While some Looking Up with Leslie readers live outside New York City, I fashion this blog for your inner-NYC self, keeping the posts intentionally short so you can read one quickly, enjoy the photos and move on with your hectic day, so there isn’t really time for a “Top 10” list. For the sake of economy, we’ll compromise with a “Top 4” list – not an easy thing to do with a year of glorious rooftops behind us. This was the year we transitioned from focusing primarily on private rooftop gardens to finding innovative public-access rooftops, as is reflected in my Top Rooftops of 2011 choices below:
Best Green Roof: The Randall’s Island Green Roof Laboratory. A gorgeous green roof to envy with 29 different growing systems planted side by side.
Best Rooftop Performance: Trisha Brown Dance Company’s performance of Roof Piece on the High Line: A rooftop dance created in 1971 and recreated on rooftops including and surrounding the High Line 40 years later in 2011.
Best Rooftop Experience: Yoga on the Rock. Sunrise yoga on the 67th floor of Rockefeller Center. Need I say more?
Best Rooftop Tour: The Roof Ride. We cycled to five rooftops, starting in Harlem and finishing downtown at 55 Water Street with rooftop stops in between. It was such fun that during spring we’ll do it again and hope for clear skies so we can complete the ride as planned, cycling over the Williamsburg Bridge to the hip rooftop bar, enjoying a cold one while gazing across the East River at the picture-perfect view of Manhattan.
So long 2011 and hello 2012 with more mind-expanding New York City rooftops to come. We’ll visit a brewery with a special rooftop garden, experience an iPhone-GPS guided rooftop musical performance, keep an eye on the progress of the Whole Foods’ rooftop farm, visit more bars and restaurants with spectacular views and – hang on tight! – maybe even drop in on a rooftop trapeze school. Keep LOOKING UP! and have a Joyous New Year.
p.s. Speaking of New Year’s Eve, there will be fireworks in Central Park at midnight that will commence the annual 4-mile fun run (which I’ll be attempting!). Of course, it’s fabulous to see fireworks from the rooftop. I’d recommend The Empire Hotel’s rooftop bar – call ahead, it’s New Year’s Eve in NYC and you may need a reservation. (44 W. 63rd Street, between Central Park West and Broadway, 212/956-3313)