Every time I turned on my radio in 1970 I heard The Supremes, Motown’s Darlings, With Jean Terrell, Mary Wilson, and Cindy Birdsong blasting the top bit of the day which was about climbing a ladder to the roof. Diana wasn’t around for this tune.
It was a catchy tune and the words were appropriate to the roof hopping & hanging days of the 70’s and the 80’s when roof chillin’ was the alternate reality to day tripping on the rat infested garbage infused graffiti covered crime ridden crack cocaine smothered streets of the times. Those “good old days” where artists were underground like Burroughs, Mapplethorpe, Basquiet, Haring, gender bending Factory Recruits, and above ground – the Warhol’s, the Patti Smith, the Blondie, the Lou Reed, drinking and drugging at Max’s or freaking out at the Factory, or acid tripping in the Village eventually everybody ended up on the Roof!
Roofs were the perfect escape and fun stuff happened there in the clouds way above the fray and chaos of Manhattan madness!
And YES we did want to go up! why not? Romance, rendezvous-vous, a plethora of secret assignations would take place in that secret sky world.
And TODAY we still want to GO UP! Oh Yea!
In Manhattan, Brooklyn, and let’s get real if you aren’t already, IS there any OTHER place that matters? Everybody wants a rooftop experience. I do. you do. and yes. they do too. So in order to be the hippest hottest swag smothered bar You had better put it on a Roof! New Yorkers want to sit in the stars sipping their gold plated cocktails ! We want that View, that looking down and over the Big Apple Metropolis while indulging our hedonistic impulses and putting the weekly grind behind.
The Whythe Hotel rooftop, is HOT! It burns with the fire of hipsters, recruits, cool young IT lookalikes, models, freaks, Girls wannabes, and anything in between! Are you in bearded man mode, fedora must have, skinny as a leftover chicken bone, tattooed like you are the map of the world, bald, ombré? Then find your roof ASAP . The Roof is where it’s at . Williamsburg Cool, it is the place to be if you want to be anything or anyone but a Suburbia Revolutionary Road prototype , or Mad Men stereotype or even Cheever drunken disappointment on the Down low.
No Thanks. I’ ll take the roof and whether or not it’s at the Whythe, the infamous Gansevoort, the Dream in Times Square, The Delancey,or Jimmy at the James it beats the mundane, the banalesque rap we get anywhere else roaming on the streets with the mob.
On the roof you drink, you hookup, you dream, you plot, you stare and sweat with other fellow roommates all having a moment of rooftop bliss a moment away from the stars. This is where us art types get inspired and fed .
Waitressing in the Hot Pants days of the early 1970’s on one of the highest roofs in Manhattans upper east side I got a taste of the Roof as I served drinks and delicacies to the rich and privileged. I was literally on the top of Nyc suspended on a glorious pinnacle of creative inspiration walking the proverbial tightrope between artistic passions and mundane servitude.
The Rooftop Terrace Club was a perfect vehicle for jet starting myself as an artist into the unknown stratosphere before me. As I served the lucky habitants of their pristine privileged world, their cocktails only a concrete barrier preventing a suicide plunge into the East River, a telescopic view into the glamour of the esteemed River House next door, where the Gloria Vanderbilts and Plimptons and Kissingers reigned their, I inhaled the wealth of rampant materialism surrounding me which would later all be thrown into cultivating my style of painting – a kaleidoscope of urban life.
Nyc gives us a taste of so much from the crumbs to the cornucopia of life for sure and we find it all over. But what we want really is to occasionally get out of the gutter and Climb up the Ladder to the Roof and see like The Supremes called it just how life can be Better!
It’s Brooklyn, it’s Manhattan, it’s Queens, it’s Coney, it’s Bronx, where painters, musicians, poets, writers, painters, the Beats, the Hippies, The Rockers, The Punk, meet, mingle create, from corner to corner, the garbage strewn gutter, the filthy subway, the stench, the human cesspool, rats to reggae, royalty to rags, mind numbing noise, eerie silence, it’s all here in our faces and that’s why sometimes we need to climb UP and get close to the sky the stars, the lights of manhattan below watching us! Keeping us going on our Art fueled journey, where space holds no limits and the Roof is our launching pad in our unique City of the World.