The term speakeasy has long since been co-opted by over-eager publicists desperate to brand fledgling restaurants with some indie cred. But a venture that truly lives up to the title unfolded over the course of six weeks this spring inside one of the NYC skyline's ubiquitous features: the water tower. Dan Glass, writing for Atlantic Cities, took a look inside the secret space, which occupied a water tower in a Chelsea building that's currently under construction. The Night Heron, as it was dubbed, was the brainchild of N.D. Austin, whose urban exploration group Wanderlust Projects have taken daring adventurers on illicit explorations of the Domino Sugar Factory, among other off-limits sites.

To get to this hidden oasis, would-be imbibers had to present their ticket, which came in the form of a pocket watch that was gifted to a lucky few. Guests were then herded through an obstacle course-like route which included a fire escape, crossing a "chasm onto a low ledge" and finally up a 20-foot ladder into the belly of the tower. Once through the trap door, guests found a "candlelit wooden cylinder outfitted with a bar, drink tables, and chandelier, all made from upright piano parts." Revelers sipped "aromatic amber" cocktails and listened to live performances by the Hungry March Band and Amanda Palmer.

From its inception in March, seven hundred lucky souls experienced the temporary watering hole. As to whether Austin and his collaborators will present The Night Heron is a different space in the future remains to be seen, but the website does offer a mailing list, so that bodes well. Photography and Tweeting were verboten inside the tower, but here's some sick video of the raucous party that you weren't invited to: