There are far worse spots that you could choose for an after-work drink than Bookmarks, the just-opened-for-the-season rooftop bar at the Library Hotel (E41st and Madison Avenue.)
The hotel abounds with literary-nomenclature. (See, I couldn’t help myself either.) There is the Shakespeare Suite and the Poetry Garden, and the names of the cocktails. Each drink pays homage both to a particular, wellknown writer or the industry itself — The Hemingway, a Best Seller, a Page Turner — and, methinks, the lush literary life of those whose livers worked as hard as their creativity to churn out English literature standard bearers.
The bar is operated by the same company (Hospitality Holdings) that also manages some of my favourite east side watering holes — The Patio (great coffee), The World Bar and Campbell Apartment (my absolute favourite.)
One of our party noted that the selection criteria for the hostesses appeared to be similar to that at Campbell Apartment. I believe he was refering to the black cocktail dress ‘uniform’ that draws attention away from their verbage and refocuses it on their cleavage.
Alas, the heights of their intellect and depths of their other attributes were not sufficient to deflect our attention away from our increasing levels of thirst. It took an inordinate period of time for our drinks to arrive, attributable both to the popularity of the venue and the after effects of a winter’s operational hibernation.
When our drinks arrived there was a further snafu involving two of us inadvertently consuming alcohol we “never” drink. So it’s a testimony to the mixologist that we not only realized this after the fact, but thoroughly enjoyed our cocktails.
Bookmarks has “location, location, location…” going for it, with the patio providing airy, views to the NYPL and intimate gathering areas in the enclosed rooftop areas. So go early if you want to reserve a fresh air seat, and make sure you can withstand the wait.
P.S. Little-known factoid: The Library Hotel was sued for using the Dewey Decimal system to name its rooms.
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