Not Going To Governors Ball? Then Drink Here

When Kanye West, Guns N’ Roses, and Kings of Leon signed on to perform at the three-day, island music party Governors Ball, snagging a general-admission ticket got as hard as grabbing a seat on the 6 train at rush hour. So for all you folks who can’t get the last-remaining tickets or don’t want to pay the lowest-priced $95 stub, there are certain…alternatives. And by alternatives, I do mean very special cocktails made with Governors Ball’s official spirit – SKYY Vodka –  that you can get at two bars in NYC all weekend long: Cowgirl Seahorse and Rockbar.

Cowgirl Seahorse – the nautical spot right by South Street Seaport with mounted fish heads and antler chandeliers – and Rockbar – the grungy West Village gay bar – are doling out these three SKYY cocktails for just this weekend:

Moscato Envy: SKYY Infusions Moscato Grape, tonic, and lime

SKYY Palmer: SKYY Vodka, lemonade, and iced tea

Wild Strawberry Lemonade: SKYY Infusions Wild Strawberry, lemonade, wheels of lemon, and strawberries

Ask the bartender to blast Kanye’s "Stronger," and you’ll feel like you’re on Randall’s Island  – but without the ticket price, face-painted crowds, and nonstop Instagramming.

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A Drink With A View: NYC’s Best Bars On The Water

A drink with a view? Yes, please. When you can find a place in New York to sip a beer outside, gaze at the skyline on the rivers, and not pay $4,000+ rent for it – you hold on to that seat for dear life. Here are NYC’s best bars on the water.

The Frying Pan: this former lightship, now anchored by Chelsea Piers at Pier 66a, is a true "dive" bar, having spent years shipwrecked at the bottom of Chesapeake Bay. Resting right on the Hudson River, Frying Pan grants you crisp beers and cocktails, and some One World Trade Center, Empire State, and Hoboken eye-candy. 

Watermark Bar: new and just-opened, this bar on Pier 15 at South Street Seaport comes equipped with frothy strawberry margaritas, Vermont-cheddar bacon cheeseburgers, and a view of the crystalline-lit Brooklyn Bridge and East River. It’s a backdrop for falling in love, so enter with caution.

STK Rooftop: Do you like lobster rolls and Hudson River sunset views? At the Meatpacking’s most in-demand rooftop at the top of its sexy steakhouse, you get watermelon cucumber cocktails, and a view of the Hudson, the majestic Standard Hotel, and the cobblestone, stiletto-ridden streets below. 

Boat Basin Café: This circular bar on the Upper West Side is like a Shakespearean theatre-in the-round, offering stone, vaulted walls and ceilings, a fountain, and a far-off look at the George Washington Bridge on the stone terrace.

Beekman Beer GardenOh, for heaven’s sake. A bar in South Street Seaport with an actual floor of sand, white couches, ping-pong, and an up-close view of the Brooklyn Bridge? Let’s stay the night.

Know every inch of this city by visiting BlackBook’s NY City Guides, & follow Bonnie on Twitter here

Bacon Burgers & East River Views: Watermark Bar Opens, Unofficial Summer Begins

With a frothy strawberry margarita in one hand, a bacon-Vermont cheddar cheeseburger in the other, and your eyes fixated on the crystalline-lit Brooklyn Bridge and East River, one thing is clear: Watermark Bar is now open, and summer may commence. OK, so we haven’t yet made it to the June 21st-summer solstice, but we can sure act like we have.

Watermark’s opening on Pier 15 at South Street Seaport triggers the beginning of several different sensory experiences:

  • One glance across the 3,500-square-feet of waterfront cherry-red bar stools and boats sailing across the river – and it hits you that oh my gosh you actually live in this city.
  • The seamless transition from Magic Hat beer to a creamy chocolate, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cone thanks to the neighboring Cones Café.
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows separating the indoor/outdoor options allow for maximum suntanning and cover from those sunny summer rains.
  • Debating moving to Brooklyn after drinking four-too-many watermelon cocktails while gazing at the Brooklyn Bridge and majestic Dumbo… but then realizing you don’t like kale.
  • Spicy Buffalo chicken fingers.

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Pickles for Charity

Last week I gave you some events going on that were raising money for various charities and Hurricane Sandy relief. Well, the fundraising and humanitarian work hasn’t stopped and many people, restaurants, and bars are still on the bandwagon, thank goodness.

Aside from the awesome #dineoutNYC movement, you can hit up the Second Annual Peck Slip Pickle Festival on Sunday from 11pm to 5pm at the New Amsterdam Market. This vivacious market is located in the South Street Seaport, which, as you may have guessed got wrecked during the storm. Luckily, the market’s offices are fine and they are able to host the festival.

So, while you get your pickle fill with cukes from Brooklyn Brine, Guss’ Pickles, Sour Puss Pickles, Rick’s Picks, and a handful other East Coast purveyors, do so knowing your $3 suggested donation will go towards the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund. Plus, you can learn about Persian pickles with cookbook author Louisa Shafia and make kimchi with Lauryn Chun from Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi. At the end of the day, this is one pickle New Yorkers will feel happy to be in.