The Frying Pan has quickly moved up my list as one of the best spots to spend a New York summer night.
Located at Pier 66, right on the Hudson River, you feel like you've left the city as soon as you step out of the taxi. The first thing that you notice is the gentle breeze coming off the water & that salty smell that feels like you're on a tropical vacation (nice break from the deathly smog). It reminds me of relaxing nights at my cottage, sitting on the dock and watching the sunset.
There's a central tiki bar where you order drinks & food. (Classic burger & herb fries are their specialties!) You get a ticket with a number on it and when your food is ready, it lights up on a screen so you can go pick it up from the kitchen. While you wait, I'd recommend ordering a beer bucket (really good deal) or a pitcher of their fresh sangria. Mmm. Burgers & booze, doesn't get much better.
There are hidden nooks on the ship and on the pier for you to sit with a group of friends. If you can snag a spot at the bow or on the 16 ft rooftop deck, you'll have the best views of the skyline. There's a DJ friday & saturday nights (sometimes a live band) that plays on their mini stage.
The Frying Pan is considered a historic site in New York as it is one of the few remaining lightships. Originally built in 1929, it sank at Chesapeake Bay, was salvaged in 1989 and sailed to NYC. The outside is fully restored but the inside (which has an exposed engine room!) still retains the quote, "barnacle-encrusted, sunken-ship notif," unquote. It's challenging to manoevre all of the ship's step ladders in heels but well worth it for the nautical atmosphere & amazing views.