It’s rooftop season, babbyyy!!

The sun has blessed us with its steamy return, and there is no better way to bask in the summertime NYC heat than to jump on a rooftop. With so many articles and rooftops to choose from, here are a few of our tried and true favorites to enjoy the sun (sans the insane touristy, fratty crowds). Dawn your romp-hims and sun hats, we have your back for the best rooftops in town.

Photo Credit: Noah Fecks

You Don’t Need to Be Good To Visit Good Behavior

Anyone else in the mood for a jungle vibe and the Empire State Building? On the 18th floor of the Made Hotel, Good Behavior offers a panoramic view of Manhattan. And get this! Happy hour Monday – Friday, 5pm to 7pm! If you’re on the chill side of things, get there before 11pm. The DJ starts pumpin’ jams after that. While you’re there, try my personal favorite drink, Sweat and Glitter!

Photo Credit: Tolga Dogan

Make Believe

If you’re in the mood for a Zombie and views, hit up Make Believe. The only rooftop tiki bar on the LES. You’ll find your heart’s desires on the 7th floor of 60 LES. Catch some views of Houston and Allen on the astro turf. This bar is so undervalued despite being nearly four years old. With its lush couches, it always seems to have space for a big group of friends even past 9pm. I love popping in for a lo-fi DJ break in between happy hour and dance team.

Photo Credit: HGU Rooftop

HGU Rooftop Bar

This Secret Gem is hidden right off 33rd st, at the top floor of HGU hotel. Once you take the elevator up, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a mellow wooden patio. Unlike most rooftops, the music is kept at a moderate level which makes it perfect for intimate one on ones. Though it’s small, HGU packs a punch. It’s barely crowded, and offers daily specials— my favourite Montauk Mondays. Any Montauk beer for only five bucks!

Photo Credit: Haven Rooftop

Haven Rooftop

Haven is the oasis of Times Square. At the top of Sanctuary Hotel, you’ll find a lush outdoor garden decorated with plush red seats. You’ll find $10 Margaritas and $6 dollar beers if you should up during happy hour. Don’t dawdle at the office, it only runs from 4-6 pm. If you’re too slow, come back on Sundays for their bottomless brunch special. Haven is an all year round rooftop! Keep it in your back pocket when you want to show off your winter rooftop game. (Don’t worry they have heat lamps)

Photo Credit: Noah Fecks


Located inside The William Vale on the 22nd floor. Set your eyes on the Manhattan sunset and then stay afterward for a bit of a jiggy on the dance floor. Do eat before coming — the food menu is tiny and uninspired. If you want to save yourself some time, call ahead for a rezzy. You’ll feel like a VIP as you skip past the queue!

Photo Credit: Liz Clayman / Free Williamsburg

The Water Tower at the Williamsburg Hotel

Missed out on Night Heron– The water tower speakeasy for two? Don’t worryWater Tower is fits more than two (and has better cocktails!) Located on the 18th floors of the Williamsburg Hotel, you can catch part of the Brooklyn skyline with a kitschy late 60’s feel. Best to make a rezzy, the joint it pretty small. You can try your hand at walking in, but best not to do during peak times.

Photo Credit: Noah Fecks

Gallow Green

We promise you there is more to Gallow Green than Sleep No More. You can climb up McKitterick’s Hotel’s steps straight to Gallow Green. The rooftop is covered in green and a large amount of seating, perfect for the whole gang. If you plan well enough, you might be able to catch one of their free jazz sessions.

Tessie Viola

Tessie Viola is a native New Yorker from Queens. When she's not writing for ciaooo!, she can be caught eating dirty water dogs near Lincoln Center.

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What’s the first word you think of when I say opera?

If it’s not OLD, it’s probably EXPENSIVE.

If you stumbled upon my Instagram profile, you might think I’m a trust fund baby. Most of my posts are of chandeliers, ticket stubs, and various Opera programs. If I’m not at a bar, I’m at the opera.

You don’t need a #thicc wallet to get into the grand tier, I promise. There are affordable ways to reach America’s largest opera house. With close to 30 different operas put on each season, there’s always a chance to see something for cheap!

The Options

Fridays under 40

Cost point: Starting from $60

If you’re under the age of 40, the Met welcomes you. Every Friday performance comes with a deep discount for youthful opera fans. For sixty bucks, you can grab seats in Orchestra or Grand Tier. You can purchase tickets up to three months in advance! Occasionally,  a Friday will come with a pre-performance party. Tickets for those start at $80 dollars BUT come with complimentary drinks, and access to cheese!

Student Tickets

Cost point: $37.50

If you’re blessed enough to be a full-time student, discounted tickets are available up to a month in advance. With this special deal, you can bring yourself and three of your friends. Do keep in mind, your student ID from 2011 won’t work, they validate transcripts each semester!

Family Circle

Cost point: Starting from $30

Located at the top of the house, some opera fans say that these seats have the best sound. Great sound, but a terrible view, so make sure to bring your opera glasses.  If you don’t own any, you can rent some from the house for a deposit of twenty bucks. While this isn’t my favorite seat in the house, you’ll never run shy of friendly opera geeks willing to chat during intermission.

Rush Tickets

Cost point: $25

Perfect for last-minute planners, the Met Opera releases rush tickets for both their evening and matinee performances. Tickets go on sale for performances Monday through Friday at noon, matinees four hours before curtain, and Saturday evenings at 2 pm. For as little as twenty bucks you can nab orchestra seats, sometimes as close as Row B. That’s close enough to see an occasional spray of spit.

Standing tickets

Cost point: Starting from $20

If you don’t mind working out your quads for 2- 3 hours, standing room is usually available for every performance at the Met. You can purchase tickets the same day starting at 10 AM for either Orchestra or Family Circle. While again, the sound is better in Family Circle– the view from Orchestra will be a lot better.

Score Desk

Cost point: Starting from $8

Located within Family Circle is a well-kept secret, Score desks. They’re the cheapest way to get yourself in house. Leave your opera glasses at home, because these seats offer either an extremely limited view of the stage or none at all.

I wouldn’t suggest these seats for the first time or even new opera-goers. Score Desk is perfect for operas you know by heart, an opera you’ve seen already, or a production you hate but has great singers. The seats come with a desk and reading light which can be used to follow the score along — or write a lengthy journal entry. Whichever you prefer.

The Young Associates Program

Cost point: Starting from $600

When you start balling, becoming a friend of the Met may interest you. Riddled with a bunch of free events throughout the year, $600 bucks buys you lectures, preview parties, and your weight in free Prosecco. Certainly not the cheapest option, but if you’ve caught the opera bug, complimentary tickets and backstage tours could be cool.

Tessie Viola

Tessie Viola is a native New Yorker from Queens. When she's not writing for ciaooo!, she can be caught eating dirty water dogs near Lincoln Center.

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The 4th of JULY!

Summer Fridays, rooftop happy hours and dirty flip flop feet, could summer in NYC get any better? Of course, it can! NYC on the 4th of July weekend is one of the best experiences on the East Coast.

Besides spending your long weekend day- drunk, here are some things to do in NYC this summer to celebrate AMERICCCAAAAAAA.

Photo by Fraunces Tavern

Fraunces Tavern

Ready to go really old school?  Bring it back to the 18th century and visit George Washington’s old haunt. Fraunces Tavern is a nifty museum that focuses on the Revolutionary War AND has a whiskey bar.  If you’re into live jazz, head in on a Saturday afternoon. If you’re into Celtic folk music, grab a Sunday pint! John Adam’s quote says it best — “The most splendid dinner I ever saw, a profusion of rich dishes.” My favorite is the chicken pot pie; I frequently have dreams about it. Source: Ron Cogswell

American Merchant Mariner’s Memorial

After a whiskey flight, head south to Battery Park. There you’ll find the American Merchant Marines Memorial. The monument is based on the sinking of the SS Muskogee by German U-boat 123 on March 22nd, 1942. It commemorates all lives lost at sea during WW2. Every high tide, the two soldiers are covered by the New York bay, reminding us of the horror of war.

Photo by King of Hearts

General Grant National Memorial

Hidden away in Morningside Heights, late President Grant and his wife Julia lay entombed not buried. It’s one of my favorite places in all of upper Manhattan! Pop into the visitor’s center to watch a short documentary or head straight into the tomb. The place is more inspiring than creepy— I promise. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and, I won’t lie, a perfect place to spend time in sweltering July heat. Much thanks to our 18th president.

Before you pop off, don’t miss out on out the resting angels engraved on the top of the tomb. “Let us have peace.”

It’s open Wednesday to Sunday till 5 pm. Even if you miss the mausoleum times, a walk around Riverside Park should never be skipped.

Source: Public Domain

Ellis Island

There are few things in New York City that are more inspiring than Ellis Island. For less than twenty bucks, you can grab a ferry to BOTH Ellis and the Statue of Liberty.

The former immigration station processed over 12 million immigrants and accounts for almost half of Americans even to this day. It now operates as a museum with over 120 hours of content that chronicles Ellis’ history in three parts. It’s an incredibly moving experience and worth the twenty bucks. In these times, even us natives need a reminder of what it means to be an American.


William Barnacle Tavern

I’ve walked past this place a hundred times and never knew about the history until one of my British friends dragged me along! Located on St Marks Pl, between an off-Broadway theatre and the American Gangster museum, is William Barnacle Tavern. Don’t let the musty smell deter you– you’re walking on the same tile that prohibition dodgers passed out on. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of their many absinthe drinks. (After a tour, drinks are one dollar off!) If you’re there on a Monday or Tuesday, tell Joshua — Tessie sent ya!

Tessie Viola

Tessie Viola is a native New Yorker from Queens. When she's not writing for ciaooo!, she can be caught eating dirty water dogs near Lincoln Center.

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I hate them with extreme passion. They’re selfish, irritating, never fun, and expensive. We’re sitting at a Last Supper-esqe table. The birthday broad in the middle. You’re sitting across from:

A. The shyest person in the group.

B. The couple that has no interest in talking.

C. The guy that talks only about himself.

Your friends are sitting on the other side of the table because they showed up late. It takes 80 hours to order, “Should we get a thing to share? Should we do a bottle? I don’t drink. UM I’M A VEGAN.”

The stifled conversation,

“So…what do you do…”

“Are you from New York??”

“omg Donald TRUMP SUX!!!!”

We eat our mediocre Italian/Mexican food.

  • Someone orders the 50 dollar steak.
  • Someone orders a side of olives for $5.00
  • Someone orders another bottle of wine without asking the table.
  • The interesting conversation is way down on the other side.

You swish your overpriced drink and envy the three-person table sitting across the restaurant. Swig more wine, you’re going to get your money’s worth of this bottle. By the time they pass it to you, there are drops left.

Dinner is finally finished and someone suggests dessert. Daggers shoot out of your eyes, but the birthday broad is excited. More wine is ordered. Overpriced artisan ice cream and brownies distributed.

Now it’s time. The check.

The waiter is already miffed with you guys and places the scroll length check on the table.

“I can only take two cards.” he says it with glee in his eyes.

The check is $10,000 and suddenly everyone becomes a teetotaler.

“Let’s split it up equally. I only had a salad. I didn’t order any cocktails. I’M VEGAN. I didn’t have any of the fourth bottle. There was a fourth bottle? I don’t have venmo. All I have is 15 bucks”

After 34 minutes of arguing,

You dish out $80 dollars for two glasses of wine and a $10 dollar generic Italian/Mexican dish. You don’t even like Italian/Mexican.

The couple across from you finally peeps up, “WE CAN’T LET THE BIRTHDAY GIRL PAY FOR HERSELF.”

The crowd gasps, “NO OF COURSE NOT.”

You pay $120 dollars for two glasses of wine and a 10 dollar meal. You’ve wasted three hours of your life and you’re hungry and still sober. That’s why we created the guide to the best places for a birthday dinner that won’t kill your wallet or vibe. We asked some of our favorite local New Yorkers for their favorite suggestions.


Congee Village

Congee Village is one of those restaurants that you may have passed by a million times while walking drunkenly down Delancey Street. Those delightfully tacky neon lights, the vibrant bamboo outside give off the idea that maybe its a bit of a tourist spot. Fear not! It isn’t! And we promise there is SO much more to offer up than simply congee (a Chinese porridge).

Congee Village is perfect for large groups, especially birthday parties because it is delicious, cheap and memorable. First off, the tables are round, so you’re not stuck at the end of the table, and dishes are served family style on a rotating lazy Susan. Order a variety of traditional, Cantonese dishes like Walnut Shrimp, Beef Ho Fun, Salt and Pepper pork chops, Buddha’s Delight (Tofu + Mushrooms), Steamed Fish, BBQ Pork, Crispy Pork, and Chicken Fried Rice.

Plus – beers and drinks are cheap. You’ll leave full with a great experience!

Photo by ciaooo!


If Chinese + Indian food were to marry in an elegant wedding just off the coast of Indonesia – you would get Malaysian food. With chili peppers, sambal, coconut, curries, roti, lemongrass – Malaysian food is an eclectic blend of flavors.

As for Nyonya? It’s probably one of the most authentic in NYC. The restaurant has been around for over a decade and has three outposts across the city and Brooklyn. Your friends will be impressed cause, damn, LOOK HOW CULTURED YOU ARE, and the drink situation is totally doable. A bottle of wine for $20? Can’t go wrong.

Try the Roti Canal, Hainanese Chicken, Nasi Lemak, Beef Rendang, and Chow Kueh Tow!

Photo from Zomato

Som Tum Der

Som Tum Der is probably one of the most affordable Michelin rated restaurants in NYC. Believe us, it’s not your traditional Thai food though (they do have fan favorites like Pad Thai) but their food hails from the Northeastern Isan region so it’s especially spicy, and somewhat of a kick of flavor to your tongue, much like the flash romance of a cultured, older man/woman you meet while traveling.

Photo by Yelp User Canny F. Photo by Yelp User Canny F.

Bamboo Garden

So you want to plan a memorable dinner you say? Lo and behold, how about a private Chinese banquet and KARAOKE?

Invite 20 of your closest friends, foes and fans to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn to bask in what might be one of the most memorable nights of everyone’s lives. For starters, you’ll be transported into one of the most gorgeous banquet halls in Brooklyn that is undeniably authentic. Walk through the ornate dining hall downstairs into your own private room with two large banquet tables where you can order a la carte Cantonese dishes, bottles of red wine and beers.

There’s a Karaoke machine in the room and TV for you guys to be belting Backstreet Boys to one another, and worth the trip.

FOB backyard by Adam V on Yelp


F.O.B. Brooklyn is a quaint Filipino restaurant located just off Barclay’s Center. It’s never insanely crowded, and being in BK they’ve got exactly what everyone moves to BK for, which is more space and wayyyyy more chill. Helmed by chef Armando Litiatco (formerly of Daniel), the food is Manila style BBQ and more affordable compared to its counterparts in the city.

Photo from The Coop

The Coop

The Coop. This should probably be called “The Cool-p”. See what we did there? Ok well, The Coop is a lowkey beer + fried chicken joint out in Flushing. They’ve got traditional Korean food that’s bite size and traditional so you can order a bunch of stuff to share for the table. If low-key is the vibe you’re going for – this is the joint to visit.

Tessie Viola

Tessie Viola is a native New Yorker from Queens. When she's not writing for ciaooo!, she can be caught eating dirty water dogs near Lincoln Center.

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