Picking up right where I left off last week, I give you The Standard High Line Hotel. Or at least a nice photo of the reception I found online, since I was too tired to take one myself (and also, even if at some point I decide to photograph everything myself for the sake of this blog or other reasons, taking your camera out as soon as you enter a place would still feel unnatural).
Swanky looking place, huh? Not exactly “standard” as far as my day-to-day goes. I was a little intimidated by this reception desk to be honest. But I was even more unsettled by the lifts and more specifically, the weird ass video collages that were constantly running on the screens on both sides. I’m afraid pictures don’t do the weirdness justice! Check these out:
I mean, disregard the fact that the lift is lit primarily by the screens, and focus on the 3D Doctor Who-like whirlpool of an acid trip. Yes, it’s 3D, alas my phone couldn’t quite capture the depth of it. That’s either of the depths the author was going for: there’s a BMW floating about, a very realistic sex doll or some other naked woman-like image, and a Randy’s Donuts sign, among other random – and some quite disturbing – images I saw during my stay.
The Standard is a very fancy hotel, though. So fancy, in fact, that I think we never went to the bar at the top because they wouldn’t let us in – I hadn’t packed any high heels 😉
The oddness didn’t end there either. The room was nice and bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a nice view over the city, and… A glass bathroom. Sort of.
Which is actually kind of cool, because you can have a shower with a view of the city. Not too shabby 😛 And at least there’s a wall, because from what I saw on the website of the hotel, there are rooms with the bathtub in the room. Like, next to the bed. It might be that I’ve grown up with a shower and don’t have much practice with bathtubs, but I’m not sure how would that work – to manage to actually bathe and not get the carpet and stuff around soaked?
Well, I didn’t have to figure that out on this trip, but I did get to enjoy the view:
That is The Empire State Building you see in the distance, and no, there won’t be a dedicated post about it.
Because spending a day in a herd of tourists, crammed in a hot vestibule is not something I consider time well spent while on vacation. It does look pretty lit up in different colours during the night, though.
There are rooms that overlook the river on the other side of the hotel, too, but I’ve heard you could become one of these anonymous naked butts more easily if your room is on that side. Apparently workers from the Meatpacking District like to fill their lunch break with “bird watching” 🙂
And speaking of the Meatpacking District – I don’t think I would ever get how Manhattan is split. I have heard of this district before – very probably on Sex and the City, judge if you want – but never knew what area that was. And now that I’ve been there, thought I’d check it out. Turns out, it’s about four blocks between two avenues in the northwest corner of West Village. Some day I might get curious enough and have the time to google what amazing thing has provided this speck of land – however large NY blocks may be – with such fame. For now, I’ll just quietly regret not going to The Brass Monkey, which was just around the corner from the hotel, and is supposed to be a very very nice pub.
Side note: back to the above picture, if you’ve ever wondered, that huge brown building that takes up most of it is where Google NY is. Well, on three floors of it anyway. But going back to the blocks comment – blocks in NYC really are quite big. Especially if they’re taken up by a single building.
The other cool thing about the hotel and its location is that The High Line starts just two streets south and goes under The Standard. It’s a park created on the remains of an old supply train line and is currently one of the coolest parks in the city. Spanning across almost 20 blocks, it has regular and disabled access every few blocks and provides not only a cool place to eat your lunch but also some distance from the dust and bustle of the streets below, and you get a pretty good view, of course. It also gets very crowded for the same reasons, which makes it sounds a little bit less appealing, but the truth is that if you can’t share your space, you really don’t belong in NYC. Or you do, in Queens.
Again, I’m flaking on the photos, but luckily other people aren’t, so I can now show you a few parts of the park.
So The Brass Monkey is on the to-do for next time, but a pub in the neighbourhood we did go to was The Grey Dog. Well, technically it’s in Chelsea, but who cares. It’s the go-to pub of some local friends, who took us out for welcome drinks the day we arrived. I had a great time and hope to have the chance to return the favour soon 🙂
The Grey Dog was also my first experience with American beer. As a European, I was very much prejudiced towards American beers. The stories, the jokes, it was all setting me up for a big surprise. Well, I did not choose to test the stories by drinking Bud Light or anything like that, but I did drink a lot of different local craft brews – not only in New York – and I was very pleasantly surprised.
The one disappointment that hit around the third pint was that, while you still order a pint of beer like in good ol’ England, American pints are not the same as UK ones. You probably figured it out by the into – they’re smaller. Yep, 568 ml fo UK vs 473 ml for the US. For a person very strongly attached to the metric system both might sound ridiculous for a unit of whatever, but it’s also quite obvious who wins a major point here. Even the boring round 500ml that we, here in continental Europe, are used to are technically better. Because the reason in took me a couple of drinks to realise this discrepancy was that I already have a sort of a pace of drinking developed, and when my beers suddenly start disappearing before the expected time… well, it could just be that I’m having one of those nights, but I notice 🙂
And on that note… hey, my glass is empty? This was a long post. I hope you enjoyed it 🙂