Revisiting Boston’s Real Rooftop Party Scene

With all the seasonal talk about “hot” new roof decks and patios in Boston, I think it’s time we went back to our roots to revisit the quintessential Boston experience: the Allston (or Cambridge or Somerville) rooftop gathering. Who can forget the sticky feeling of melting tar underfoot? The fear that the door will close and you’ll get locked out? The anxiety provoking feeling of watching your guy friends toss a football around near the unrailed edge?

If you’re looking for a true Boston experience, skip the tight tees and tans scene at Legal Harborside’s roof deck and do as Boston’s bright young things have done since time immortal: break onto the roof of an apartment building, the taller and less finished the better, and throw yourself a summer slacker party straight out of sophomore year, but better.

Booze
Thank god you don’t have to use a fake ID anymore… right? Get yourself to a legitimate liquor store. ‘Gansett is a good choice for general dudes and the random hipster quotient who will find you up there, somehow, some way. Give the kid in skinny jeans a beer and you’ve got a friend (of legal drinking age!) for life for a few hours. For cocktails, just remember: ginger ale goes with almost everything. Keep it simple with a fifth of Old Overholt and Schweppe’s, or upgrade to Bully Boy White Whiskey and ginger beer if you’re feeling grown up. You’re old enough to say no to warm drinks so bring a cooler with ice. You’ll want plastic cups, but you’ve got your shit together now and didn’t need a reminder about that. Solo red just screams summer.

Music
Music can be the key to a magically nostalgic evening, so choose wisely! For starters, make a playlist with gems from your college days, dirty versions of top 40 hip hop jams and then throw in a couple wonky Skrillex jams to remind you that you’re old and out of the loop. For an authentic experience, blast your jams from a battered iPhone or old school laptop (or if you’re really fancy, try to get two apple devices playing the same song with just enough lag to be annoying). If you care about music, buy yourself a portable outdoor speaker. The Radio Shack guy suggested I buy the loudest one. Good call, dude.

Food
No food! Have you forgotten what it’s like to be hungry since you moved into that corner office, bigshot? If you must get something, I would suggest an upgrade on middling college staples: pizza from the new Otto in Coolidge Corner or wings from BonChon. When in Allston…

Guest List
Invite your friends, obviously, but maybe they can bring their kid siblings too, if they are tolerable. A few token college kids will ensure the requisite amount of “edginess,” and these are also the kids who are willing and able to run downstairs for more ice, pick any locks and maybe, just maybe, explain the appeal of Skrillex. If you don’t have your own roof, they’ll probably be happy to offer up theirs or let you into some random building on Comm Ave.

What to Wear
If you buy me this Etro paisley caftan, you can come. Booze is on me.

See you on the roof!

Posted by Susannah

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