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Did your Hamptons invite fall through? Staying right hear in the city for the long weekend? Make like a true New Yorker and spend some of your days off on a "tar beach."
Nonetheless, there's a big difference between acceptable behavior on a $250,000 teak-furnished Sutton Place roof deck and a hundred ragged feet of tar beach atop an East Village tenement. For one thing, the fancy aeries of owner-occupied buildings usually come with a handbook of rules regarding everything from cellphone use to whether teenagers (or residents in general) may go up after dark. Tar beaches, on the other hand, tend to be more lightly regulated. In many cases, the big “Keep Out” sign on the propped-open fire escape door is the only directive, and unchecked roof louts can easily ruin things for everyone.
Before you resort to publicly shaming a fellow "beachgoer's" boorishness, consider buying him/her a case of low-alcohol beer and delivering it with a copy of this:
BrickUnderground’s Guide to Tar Beach Etiquette
- Don’t invite more than 8 to 10 people. Think of it as a gathering for close friends, not a block party for your whole neighborhood's listening displeasure.
- No glass bottles or glassware. You wouldn’t want shards to get stuck in your feet or anywhere else for that matter.
- It may be relaxing to light up in the New York night air, but remember you are standing on someone’s roof, near windows or vents. Sharing a cigarette or two is one thing, but be sensitive to complaints and don’t encourage the whole party to bring the Camels upstairs. And, take your butts with you when you go.
- No music from boom boxes or other stereo systems. Not only does the sound travel, it makes the walls shake. (Imagine if it was your apartment vibrating to Drake's "One Dance.")
- Clean up after you leave. No one wants garbage rotting from the roof—except vermin, that is.
- Take your carnal pleasures elsewhere. If you just can't help yourself, make sure it's in the middle of the night, and take the evidence with you. (Honestly, just take it to your apartment.)
- No animals off leash.
- No nudity. Bikinis may ruin your tan lines, but your birthday suit could ruin lunch.
- Leave the stilettos downstairs. If your tar top is not up to code standards, you may find yourself poking through and saying hello to the people below you—literally.
- Hang onto your stuff. It’s not like dropping a penny off the Empire State building, but cups and bottles can be painful if dropped from an upper floor—and lawsuits are a sure way to end everyone’s roof access.
Did we miss something? Let us know! Leave a comment below.
***Updated on June 30, 2016.
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