Too Hot to Think? Drink.

Should Giuliani crack down on ticket scalpers and Yankee games come to cost as much as a box seat at the Garden, ye olde stadium-side sports bar will remain a good place to come drink and listen to the Bronx cheers whistling over the sides of the stadium walls. At the Ball Park Sports Bar & Grill (810 River Avenue, Bronx, 718-665-5800), expect everything from soup to nuts to come alongside your drink. There's a bowling alley, an arcade, a restaurant, and a comfy bar space reminiscent of a Knights of Columbus Hall. My taster noted that there were no beers on tap, but that it beats paying tourist prices for a Sam Adams and a three-ounce Häagen-Dazs bar inside the stadium. Here drinks are reasonably priced ($3 for domestic, $4 for imports), stools are chrome-plated, and the waitress is nicer than anybody. —Alexis Sottile

Dreaming in Bot: Synthetic splash meets jungle instinct on Mott Street.
photo: Bryce Lankard
Dreaming in Bot: Synthetic splash meets jungle instinct on Mott Street.

Even a jaded bar-hopping hack like me is impressed occasionally by sheer style. Such hath Bot (231 Mott Street, 646-613-1312), whose boldly abstract plate-glass facade brings a splash of ultramod West Chelsea to Nolita. Inside, pink Plexi furniture and a long, undulating chartreuse wall face another of glass, opening onto the secluded garden. Recommended: the cocktails— grown-up wine coolers, as it were—served in champagne flutes ($9 to $10). There are sophisticated sangrias of pears, strawberries, and mint steeped in four Tuscan varietals; and prosecco (a Venetian bubbly) mixed with pomegranate, peach, or orange puree. Getting loaded at Bot isn't cheap, but the surroundings will make you feel like a million bucks. —J. Yeh

Dear reader, a confession: I am a prim matron with Ralph Macchio hair and a tendency toward visible panty lines. Still, umpteen cads battled to besmirch my virtue at the open-air, Europa-style Luna Park Café (1 Union Square East, 475-8464), with its Fellini-meets-Mall of America's food court patina. There is a pot for every lid here. My suitors ordered tangy frozen margaritas ($9) and tart and limey bottles of Corona ($6) glazed with ice. At sunset in Union Square Park, we sipped the libido potions beneath a lattice of twinkling white lights. Knots of sexceptional, browned enchantresses suspended The Rules and got genteelly blotto with Preppy Handbook types via the big house. Mama mia! —Nita Rao

With 20,000 shells this year, Macy's retinal blitzkrieg is probably the best corporate-sponsored psychedelia all year. The trick is finding a place to really see it. Most people forget that you can guzzle Heinekens on the Staten Island Ferry (Whitehall and South streets, 718-815-2628,, with the bay's mirror doubling the display. If you have more money to spend—and if you reserve soon—you can take the Circle Line Fourth of July Cruise (Pier 83, West 42nd Street and Twelfth Avenue, 563-3200, $20 to $24) and shower in the ash. But freeloading is really the key to fireworks pleasure. Some of the more overlooked and less patrolled vantage points include the streets close to the water in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. And don't forget: You can get your fireworks fix on the beach every Friday night all summer long at Coney Island (see Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park in Open City). Call 494-4495 for Macy's viewing info. —Bryan Zimmerman

It was a pavement-melting Friday afternoon when the boss announced the start of summer hours, and all cubicles emptied in less than a snap. The bar downstairs was about to get rich. But Omar knew better. His was not a high-profile job; he could not afford to spend the day's pay on $8 cocktails amounting to less than a tequila shot. Damn paycheck! He walked home angry, his throat dry, dirty, polluted. Mr. Garita had the impression he had a bunch of feathers stuck in his larynx. And then, his eyes caught the red-blue light of Dallas BBQ (various locations). Omar Garita cheered! Blue, orange, yellow margaritas served in fishbowls for only $6.50? Why, he could even bring a date! —Camila Gamboa

Before you bother renting parachutes for your next rooftop kegger, get your cyber-ass down to, a Web site selling more than 200 brews (available in cases and kegs) ranging from gutter-trough (OK, if you consider Brooklyn Lager the Beast) to high-rise, and promising same-day delivery when you order before 1 p.m. With free delivery, pickup, cups, and tap and tub rental, about the only thing they don't throw in is ice—oh, yeah, and roof-top liability insurance.—D. Shawn Bosler

When near-triple-digit temperatures heat the city, the breezes that blow in Bryant Park Grill's (25 West 40th Street, 840-6500) open-air café are a welcome relief. Roof-deck dining, located behind the New York Public Library, overlooking three acres of open green surrounded by tall, arching trees, is an ideal respite from the midtown maelstrom. And if the margaritas and cosmopolitans ($8) don't go well with your grilled Camembert cheese ($9.50), you can always switch to the vast selection of wine ($6.50 to $9) and beer ($8 and up). —Ioana Veleanu

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