January 5, 2020

"Most New York bars seem to be using the same type of structure: plastic sheeting, zippered door, accommodates eight. It can be ordered online..."

"... and costs as little as $800. While the domes look simple, installing them, which requires hours of manual labor involving about 400 pieces, is tough, said Mark Briskin, the general manager of the Park Terrace Hotel, which has two fake igloos on its roof.... 'You are enclosed in this little bubble,' said Hannah Jentz, 28, who recently spent an evening during the holidays there. 'You can see the tree, you can people-watch, but you get to escape from the cold, and you don’t have people bumping into you.' In the first two weeks of the month, City Winery had more than 1,000 reservations for the domes."

From "Inside the Fake Igloo Rooftop Wars/Ahh, winter in New York City" (NYT).

It's worth clicking through to see the photographs. It's pretty obvious that the NYT and the photographer think these contraptions and the decor within are laughably shoddy.

I'm especially amused by the third photograph, which shows an ordinary-looking couple sitting at a table that has a fake-fur tablecloth, which seems rather gross. On the table is a strange wooden contraption that seems to be a little clothesline — complete with clothespins! — for some sort of dark, dried fish or meat. These people can't be escaping from the cold, because the man is only wearing a thin shirt —so thin his smart phone is weighing the pocket down quite unattractively. Everyone in the photograph, including a lady in the background has a glass tipped up into the same position. It's synchronized sipping.

I looked up "igloo" at Amazon to see if a plastic dome would come up — my idea of an igloo is something made of snow — and it did: Garden Dome Igloo - 12 Ft Stylish Conservatory, Play Area, Greenhouse or Gazebo. It looks much more elegant in the photograph there than in the comical pictures at the New York Times. Note: I am not recommending this thing! 55% of the comments at Amazon are 1-star reviews. I'll collect just those comments — here — for the comedy.

Here's a question for these New York "igloo" users: Are you not committing the political sin of cultural appropriation? You are not Inuit:

44 comments:

Fernandistein said...

I used to work with and in ammunition igloos which were built into hillsides so accidental explosions go up.

Beasts of England said...

I guess I’ll be singing ‘Quinn the Eskimo’ all morning...

Wince said...

'You are enclosed in this little bubble,' said Hannah Jentz, 28, who recently spent an evening during the holidays there.

Metaphor alert!

Josephbleau said...

These are hardly igloos but geodesic domes, they only appropriate Bucky Fullers culture, which was not that great.

gilbar said...

pro tip; if you're in a REAL igloo, you can't see anyone; 'cause it's made out of snow

Temujin said...

Or you could move to Florida and eat outside by the water. No igloo necessary.

On second thought- stay in New York. Your igloos are soooo cool!

Kevin said...

This isn’t just happening in NY.

But of course, New Yorkers think they’re the center of the universe.

While the rest of the cultural “elites” know to help maintain the illusion.

tim maguire said...

Restaurants with rooftops used to cover the whole thing and heat it. That may be more expensive, but it’s much better. Only half of these look heated. The real benefit comes from that one club in the pictures that gives igloo-people red robes so that everyone knows they’re igloo-people even when they step outside.

And you’re right, the fur tablecloth is not only gross, it looks impractical as a table cloth. I can’t imagine the advantage.

Fernandistein said...

Bucky Fullers culture

You say 'potato' and I say 'Dymaxion' and the guy who named that file says 'Dynamixion'.

Fernandistein said...

If you look for igloos on amazon, they invite you to select a

Small Animal Type
Chinchilla & Degu
Ferret
Gerbil
Guinea Pig
Hamster
Mouse & Rat
Rabbit

Linda said...

You don’t have to travel to enjoy - Robinia on East Washington has announced that they have “heated domes” for rent. I saw the article about a month ago - but haven’t heard or seen any picture of anyone actually using one.

https://madison.com/wsj/entertainment/dining/robinia-using-heated-domes-in-its-courtyard-as-winter-attraction/article_86bbee03-5339-5bbe-aaf0-256e6e924391.html

It fits 8 people for $200 for 90 minutes - seems a little much for Madison - but maybe if I would with a group of friends.

Fernandistein said...

two fake igloos

They're not fake, they're 2 : a building or structure shaped like a dome.

Fernandistein said...

Wasn't there a recent post about some guy scolding people who didn't enjoy the arctic the same way he did?

Lucid-Ideas said...

New York
New York
If you can build an igloo there
You can build an igloo anywhere

Kevin said...

It is FUN to sit on a restaurant rooftop in Minneapolis, inside one with a candle. It's private to your group, you're outside enough and warm enough too.

True. But it’s only newsworthy and culturally important once it happens in Manhattan.

Thus the meme is maintained: the rest of the country follows New York.

Never the other way around.

Ray said...

Comment on the heated ones: As Greta Thumbburn would say, "How dare you"

Phil 314 said...

My wife and I enjoyed on those a couple years on a trip to Manhattan in January. It was nice and a nice respite from the cold though you lost the views (the distortion of the plastic sheeting.)

It seems the NYT has disdain for those who visit NYC.

lb said...

Milwaukee and Delafield both have restaurants that rent these out. They book up fast I am told. Had a birthday lunch in one and it had a little heater and was so warm we had to zip open a window. Nice way to enjoy winter and still feel a little outside. There’s also a place called Outside Ckfffee in Grand Rapids that started using homemade ones a few years ago so they beat New York!

lb said...

Outside Coffee Company sorry

Ryan said...

I just want to make sure Titus is ok. From the thread last night: he was going to hit on the uber driver named Mohammed, and was never heard from again.

Howard said...

They might not be Inuits but they are most certainly intuits, so partial appropriation credit.

Danno said...

Blogger Ryan said...I just want to make sure Titus is ok.

Titus is a sporadic drive-by commenter most of the time. Maybe he limits his comments to the posts that allow him to be smug about his gay urban lifestyle.

Howard said...

1+1=4 in Bucky Bucks

daskol said...

I've seen a pre-school that had a couple things like this on the roof for outdoor playtime in winter. Didn't realize bars were doing this too.

Nichevo said...

Ryan said...
I just want to make sure Titus is ok. From the thread last night: he was going to hit on the uber driver named Mohammed, and was never heard from again.


I was thinking at the time, is being raped and murdered by your next pickup luck? Because you wanted us to wish you luck.

Nichevo said...

The reason you don't enclose the whole rooftop is because part of the glory of having a rooftop amenity in New York is the unobstructed views, and another is being able to smoke.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

'You are enclosed in this little bubble,' said Hannah Jentz, 28,

New Yorkers. Not just enclosing themselves in a mental bubble to exclude the rest of the world and the icky deplorables....NOW in a literal bubble!

Maybe if we just shut of the oxygen to their bubbles, the world will be a better place. I know that America would be.

J. Farmer said...

I was thinking at the time, is being raped and murdered by your next pickup luck? Because you wanted us to wish you luck.

Perhaps he is into rough trade.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, Josephbleu is right. What Amazon sells is the geodesic dome as popularized by R. Buckminster Fuller. You can read more about the domes here.

Not at all surprised that the writers and alleged editors at the New York Times would be ignorant about Fuller; he probably died before most of them were born.

gilbar said...

I was thinking at the time, is being raped and murdered by your next pickup luck? Because you wanted us to wish you luck.

if it weren't for bad luck, i'd have no luck all; just doom, despair, and agony on me

Gahrie said...

Here's a question for these New York "igloo" users: Are you not committing the political sin of cultural appropriation? You are not Inuit:

Get back to me when the Eskimos get rid of electricity, pick up trucks and snowmobiles.

madAsHell said...

A few years ago in New York, they would rent you a down parka so you could drink vodka in a walk-in refrigerator.

People were lining up with money-in-hand, Beats me!?!!?

Clyde said...

How do you figure out the area of an igloo? Well, you start with Eskimo pi.

Mr. Majestyk said...

Good idea? Bad idea? Cultural appropriation? Fur tablecloth? The market will sort this out. Unless de Blasio gets involved.

Mark said...

these contraptions and the decor within are laughably shoddy

What I don't understand is bar owners spending tons of money in building/renovating their establishments to look not like a dive bar, but a complete shithole of a place.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

The servers still have to go out in the cold. Spending a whole shift going between a hot kitchen and the cold outside might feel nice if the temperature is in the 40s and not too windy, but it would not be that great if the weather is bad - like during the snow squall the article mentions.

I would not want to eat at one of the sheepskin(?) covered tables. I don't see how it could be cleaned properly with any regularity and the hair is so long it would poke onto your plate.

Ann Althouse said...

"Or you could move to Florida and eat outside by the water."

In Florida, the water eats you.

Ann Althouse said...

"And you’re right, the fur tablecloth is not only gross, it looks impractical as a table cloth. I can’t imagine the advantage."

Hides the crumbs.

Wipe your fingers.

Fur seems to have glistening natural oils... and dandruff.

Ann Althouse said...

"@Althouse, Josephbleu is right. What Amazon sells is the geodesic dome as popularized by R. Buckminster Fuller. You can read more about the domes here. Not at all surprised that the writers and alleged editors at the New York Times would be ignorant about Fuller; he probably died before most of them were born."

Don't assume that declining to mention that means the knowledge was missing. I knew the reference but chose not to include it. You can't go down every side road. In this case, what was interesting to me is that people are choosing to call it an "igloo." That's a misnomer, and I find bullshit interesting. The people in that story are ridiculous.

There's a lot of ridiculousness in Fuller's architecture too. I've got a couple posts with a BF tag. From one: "By the way, did you know that Buckminster Fuller actually — not just humorously — proposed a bubble to enclose part of NYC?"

J. Farmer said...

In Florida, the water eats you.

What a state! Yuk, yuk, yuk.

Big Mike said...

Don't assume that declining to mention that means the knowledge was missing. I knew the reference but chose not to include it.

Nor did I assume that you were unaware of Buckminster Fuller, though I thought it possible that you did not connect Amazon's "igloo" with Fuller geodesic domes. You might note that I made a snide remark about Fuller having been before their time for the Times writers and their editors. I believe you came of age before 1983, when Fuller died.

You can't go down every side road.

Really? Why not?

In this case, what was interesting to me is that people are choosing to call it an "igloo." That's a misnomer, and I find bullshit interesting.

Okay, but without your mentioning Fuller yourself, it's hard to see that you realized the Times was publishing bullshit, as usual.

Seeing Red said...

Yurts or adults sitting inside a playground monkey bars.

bagoh20 said...

I know I have sickness, but my first thought was what happens if you start having sex in one of these and everybody is just standing out side watching, or cheering in my case.

Nichevo said...


You can't go down every side road.

Really? Why not?

Right?! Dafuq, what else does she do but go down side roads?