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Postcards with a View
You know about this fascination I have with rooftops, my own being a good preaching by example token. The views are what do it, the feeling they bring of flying over a city, a skyline, like a bird, of having a privileged perspective over the roofs at one's feet, of feeling at the top of the world, not unlike Di Caprio in Titanic, but quite more real for a city bird like me.
Here I present some wonderful rooftops I've visited. This isn't a comprehensive list, but it's a very chic one. Don't go calling me snob now, you'll know when I get all snob on you when I decide to do just that. Ahem.
Most of them I've chosen because I've been there very recently, but the NYC ones are featured because I can't take them off my mind. All, including the one my own city, I looked up in the net before visiting. Easy: Google rooftop restaurant, or rooftop club, or some such, and you'll find the hidden-from-view jewels. For me, I could say a city visit without a rooftop stop isn't quite a complete visit.
Note: I don't have personal photos from most of these places (who takes a shot when one's having a cool drink in a cool place? OK, that's snobbish), so we'll have to make do with the official websites and some other borrowed shots from the net.
Even though most of the photos aren't mine, this is still a Babbley, baby!
Leb-I-Derya, Instabul, Turkey
Dress code: Smart casual, and cleaned-up casual does just fine
Best time for a visit: Sunset
What I had, aside from the views: Gin Tonic
360º Istanbul, Turkey
Pasting these four shots together will give you the 360º view. They kid you not, a full circle view of Istanbul is what you get in this cool Istiklal street spot.
Dress code: Smart casual
Best time for a visit: Any time on their opening hours
What I had, aside from the views: Mojitos
Solar, Berlin, Germany
Dress code: Smart casual for the restaurant, can be casual for the club upstairs
Best time for a visit: Personally, I'd say after sunset, but you can have a drink upstairs while the sun sets and then dine downstairs while the city lights up. The ride up the flashy exterior elevator is just dandy at any time of day!
What I had, aside from the views: Pre dinner Gin Tonic, and dinner, which was a lot better than we expected.
Kong, Paris, France
This isn't what you'd call a genuine rooftop in the sense that you have a "full city view" from it, but I'll say, the view is monumental just the same, and on top of that it's the chicest place! For you aficionados of Sex in the City, this is the place featured in one of the last Sixth Season episodes where Carrie meets with the boyfriend's ex.
Dress code: Smart, and from that... to the nines :-) Really, for a drink smart will do, but for dinner you better dress up.
Best time for a visit: When they'll have you? Seriously, if you want to see the full swing atmosphere, I'd say around 9pm is a good time to get there.
What I had, aside from the views: Heineken
Please, take a gander at the cocktail photos, they are from the official website and you can see many more in there, but I borrowed a few to delight some sore eyes.
230 Fifth, New York City, USA
Dress code: Smart casual, but really, aside from sneakers or flip-flops, pretty much anything will do in the afternoon. The evening is a bit more dressy, but comfortable, casual dressy.
Best time for a visit: I'd say after sunset for a wonderful lighted up city view, but it's also fun in the afternoon, especially on a sunny day.
What I had, aside from the views: Cosmopolitan. No, just kidding! I had a Corona, or a few, if my memory serves me right.
Metro Hotel, New York City, USA
Dress code: Any, as long as you're dressed, you're welcome, especially if you’re a guest in the hotel, which I was :-)
Best time for a visit: Depends on how you like your overdose of the Empire State Building! If daylight is your thing, then go up from 4pm up until sunset. But if you like to be on the very feet of the ESB when it's all lighted up and pretty, then go up after sunset. Geez, what a good pick this hotel was!
What I had, aside from the views: A few drinks, one every day that we went up before taking off for the evening.
Note: I do have old-fashioned paper photos from this rooftop (I didn't get a digital camera so long ago, whaddaya know!), but my ancient scanner decided to die on me recently. Oppps!
Me, Madrid, Spain
Dress code: Smart casual, and up
Best Time for a visit: The views are wonderful at any time of day. The atmosphere is more casual before sunset, and a bit more "sophisticated" in the evening. This rooftop, together with my own, are the best in the city. Ahem.
What I had, aside from the views: I've been there a few times, so it goes from beer to Gin Tonic back to beer and so on.
It's very likely that I'll add some other jewels to this postcard collection. For example, the rooftop at Hotel de las Letras in Madrid holds a special place in my heart, as does the rooftop at the Hotel Urban in Madrid. The list could grow and grow.
Please be assured, these fantastic places are open to all publics, in two ways:
1. The prices aren't disgusting --they are not, seriously, maybe add a dollar (or two, in some cities) for the view, but you don't really need to take a mortgage on the house to have a drink in them, honest! If you don't believe me, you can check all official websites, where price lists are available. All, except the Kong in Paris, are as affordable as any other bar or club at ground level! The thing with the Kong is not its exclusive nature, it's just Paris being it's usual expensive self.
2. None of these places have "guest lists", or A-lists as the cool kidz like to call them now. They live off customers that visit them. You don't have to be Beyonce or Brad Pitt to get in, really, just take off your sneakers and shorts, and put on clean pants and a pressed shirt and you're in and very welcome.
I hope you enjoyed, I certainly did!