Le Bain: Meatpacking District
Venue: Outdoor, rooftop
Atmosphere: Chill, beach attire is welcome
Crowd/Scene: Young, vibrant
Foursquare Check-in: http://4sq.com/1442csy
Rating: Uzo gives it 4.5/5 stars
This may officially be the first “half-star” rating that I have ever given out on my list of “Things to Do in New York City.” While I am totally against fence-sitting judgments like the one I’ve just made, this place was almost perfect, and it probably deserves a 5, but I can’t give it one for just one reason. I’ll get to that in a second.
If you have not been to Le Bain, which is the rooftop atop The Standard Hotel, then you are completely missing out–and I say this as someone who just experienced it a mere few days ago. At Le bain, you get an almost unmatched view of the Hudson River, and the rooftop itself is plush, not overly indulgent, and truly makes you feel as uf you’re out at the beach in the Hamptons.
All that said, I didn’t go to Le Bain at just any old time. I went for “Select Summer Fridays.” This is a summer-only event, in which the rooftop opens up at 2pm, the hot tub beneath it gets the flowing, and the fun-employed people from across the five boroughs get blitzed and tanned to the tunes of a DJ on what is an otherwise fairly normal Friday afternoon. Needless to say, when I arrived at 2:30, there were probably about 25 to 30 people on the roof. Maybe 5 or 6 were in bathing suits tanning in the corner. And the rest of us were seated alongside the railings, where you could get the best view of the river, all while sitting in very “summery” chairs.
It was a beautiful, 87-degree day, and the spiked lemonade they served made it perhaps one of the more refreshing experiences I’ve ever had on a Friday afternoon in Manhattan. I actually had to remind myself a few times how incredible it was that in the midst of the busiest city in the world, I was sitting atop a roof, throwing back overpriced, glorified Mike’s Hard Lemonades and having a conversation while most people I know were still stuck inside some office building toiling away, awaiting the weekend.
So if you can’t tell, I absolutely love this place, and I see no reason why I won’t be back in the very near future–if not for each and every Friday for the rest of the 2013 summer. However, there was one thing that bothered me, and that was the service. Perhaps my expectations for service were too high when I first walked on to the roof with only 25 other people there. But it wound up taking way too long to get drinks delivered to the table, and never mind how long it took just to get a cup of water on that hot-ass day. Hopefully, that was just a one-off scenario. Even if it wasn’t, I’ll still be going again–I will just have to go to the bar myself to get the drinks.
I know. I know. Cue the violin…
How have your experiences at Le Bain been? And have any of you been to Select Summer Fridays in seasons past?
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