Last Sunday, we had brunch at Saks Fifth Avenue's CAFE SFA which offers a lovely (but obstructed) view of St. Patrick's Cathedral as well as the rooftop gardens of the Rockefeller Center buildings. I took a photo of the rooftop garden and reflection pool atop the British Empire Building at Rockefeller Center. The image of the garden is framed on each side by silhouettes of the baluster shafts at the cafe. This private garden is rarely accessible and a detailed online search returns very little information. According to the Rockefeller Center website: "Originally, the architects envisioned an even more elaborate network of roof gardens to be connected by aerial pedestrian bridges, which they compared to the hanging gardens of ancient Babylon." Although there are paths and a few discreet benches, no people are seen in the gardens. Tenants are not allowed in. The reasons include security, safety and liability -- the perimeter wall is rather low. The view from above enhances the geometric patterns and deep colors in the gardens' 57,000 square feet. There are border hedges, lawns, shrubs, blue pools and flowers in beds and urn.
Cafe SFA (8th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets) serves brunch, lunch and afternoon tea. Simple, yet well-executed cafe fare, includes soups, salads and sandwiches. Hours: Monday - Saturday 11-5 (7 p.m. on Thursday) and Sunday 12-5.