Met Rooftop Garden

Get boozy with a view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rooftop bar. It’s a rare opportunity to enjoy a drink, a virtually uninterrupted view of the city and ponder whatever display the Met has on the roof at that time (currently, Adrián Villar Rojas’, The Theater of Disappearance, pictured above.)

Technically, the bar is only open to the public when the Met is overflowing, but luckily it’s not rare for the museum to be packed with patrons. However, if you find the bar’s sweeping views of the skyline and Central Park as seductive as it sounds, you can become a Met member and gain access to a members-only location at the bar– open Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 8 PM through October. (This goes for all members at the “associate level”– $70– and higher.)

Bemelman’s Bar

The Carlyle’s Bemelman’s Bar takes both its name and its golden illustrations from the author Ludwig Bemelman– the creator of the Madeline children’s books. Throughout his early career, Bemelman would often trade his work for room and board, as was the case here with Bemelman’s Bar. n 1947, The Austrian-born illustrator promised the Carlyle a mural depicting his already widely-treasured Madeline character whimsically moving about Central Park, which would come to encompass the bar’s entire wall space– all in exchange for 18 months in a room at the Carlyle. This extensive mural is now also officially the only surviving Bemelmans’ commission open to the public, according to the bar’s official site.

As author and professor, Delia Cabe, realates in her new anthology of “storied” New York City bars, “The bar feels like being steeped in the pages of one of Bemelman’s children books,” and as a result, the established, whimsical nature of Bemelman’s still “attracts authors, editors and publishers who com for their five o’clock cocktail,” along with nightly musical performances that have in the past inspired spur-of the moment performances by the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Bono, Liza Minnelli and Billy Joel among others.

To this day, anyone is welcome to step into the golden, art-deco world of Bemelman’s bar for happy hour or a special “Madeline Tea” reserved for Saturday mornings (usually two seatings: mid morning and 12:30 PM).