Rooftops: Making Normal Things Awesome

Living in the country is supposed to be nice because it has nature, breathable air, that scene from “DELIVERANCE”…. I don’t know. I’m actually a little confused why people live in the country. They are missing out on so many important things; for instance: hanging out on rooftops. Living in the city is rarely better than when you’re on one, and there are lots of great Broke-ass things to do up there. Here is a short list.

1) Continue to not quit smoking

If you are a successful quitter, and no longer need nicotine to get through the day, well, good for you, health freak. Have fun looking sexy and mysterious standing outside of bars now.

Otherwise, there is the roof. It’s especially good for smokers, because you’re already shunned, and the roof is the traditional place for outcasts, like Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront,” or any of the Batmans in “Batman.”

2) BBQ

Unlike your apt, which is most likely tiny, a rooftop actually has space for more than three people to stand abreast, so get out that grill. Corn on the cob and stuff is super cheap, and for the rest of the food, make it a potluck. Plus if people spill drinks and ash their cigarettes all over the place is doesn’t matter.

3)Figure out which stars are which

Cities have a lot of light pollution, which most star gazers view as a bad thing. But who really wants to memorize alllll the stars? NASA nerds maybe, but do they ever touch any girls, ever? Doubtful. Knowing the big constellations can be neat, though, and if you were ever lost at sea it would help you navigate back home, so use this star chart to figure out which three or four are bright enough to be visible.

4) Plant things

First, google “rooftop gardening” for guidance. Top thing the internet suggests for creating your own rooftop garden, “get an architect or contractor involved as soon as possible.” YES. My god. I can’t believe I almost did not call my personal architect. Get your architect on the horn. Or, if in your sad excuse for a life you do not have a personal architect, re-google “cultivating weeds on the roof,” because apparently, by the internet’s standards, you are not a gardener. You are just a person with a couple of plants that are probably going to die. However, there are some ways to increase the chances of not killing your plants.

- Pick a large pot – it doesn’t have to be fancy, any bucket or plastic container will do – and cut a hole in the bottom. This is for drainage.

- Find a spot out of the wind – wind will dry out your plants, so try to create some sort of barrier to keep them from being blown to pieces.

- Water LIBERALLY – your roof has no shade, so your plants will dry out really fast. If getting to your roof requires walking more than five flights of stairs, then maybe you should be realistic and not put this poor plant through the long drought and starvation very likely in its future.

5) Befriend your neighbors

You’ll meet a lot of people from random apartments you may not even know had existed, and might never have talked to otherwise. I once met a little girl who would not stop talking about how I needed to be careful not to burn the building down by improperly extinguishing my cigarette.

6) Spy on your neighbors

It’s pretty hard to resist just a small amount of spying when you’re up there. Maybe this is just me, but whenever I inadvertently see a neighbor doing anything, I immediately think it’s suspicious. Sadly, it rarely is, but still, there is always a chance one of your neighbors might be murdering someone and burying the body in a really obvious place, like right outside the building. So it’s pretty much up to us to monitor these sorts of activities.

7) Do not fall off and die

This is pretty important. Some rooftops can be treacherous, so be super careful if yours doesn’t have walls. Think about constructing a wall guard, if that’s not illegal. Actually, that’s probably illegal. Maybe just avoid your roof if it is a death trap. Especially if you’ve been drinking, which, of course, is when the roof usually sounds like the most fun.

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About the author

Katy B. - Economic Inexpert

Katy B. grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of Gerald R. Ford, Andy Richter, and, at one point, the guy who wrote Mr. Holland’s Opus. She moved to NYC for her degree in library science, and is now in the Media Studies program at The New School. She hopes to one day be a film studies librarian. Ask her anything about Dewey Decimal – anything! – and she will roll her eyes because academic libraries use Library of Congress. Durrr.

One Comment

  1. Karen S says:

    I love our rooftop. All your points are very true. We had a guy fall off the rooftop, but he didn’t die. He landed just one story down on the kiddie playground. Broke his leg. Dumbass. But other than that, there’s grand living up on the roof. (Some people went swimming in the water tower up on our roof. Sounds romantic, but it’s old, rat-filled water. No thanks.)

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