OHNY 2007: Roof garden at Rockefeller Center

Sunday, October 7th, 2007 | All Things, Events

With temperatures hovering in the near-record low 80s, ice skating was just about the furthest thing from most people’s minds, but nonetheless, the Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center opened this first October weekend – right on schedule. This year, as in years past, the Rink is offering its “Engagements on Ice” — or on days like today: “Slush” — marriage proposal package. Broadcast of the couple’s special song and a ceremonial “victory lap” is included in the $200 price tag. Cheesy or charming — what say you? (Hey, it could always be worse…)

Rockefeller Center slush

We were here this morning to visit the private roof garden at Rockefeller Center. According to Daniel Okrent‘s Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center, the “Gardens in the Sky” were originally open to all but operated at an annual loss of $45,000. Nowadays, the four hours on openhousenewyork Sunday represent one of the public’s rare opportunities to tour this carefully cultivated patch of green, which is otherwise only accessible for film shoots and private events.

The OHNY volunteers were out in full force this morning, including several (like SYB) who just decided to pitch in to assist with the crowd control. The roof garden is one of the most popular sites of OHNY weekend, and I was determined not to miss it again. With half an hour to go until the noon opening, the line to enter the British Empire Building already wrapped around the plaza and onto Fifth Avenue.

Rockefeller Center line

OHNY volunteers

SYB’s OHNY volunteer pin got us bumped to the front of the line yet again, and as a result, we were among the first to step inside the elevator that would spirit us up to the 7th floor. We piled inside and ten seconds later….

Roof garden view

We wandered through the topiary hedges and around the reflecting pool with its frog fountain. Directly across the street, the twin spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral loomed before us as the Empire State Building rose up behind.

Roof garden view

Rockefeller Center frog

Roof garden view

The view over Fifth Avenue, put us just at the end of the Pulaski Day Parade route. The parade, which honors Polish American heritage, was just then beginning on 29th Street, so no revelers had yet made it to midtown; the street below was already barricaded and cleared of vehicular traffic, though, adding to the surreal feel of this secret formal garden in the midst of all these city skyscrapers.

Can’t get enough? Here’s the rest of the set on flickr.

There are 4 Comments ... OHNY 2007: Roof garden at Rockefeller Center

October 23, 2007

Is OHNY all the time or just this one weekend and you managed to hit a dozen venues? Did the pin get you into the cheese or was that just your persistence?

October 23, 2007

Every October for the main event, though there are educational programs at individual sites scheduled throughout the year.
Mark your calendars for the 6th Annual OHNY Weekend: October 4 & 5, 2008.

The OHNY pin earns the volunteer (+1) a spot at the front of the line at most sites; locations that require reservations (like Murray’s Cheese Caves tours) operate independently of that.

October 24, 2007

Since when do you read Deadspin?

October 24, 2007

I’ll link to it again. Craziest. Prank. Ever.

Go for it ...