Most amazing places in NYC to hang out?
April 10, 2008 11:01 AM   Subscribe

What are the most incredible, maybe slightly offbeat, places in New York City to hang out? Stunning rooftop bars, strange nighttime museums, secret gardens, bizarre burlesques, etc. and more all welcome. Alcohol availability a plus.
posted by Malad to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (16 answers total) 110 users marked this as a favorite
As far as "secret" goes, there's:

PDT (Please Don't Tell) attached to Crif Dogs on St Marks (near Avenue A) Call ahead for a reservation. (212-614-0386)

Backroom, at 102 Norfolk St in the LES, which is a 20's era speakeasy themed bar, where you drink mixed drinks out of teacups and beer out of jars/paper bag covered bottles.
posted by Grither at 11:08 AM on April 10, 2008 [4 favorites]

Not a general spot to hang out, but fairly unknown and cool regardless, is the New York Go Center. The cloisters get a lot of mention around here, but I've never been.
posted by phrontist at 11:14 AM on April 10, 2008

I like the rooftop Ava Lounge in the Dream hotel: . 210 West 55th Street.
posted by imbecile000 at 12:09 PM on April 10, 2008

I'm a fan of the Bohemian Beer Hall and Garden in Astoria. Their website isn't anything special, but it's a great place to drink good beer at picnic tables in their huge garden behind the bar. :)

Would also recommend The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park at 23rd and Broadway. They serve gourmet fast food and the burgers are the best I have EVER had, not to mention their frozen custard. I always make a point to try and stop by whenever I am back in town!
posted by lolalivia at 12:37 PM on April 10, 2008

I had a great afternoon at The Yard last summer. Various kinds of events happen there during the spring/summer (I was there for a concert). It looks like they don't have a schedule for this year yet, but it might be worth checking back. You'd never think the Gowanus Canal could look so good, just don't be tempted to jump in for a swim. The yard itself has a big, outdoor open area with a stage and lots of trees. It's really nice as it gets dark and they start to turn on the lights that are strung through the branches.
posted by otolith at 2:11 PM on April 10, 2008

Oh yeah, also the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook. It's a floating museum on a restored barge. They have concerts and a circus act in the summer. I don't think they serve alcohol, but it's very close to Fairway, one of the best grocery stores in New York, so you could pick up some brew and meander along the waterfront. Also close to Steve's Key-Lime Pies, which are awesome.
posted by otolith at 2:21 PM on April 10, 2008

Nonsense nyc's email list is where you want to be at. Many good warehousy partie etc. Jeff Stark is god (albeit god in a trilby).
posted by lalochezia at 3:02 PM on April 10, 2008

I think the Russian Turkish Baths fit this description to a T.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:14 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

The Burger Joint in the parker meridien hotel. Totally unexpected and awesome.

The Nonesense Ny list. Just bout anything there is going to be wild, funky, mostly underground and possibly the most bacchanal thing you've done all year.
posted by Freen at 4:32 PM on April 10, 2008

Damn, beaten to it.
posted by Freen at 4:33 PM on April 10, 2008

I've always loved Freeman's, at the end of Freeman's alley. You'll have to do your own legwork to find it, but its pretty easy these days. Its still pretty cool, but back in the day when it first opened and nobody knew it was there, it was awesome - half the size it is now, and yet you could still show up at 7 on a Thursday and sit w/in 5 minutes.

Also, if you can't get into Freeman's, La Esquina is in walking distance. You'll have to find that one too, but the hint here is that you have to go through a door that says "No Admittance" in the back of a Spanish bodega. You'll need a res there, or a stunning ability to flirt with the girl at the door without your date getting pissed, though.

Last one - a bar on a street in midtown west - Single Room Occupancy (SRO). No sign, just a green light. You buzz, they let you in. Fun little place to take an unsuspecting friend.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:14 AM on April 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

The Bryant Park Grill has a great (and not too expensive) roof-top bar that overlooks the park.
posted by jrichards at 7:14 AM on April 11, 2008

One word. Shopsins.
posted by bondgirl53001 at 3:33 PM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

allkindsoftime: SRO closed recently. It was great for impressing tourists.
posted by Brian James at 1:52 PM on April 13, 2008

seconding russian baths, but anywhere but the east village one. this one is much better.
posted by snofoam at 7:43 PM on June 29, 2008

oh, and then go to the national afterwards. ideally get a group together of at least 8 people or so and get a big table for dinner and the vegas (via russia) style show. friday and saturday only.
posted by snofoam at 7:45 PM on June 29, 2008

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