Ice Ice Maybe: Losing Our Cool at New York’s Minus 5 Ice Bar

Last week, The Observer ventured to New York City’s drunken iceberg, the Minus 5 Ice Bar at the Hilton Hotel. Herewith, a blow-by-blow account of our chilling experience.

The Central Park Room at Minus 5 Ice bar (Minus 5).

The Central Park Room at Minus 5 Ice bar (Minus 5).

Minus5 Log, 6:30 p.m.:

It’s one of those days when New Yorkers are perpetually sweaty. We make our way to the chilly front doors of the Minus5 Ice Bar at the Hilton Hotel in Midtown, eager to cool off from the relentless July heat. Blue, white and black fur parkas line the walls of the waiting lounge.

This must be how P. Diddy feels when he wakes up in the morning.

Minus 5 Log, 6:45 p.m.:

The bar feels like the adult version of Narnia, minus the talking animals and the PG rating.

Lady Liberty gazes down at us from a frozen pedestal next to a sculpted skyline along the main wall of the bar. Two side rooms are carved out of the ice, complete with benches and tables covered in fur (not sure how faux the pelts are). A Central Park room features icy trees that reach upward toward a giant frozen chandelier. Jay-Z and Rhianna blast through the frigid space.

(Minus 5)

(Minus 5)

Minus 5 Log, 7:05 p.m.:

The bar menu consists primarily of vodka drinks. Despite being whiskey people, we order a drink called Frozen A$$ets, which is a vodka cranberry with a price tag of $15.

The glasses, made of ice, are tricky. The man next to us drops his drink three times.

Minus 5 Log, 7:30 p.m.:

Our toes are freezing, our legs are freezing — a dress and flats were a bad choice.

Minus 5 Log: 7:35 p.m.:

Hold the phone — is there an entirely new crowd in this bar already? Nobody seems to stay longer than 30 minutes, even though it’s so “cool.”

Minus 5 Log, 7: 50 p.m.:

Did these people ever consider handing out boots? We received a parka and gloves, but for the $20 to $95 (for VIP accessories) we spent renting other winter essentials, we feel we deserve some booties. Maybe that’s just our cold toes talking.

Minus 5 Log, 8 p.m.:

Some Canadian tourists make fun of our shivering. It’s not our fault that we weren’t made to withstand the cold, eh?

Another side room in Minus 5 Ice Bar (Minus 5).

Another side room in Minus 5 Ice Bar (Minus 5).

Minus 5 Log, 8:25 p.m.:

Okay, enough of this cold. We’ll take July — that gloriously nasty, humid, sweaty and gross New York City July. Sure, the drinks are good, the music is bumpin’ and the ice sculptures are bitchin’. But we can only stand around channelling the Abominable Snowman’s mistress for so long.

Minus 5 Log, 8:30 p.m.:

The humidity has never felt so good, but we’re sure we’ll miss the ice bar once we open the door to our small, un-air conditioned apartment.