Unlike your average state school’s sticky-floored frat parties and Saturday morning tailgates, NYU students have an entire city to explore when they want to let loose after a grueling week of classes. From the sweetest dessert shops to the classiest hotel bars, the culture desk spills their favorite after-hours hangouts.
The Marlton Hotel Bar
5 W. Eighth St.
To bring out your inner Carrie (Or Miranda, or Charlotte or Samantha)
There’s something about a bar with big tabletops and booths that makes me feel like a true adult (as opposed to a college student who only gets to claim adulthood by legal age). Sitting at these tables with friends and having a conversation over drinks transports me to the set of “How I Met Your Mother” or “Sex and the City.” When I’m feeling particularly inclined to channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw, the Marlton Hotel bar is my spot. My friends and I will get all dressed up for these occasions — tasteful sequins, fur, red lipstick and heels. The interior of the bar features dim lighting, vintage decorations in neutral colors and a wait staff in slacks and white button-ups. Spending way too much money on a single cosmopolitan make this version of playing adult make-believe complete. — Calais
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
I think we can all agree that New York City’s best ice cream can be found at Van Leeuwen. And if you don’t agree, you’re wrong. Sure, it can hurt sometimes to dish out nearly $10 for an ice cream cone, but come on, invest in your taste buds a little. If I’ve had an especially hard week and want to treat myself, if a friend is stressed out and I want to treat them or if I’m just craving ice cream for no reason whatsoever — hey, it happens to the best of us — I take a jaunt down to the nearest location and indulge in some creamy, custardy goodness. If I’m feeling fruity flavors, I’ll happily select a scoop of strawberry, but if I’m feeling especially indulgent, Brooklyn Brown Sugar it is. Thank goodness they brought that flavor back permanently — I nearly had a crisis when it disappeared from the menu earlier this year. — Carol
212 E. Ninth St.
Well worth the wait
Let’s face it — drinks in New York are insanely, ruinously expensive. A cocktail at any decent bar or club will run you $13 at the very least, meaning that acquiring even the gentlest of buzzes will ruin your budget. If you don’t want to be forced to eat ramen noodles for the rest of the week to afford a night out, I suggest you brave the lengthy line outside 212. Those patient enough to withstand the average 30-minute weekend wait at this sit-down bar will be rewarded with $3 shots and $4-5 cocktails, accompanied by the tastiest baskets of french fries and complimentary edamame. The affordable prices mean that trying their vast cocktail menu won’t break the bank — their passion fruit margaritas are fruity and festive, the cups of rumchata are curiously strong and their piercing blue Adios MFs guarantee an interesting night out. As a pregame spot or end destination, 212’s friendly atmosphere and friendlier price range make this spot a beloved NYU hangout — just go easy on the Tokyo Iced Teas. — Lauren
Wherever the Night Takes Me
Wherever the night takes her
A lesson in spontaneity
I can’t really pick one exact place I love to go on a night out, but my favorite nights out are the ones that go unplanned. I’ll be laying in bed on a Friday evening expecting to do nothing the rest of the night, and my roommates barge in saying, “Hey, let’s do something!” This ultimately ends up with us walking way too far and realizing we don’t exactly know where we are anymore, picking late-night dessert spots to try from the pool of whatever’s open at the time or staring into the windows of our favorite stores in SoHo. I don’t know what it is about these last-minute plans I love so much — maybe it’s the fact that I just don’t know where the night could take us. For better or worse, at least we know now that walking the Brooklyn Bridge (I know, so cliche) in February on the windiest day of the year may not be the best idea to try again. — Bella
Email the Culture Desk at [email protected]