NYC Balconies & Rooftops: Covetable Outdoor Spaces in the City

NYC Balconies & Rooftops: Covetable Outdoor Spaces in the City

Nancy Mitchell
Mar 25, 2015
(Image credit: Fractal Construction)

My new New York apartment has an 'outdoor space,' and by that I mean one of my windows opens onto a fire escape. While I'm perfectly happy with that — it's just the right size for watching the sun set and sipping a beer, or maybe even growing tomatoes (!) when the weather gets warm enough — I still get a twinge of jealousy when I see apartments with actual balconies, or even entire rooftops. There's something about being in the city yet still being surrounded by greenery that's so appealing.

Presented here, for your viewing pleasure, are 11 beautiful outdoor spaces in the city of New York. If you are the owner of any of these spaces: I'd love an invite to your next party. And I make a mean sangria.

The townhouse above (by Fractal Construction, via Contemporist) features several little spots to sit and enjoy the outdoors.

(Image credit: Goode Green)
(Image credit: Goode Green)

This beautiful downtown rooftop belongs to the landscape designers from Goode Green. I love that they've made a space for wildflowers — these wild plantings are the perfect counterpart to the rigidity of the city.

(Image credit: Rees Roberts)

This little balcony, from an Upper East side townhouse by designer Rees Roberts (via Desire to Inspire) looks down into a lush courtyard.

This lovely rooftop spot is from the book Rooftop Gardens: The Terraces, Conservatories, and Balconies of New York, via Inhabitat.

(Image credit: Curbed)

This Park Avenue rooftop terrace, spotted on Curbed, measures a whopping 3,200 square feet. There's enough space for outdoor parties for more than a hundred people.

(Image credit: Rumsey Farber)

This balcony may not be very large... but the view is impossible to beat. Design by Rumsey Farber.

(Image credit: Sotheby's)
(Image credit: Sotheby's)

This Chelsea rooftop, from Sotheby's via Honestly WTF, is a wild and wonderful jungle of plantings. The penthouse loft it's associated with was listed for 4.5 million, just to give you an idea of how much a space like this will set you back.

(Image credit: Lonny)

Here's a more modest outdoor space that's still quite lovely. Big enough for an intimate dinner party = just the right size, in my book. From Lonny.

(Image credit: Fennel and Fern)

This West Village back garden was designed to look good from above, as well as from inside. That's being a good neighbor. Spotted on Fennel and Fern.

(Image credit: Lonny)

Designer Celerie Kemble (whose rooftop oasis we spotted on Lonny) offers this tip for entertaining: "Remember that wine, cheese, and a good laugh are all anyone really wants." That, and a breathtaking view of Central Park.

(Image credit: Refinery 29)

Speaking of breathtaking views! It's hard to believe this gorgeous rooftop, from Refinery 29, is really in the city — but it is. That view is from Brooklyn, looking across the east river.

(Image credit: Oh Happy Day)

And for those of more modest means, there's always the illicit rooftop picnic (as seen on Oh Happy Day). You may not have 'rooftop access', but as long as you can find a ladder, you can spend a few moments enjoy the outdoors from your own special spot in the city.

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