Sky Room, claiming to be the highest rooftop bar in Manhattan, occupies the 33rd and 34th floors of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. While the sunset view is impaired by a nearby building, the reason to go is happy hour.
Weekdays from 4 to 7 bottled beer is $5, well drinks and wine by the glass are $7. Food specials include $5 calamari and $8 pizzas. Themed drinking nights like Grey Goose Monday and Bacardi Friday offer drink specials from $7.
Sky Room is at 330 W. 40th St. Information: +1-212-380-1195 or http://skyroomnyc.com.
Doing the Math
High above Times Square on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis Hotel sits the only revolving restaurant in New York City. The View Lounge turns clockwise a full 360 degrees every 58 minutes, which is 6.2 degrees per minute.
Use this handy formula to ensure you are looking west when the sun sets: Time of Sunset minus Time of Arrival times 6.2 equals Degrees from the West to Sit.
Or, arrive an hour before sunset, sit on the west side and enjoy a couple of $19 Stoli martinis while you slowly rotate to your view. The cocktail napkin, which names the surrounding buildings, will keep you busy.
The View Lounge is at 1535 Broadway, between 45th and 46th streets. Information: +1-212-704-8900 or http://www.nymarriottmarquis.com.
(Catherine Smith writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)
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