Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Standard Hotel, New York: A review

The Standard hotel New York bar pool
It's a place where passers-by can watch you defecate to their heart's content, where champagne-glugging models take their clothes off in front of your disbelieving eyes and where floor-to-ceiling views of Lower Manhattan will suck the breath from your windpipe.

I refer to The Standard Hotel in New York City, where I laid my eyebrows-dominated head for a couple of nights in August. Located in the ball-achingly trendy Meatpacking District, it's arguably more famous for its bogs than its rooms. "Just wait till you see them," my girlfriend said on the cab ride there, referring to its Tommy Crappers. "They're on the top floor and you can see right across New York!"

Following a bamboozling check-in process (The Standard is too trendy for normal entrances or signs), young Brian showed us up to our room, which was clearly designed to meet the sordid needs of passing voyeurs. Condoms were neatly presented on the side table and a bath-for-two sat beside an open wooden slat arrangement - which itself sat beside enormous room-height windows. And just in case you didn't happen to be in the mood, there were a couple of bottles of whisky within arms' reach of the bath.
The Standard hotel New York room
You'll be relieved to hear that there was no time for hanky panky, for the good lady wife took me by the hand and led me upstairs. No, not like that - when was the last time your hotel room had two storeys? I was being led to the rooftop cocktail bar - a space that straddles inside and out, where discerning Slippery Bald Beaver-sippers gawp at 360-degree views of New York and talk rhinoplasty in between pouting for Instagram photos. At least that's what I had been told - first off, we had to make our way past the lady at the door and her doting bouncer.

It was about 7pm. I was wearing a shirt and relatively tight jeans. My girlfriend was looking as wonderful as ever. But my UNIQLO purchase and slightly squashed nether regions counted for nothing. "We're full," the door lady said, looking at me up and down like a hungry fat kid presented with a gherkin. "But it's 7," I replied. Hold on a minute - look at the state of me! Who did I think I was? Someone with the right to reply? I was not worthy Standard Hotel cocktail bar door lady; I was not worthy!

Only I was, because we were spending hundreds of dollars for the privilege of staying there, something my wife [she's not my wife] told the sour-faced bint after I had been put in my place, tail between my legs. There's something about two women arguing that men cannot compete with - such vitriolic potential, it sends the shivers down our spines. The bouncer and I cast each other knowing glances; we knew what was about to erupt, so he went ahead and bloody well opened that door. I put my hands on the Mrs's shoulders and encouraged her through with a gentle shove.
The Standard Hotel New York pool
Expecting a bar rammed full of the fresh brigade, we were somewhat underwhelmed by the presence of about 10 people, approximately seven of whom were coked off their faces and getting their tits out in a very dangerous pool. I could see why the door lady didn't want to let us in, so to fit in a little better I took off my shirt, folded it neatly on a bar stool and started sniffling every couple of minutes while getting increasingly self conscious of my body hair, of which there is plenty, thanks for asking. I want to be a part of it; New York, New York!

But our reason for propping up this most pretentious of bars was not to indulge in the clientele's narcissistic wankfest; no, it was to see the famed water closets. We glugged down whatever the hell we were drinking and made our way to the unisexual cubicles. "See, I told you they were amazing," my girlfriend said [I'm this close to revealing her name. She is real, honest. Ha ha ha. No really, she is.]
The Empire State Building from The Standard Hotel New York
And spank my arse and call me Charlie, they really were! Not the toilets per se, that would be odd, but the views from their windows. Midtown was sprawled in front and beneath us; the stunning view dominated by an illuminated Empire State Building. "The best thing," my lady whispered, "is that you can only see out, no-one can see in." Oh, I see where this is going. My neck received a little kiss, and I dropped my trousers in a flash. Not to free up the little chaps I referred to earlier, but to see if the hordes below were put off their High Line stroll. In what resembled a scene from Cloverfield, the throng fled in terror in all directions, some hurling themselves into the mighty Hudson River at the sight of my furry behind. One-way windows, my arse.
The Standard hotel New York toilets
I should point out that some of the above isn't strictly true. Mainly the last bit - we just got a bit worried that people would see, so we stopped and slunked off to a much nicer bar in Greenwich Village to have a remarkably normal evening. But the point stands - if someone was having a poo and you were walking along the High Line glancing upwards, which tends to happen a lot in New York, you could see their bottom! And their straining face! It's just not cricket, which probably explains why just about every national newspaper in the US and the UK has run the story in the last couple of months.

So that, ladies and gentlemen, is the good, the bad and the ugly of The Standard Hotel. Have a nice day, now.

1 comment: