If you’ve ever read the children’s book Eloise or the young adult book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, you probably had fantasies about living alone in NYC as a child. I grew up in the Big Apple and was lucky to have parents who loved art and shared their love of music, theatre and fine art.
I fondly remember visiting the vastness of Metropolitan Museum of Art, marveling at the classics, journeying to Papua New Guinea and Egypt, giggling at the Greek sculptures and noshing at the, then, very fancy café with all the Upper East Side lady lunchers. Most of all I cherished the multicolored little button you get with admission, which I used to save in a jar.
Every time I return to Manhattan I make a pilgrimage to the Met, no matter what is showing. I bring my own kids and rush through, plying them with candy and promises of a ride on the carousel, much as my parents did.
Recently, on one of the hottest days of the year I had a few hours to make my manic tour of the museum. After a whirlwind visit to the American Woman fashion exhibit—that rocked as much as the original song and the Lenny Kravitz cover—we had about a half hour to kill. I was with a colleague who insisted we head up to the roof garden, a somewhat hidden and unknown asset to the majestic museum.
It was nearing 100 degrees and I was enjoying the comfort of the cool marble and air conditioning inside, but was up for an adventure. In heels, we hiked up, what seemed like a secret staircase, and made our way to this idyllic, verdant roof garden with a bar and an immense bamboo structure. The Doug and Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú installation is closing this Halloween Sunday. The constantly evolving sculpture was mesmerizing and those who could stay hydrated and withstand the heat were enjoying the whimsy.
There are many great bars in New York, many hip venues, but to be outdoors, high above Central Park, with a stunning view of the skyline, while sipping a cocktail is truly a special New York experience and a respite from the hurly-burly of Fifth Avenue. Ask a museum guard, in whispers, to guide you to the secret stairwell and make the trek to the top. Hurry, the roof garden is generally open in season through the late fall, weather permitting…although the idea of bundling up and sipping hot toddies and cocoa, looking out over a white blanketed park in winter sounds sublime.