A densely packed concrete jungle like New York doesn't lend itself to bucolic outdoor drinking. You won't recreate that idyllic setting from Sideways. But the craftiness needed to make an al fresco summer bar in NYC results in an eclectic roster of spots where you can duplicate Paul Giamatti's buzz, if not his midlife crisis. -
Do You Want A Taste of the Old Country With Your Day Drinking?
Do you feel Meatpacky? Go to the Standard Beer Garden (848 Washington St., Manhattan). You can play ping pong there. Too hipster for the Meatpacking District?: Try Lorely, (7 Rivington St., Manhattan). which maintains the authentic biergarten spelling and lets you pack in some actual meat in the form of bratwurst. Too uber-hipster for Manhattan? Astoria's Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (left, 2919 24th Ave., Queens) is as authentic as it gets and has been keeping it real for 100 years.
Do You Want To Get Drunk In A "Garden" Setting?
Want to support the perma-troubled Gulf region too? New Orleans transplant D.B.A. (41 1st Ave., Manhattan) has a swell backyard and an intimidatingly encyclopedic beer and whiskey menu scribbled in chalk above the bar. Screw the Gulf, you want delicious arancini to accompany your hooch. Grotto (100 Forsyth St., Manhattan) is a hidden Italian gem on the Lower East Side, with a charming grotto-within-a-grotto out back. Not a fan of Italy? Commemorate New York's Dutch heritage at Spuyten Duyvil (left, 359 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn), which I can barely pronounce while sober.
Wanna drink outside with tourists?
But the "right" kind of tourists? Head to Jane Hotel (113 Jane St., Manhattan), which we hear will unveil a roof bar in the very near future. Walk two blocks up to the brand new Standard Roof if you prefer to stock up on condoms and roll around on a pink waterbed. If you're seeking a mellower sky-high hotel boozing experience, hit up Mé Bar (left, 17 W. 32nd St.) atop the La Quinta in Koreatown.
Are you happy to drink al fresco with tourists despite a deathly fear of rain?
A slew of new hotel roof bars have made retractable roofs a requirement of the genre up there with plastic cocktail glasses. Top of the Strand (left, 33 W. 37th St., Manhattan) was designed by Lydia Marks, who worked on Sex and the City and survived the disastrous sequel. Other new arrivals The Sky Room (330 W. 40th St., Manhattan) and Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel (145 E. 50th St., Manhattan) jumped on the sliding glass bandwagon.
Do You Want To Dance With Somebody?
Summer in NYC means boogieing down with a nice, cool (or rank, humid) breeze in your hair. Sunday Best at 400 Carrol Street (er, 400 Carrol Street, fka BKLYN Yard) is well underway. And although you can't technically drink there at the moment, organizers Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter assure us the proper permits will be cleared shortly. Techno DJs occasionally take over the swank Hotel on Rivington roof (107 Rivington St., Manhattan). Keep a lookout for the once-a-month Buddies party, which attracts particularly talented spinners like Matthew Dear. Finally, mix beer and dancing with a splash of culture as you get down at P.S. 1 Warm-up (left, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens), which kicks off July 3rd.