Spring was way late for the party, but he's here. And before he leaves and we all want to die/move to an opposite hemisphere, get outside and soak up some sun. Here are the best 10 spots in the city to get Vitamin D while getting your drink on.
Russian Turkish Baths: By far the strangest outdoor drinking spot on the list, and probably the most charming. Detox downstairs in their lovely, dilapidated maze of dry saunas and steamroom, and when you're done, go upstairs, order a couple cheap Russian beers and enjoy them on the wood benches wrapping around their amazing rooftop courtyard, along with a bunch of bulbous 80-year-old Russian men.
268 E. 10th St.; 212-674-9250
James Hotel, Roof Bar: Sleeker than Nicole Kidman's immobile forehead, the interior of the James Hotel's roof bar is sharp, sexy and done in perfect taste. And the outside patio where you can perch with your drinks is fitted with a stunning view of Tribeca. So if you don't choke at the thought of $20 for a glass of champagne, then this spot is a perfect little secret, especially for an impressive date.
27 Grand St.; 212-465-2000
Trestle on Tenth: This little Swiss-inspired brasserie in West Chelsea isn't renowned for thrilling service, but that's okay, 'cause you're just getting a cold glass of white, a nice plate of charcuterie, and sitting in their enchanted garden. Perfect for the "courting" portion of your springtime mating rituals.
242 10th Ave.; 212-645-5659
Mé Bar: "So it's this awesome rooftop bar in Midtown. Just go to the roof of the La Quinta Inn." What?!? You may seriously question the judgment of the person who recommends this place, until you actually go there. Located in the heart of Koreatown, on 32nd street, the Empire State practically breaths down your neck while you enjoy your beer in this spacious, simple, absurdly well-kept secret.
17 W. 32nd St.; 212-290-2460
Chelsea Brewing @ Chelsea Piers: Yes, it's a little bougey, but you're still on the hypnotic bank of the Hudson, and it's not the fuster-cluck of human magpies and unfortunate tanning practices that you'll confront at the formerly hip, now invaded, Frying Pan.
59 Chelsea Piers; 212-336-6440
Boxcar Lounge: A classic East Village dive bar with a surprisingly pleasant outdoor patio, calmly filled with locals. And rumor has it that you could run into a certain sexy, funny, award-winning author in the courtyard. Her name rhymes with Jadie Schmith. But that's just a rumor.
168 Ave. B; 212-473-2830
Loreley: Germanic pilsner + bratwurst in hand + a bunch of benches outside + LES = YES
7 Rivington St.; 212-253-7077
Nita Nita: If you witness someone on a bike with frayed jean-shorts and a hair-style that is reminiscent of a mullet biking up Wythe Avenue, they might be going to Nita Nita. And you should too. Good beer, and a spacious, sunny, chatter-filled courtyard with just enough green things to call it a garden. Completely magical.
146 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg; 718-388-5328
Franklin Park: This part of Prospect Heights is "up-and-coming," which partly means policemen on every corner -- but it also means there's space for tree-sheltered, bench-littered, brick-lined beer gardens. And if you weren't already sold, there are servers from Dutch Boy Burgers (the restaurant next door) weaving through the serene hipsters, taking orders for killer fries, burgers and shakes.
618 Saint John's Place, Prospect/Crown Heights; 718-975-0196
Washington Commons: This neighborhood bar, located in the less "eventful" part of Prospect Heights, has reached cult status with the locals. If you want a break from the stuffy New-Prohibition decor common to Brooklyn, this place is your spot. It's just a nice old bar. And the garden out back is epic, and dog-friendly.
748 Washington Ave., Prospect Heights; 718-230-3666