I heart art museums and rooftop bars, together at last
As you know, my cash and my time budgets are pretty limited these days. Occasionally, my bosses and the last heaves of my dissertation drive me so nuts, I actually leave my dissertation behind and enjoy a few hours out. I try to make those hours count, because, well they and my dollars are few and far between.
This past week I made those hours and bucks count by visiting the rooftop bar on the top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yup, the museum has a bar...on the roof. It has been there for many, many years and attracts a fair crowd. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find it was not crowded - just happily full.
As you might expect, the drinks are pricey ($8.50 a beer - hardly a bargain), if you aren't a member you need to donate some amount of the recommended donation to enter. I happen to be a member, but if I wasn't I think I could justify $1 towards entry. The Met, after all, holds huge galas and gets big pay cheques for them...so..I'd be okay with letting Hearst publications and the like pay my remaining $13 donation.
So the drinks are a little pricey, but the view is amazing - Park-wide, 5th avenue - and because the hours are 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, beautiful sunset views to boot. The Met frequently features an outdoor sculpture exhibit on the roof as well.
Tasty drinks and views
I don't know why I expected the patrons to have attitude or be of the beer pong, blue shirt, black backpack, young trader ilk - but I was pleasantly surprised to find a really friendly and sweet mix of people. No shots, or giggling girls re-enacting Sex in the City, just groups of friends, all ages enjoying the sunset on their way to some other location. The bar had a really nice vibe.
Here how is how you get there. Pay your donation at the main entrance of the Met. Ask a security guard to guide you to the elevators to the bar (hang a left in the main lobby, walk behind the security desk and take an immediate left through two or three galleries and you will reach the elevator bank in about 2 minutes). The bar is open from about April to October, depending on the year - so the Summer offers the longest sunsets, and the Fall offers sparkly city views.
Be forewarned - it is a simple set up. The bar is set up like a backyard wedding bar. There is no food, and it's a $11.50 for a glass of basic red wine. My advice is to sip that wine slowly and wander the perimeter of the roof and wait for the sun to set.
In anycase, it's a lovely location for anyone craving a low key rooftop on which to spend a sunset. You get the same sunset as someone living on 5th avenue, for $1 + the price of a drink, if you are so inclined. It's a lovely way to grab a little piece of fancy schmancy NYC while on a budget.