6. Champagne Lounge
- Officially, this is called Pommery Champagne Bar, but it is for all intents and purposes a lounge. The people-watching may be strong, and it is centrally located, but this is just not that strong of a lounge.
5. Artforum Lounge
- This was originally called Waterfront Lounge, but was renamed, perhaps to avoid confusion with Riverview Lounge. Now it is devoted to the publication Artforum and has become Artforum Lounge, though the waterfront status remains. Intriguing, and helpful if you misplaced your Summer 1996 issue. Knight Landesman walked by me while I was writing that last sentence. Hope he doesn’t see this list.
4. 94 Lounge
- 94 Lounge is named as such because it resides on Pier 94, right next to those crazy stairs. In a current map, it is called Public Lounge, but I like the original name better. It houses a pop-up branch of by Chloe, a vegetarian restaurant I have never been to. They have a lot of items with kelp.
3. Mezzanine Lounge
- Currently writing a post at Mezzanine Lounge. Solid lounge! They have these silly little steel ottomans that must be hell to rest your feet on, but not bad as a surface to write on. Great lounge.
2. VIP Lounge
- An upset here. You would think, with its “bespoke culinary offerings” and “sun-drenched views,” VIP Lounge would be number one. Don’t get me wrong—this is a stunner of a lounge. But it’s almost too much of a good thing. There is a legitimately great restaurant, the art world favorite Il Buco, that hawks Zwirner-endorsed prosciutto for princely sums of money. (Fun tidbit from the press conference: fair director Ben Genocchio was introduced to the place when he was brought there by Robert Rauschenberg.) The sun did eventually come out, and then there were wall-to-wall views of… a cargo ship beelining down the Jersey shoreline. And it’s been swarmed with so many collectors, you’d wonder if anyone is buying art at this fair. Oh, wait.
1. Riverview Lounge
- The dual views of land and sea. The ever-present seat at the bar. The many publications (including this one) within arms reach at the art magazine booths. This is the best lounge.