A large part of life in New York is spent inside elevators. They are the vertical chariots that ferry us to our offices, apartments, doctor’s appointments and various boutique fitness classes. As a result, much like with the subway, certain unspoken rules have developed that govern this shared social space: Hold the door for others. Face the front. Stare at your phone or the floor. Don’t push onto an elevator that’s too full. But these codes of decorum all seem to fly out the window when the elevator’s final destination is a rooftop bar.
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Rooftop-bar elevators are the wild childs of the NYC lift scene. They’re rude, out of control, and you always have a sneaking suspicion in the back of your mind that one might end up killing you. In fact, they may be America’s last, true ungovernable spaces. Wait for the next car when the one in front of you is too full? Nope! You’ll cram into that flying sardine can with the rest of the fish. We’ve got a frosé machine to find, people, and we’re not waiting another 30 seconds.
And don’t even think about zoning out by scrolling through your email as you travel on your party bus of the sky: You won’t hear any hushed “elevator voices” on this ride. Everyone is loud, drunk and—oh, right—suspended by a tiny cable inside a 100-foot-high vertical shaft. What could go wrong? It’s enough to make you want to take the stairs or find a basement bar.