TOP FIVE: Bars for the UN General Assembly

Lexbar: dark and intimate

By Camila Viegas-Lee

The 65th United Nations General Assembly opens this Thursday, September 23rd. It is a pretty exciting week for everyone who cares about the millennium development goals and what not. But if you couldn’t care less, avoid the stretch between Midtown East and Murray Hill. There will be security checks, barricades and protests everyday of the week… and the traffic will be impossible.

For those who are visiting and want a little taste of the brouhaha or those who love the irresistible hustle and bustle of the international delegations, here are the five best places to hang out, have a drink and try to figure out what language the exotic cutie next to you is speaking:

Asia de Cuba at the Morgans Hotel
– the theatrical Philippe Starck-designed space includes a 15-foot tall holographic photo lightbox featuring a running waterfall. Go directly upstairs and order the famous Asia de Cuba mojito ($14). 237 Madison Ave. (between 37th and 38th Streets)

Rare View at the Shelburne Hotel – don’t miss the blood orange cosmopolitan ($12) in this cozy imbibery. Too bad the rooftop is closed already but it reopens in April. There’s plenty of space and plenty of clever cocktails. 303 Lexington Avenue (with 37th Street)

Lexbar at the St. Giles Court Hotel – reopening tonight, this is the famous WetBar refurshed with crescent-shaped banquettes, leather chairs, and fatty couches. Don’t miss the Guava Sin made with tequila, triple sec, and guava purée ($15). So dark that you can drop 10 years of your age when introducing yourself to the exotic cutie mentioned above. 130 E 39th Street (between Lexington and Park Avenues)

Sakagura – basement space hidden under a business lobby that will make you feel in a small Japanese village. Try the tasting set of sakes and get a lesson on supai and amae before talking about Japan’s new prime minister. He is a hot new celebrity at the Assembly. 211 E 43rd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)