In paid partnership withAbsolut® Juice

How ‘Discovering’ a New Spot in My Home Opened New Possibilities for Socializing

published Sep 4, 2020
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Credit: Absolut Juice/Jess D'Amelio

Social distancing hasn’t replaced our need for socializing. “How We Gather Now” is Apartment Therapy’s look at how we’re finding safe new ways to get together in 2020, presented in partnership with Absolut Juice. We’ve heard about the simple joys of the front porch; focusing on what you can do; and celebrating even in times of crisis. Now, Nancy “discovers” a new spot in her own home…

It was the middle of December when my friend Jon discovered the rooftop. We were having a dinner party, back when you could still do that kind of thing, and I guess he just kind of wandered up there. I say he discovered the roof because I always knew it was there — most buildings have them — but it was Jon who realized that the door at the top of the stairs that I had always assumed was locked was not as locked as it appeared. It was cold that night, but not prohibitively cold: Stepping out onto the rooftop, seeing the lights of the city, the Empire State Building shining in the distance, it felt like we had discovered a new world.

Since then a lot of people have stepped over that threshold; when you have a rooftop in New York, it doesn’t seem fair to keep it to yourself. But every time I go up there, for whatever reason, I feel a little bit of the feeling that I felt that first day — that it’s a magic place, an escape from the city but still very much a part of New York.

At the beginning of the summer, when the city was taking its first tentative steps towards reopening, I invited a few friends over for drinks on the roof. In past years I’ve always had a big party around this time. It’s something I’ve always looked forward to — making drinks, bringing people together. I had a sense that this year would be different, would be not as good. I had this vision of that damn party, all my friends meeting on the roof, and hosting just four people felt like a lesser version of it.

And then it wasn’t, at all. There was a moment, around sunset, when I looked around, and those four faces felt like a miracle to me — like even if we were sitting far apart I still felt the pure goodness of just being in the same place as another person, and it was something I hadn’t felt in a long time and I didn’t realize how good it would be.

I think of them as “tiny parties,” the little rooftop hangs, but I guess they are just parties — these days having a small group in the same space feels like a party. I kind of love the ease of it: Make a couple pitchers of drinks, and you’re all set. We keep doing it, every couple of weeks or so, and it’s usually the same people, and there are conversations that are continued from weeks before, like a TV show that you want to keep watching.

The other day I took out a bottle of Absolut Juice — the Pear and Elderflower is very nice, I’ve discovered, with a little mint and seltzer water. My friend and I sipped and watched the sunset and the sky change colors, and it felt right: another unlooked-for joy in a year that sometimes offers strange gifts.

Credit: Absolut Juice

“Discover” a new spot in your home and sip an Absolut Juice Pear and Elderflower Shandy:

Fill a wine glass with ice cubes. Add 1 1/2 parts Absolut Juice, 1 part lemonade, and 2 parts hard sparkling cider. Garnish with either pear slices or lemon wheels.