The High Line, Standard Hotel

Nov 02, 2009 • Places


He began undressing me quickly, furiously, before we had even closed the hotel room door behind us. Naked save for my stilettos, he pulled back and looked at me in the dim light. “You’re spectacular,” he said, then paused and flicked on the light. He paused for a moment to look at me. There was something in the manner that he looked that was more than simply desire or appreciation. He was studying me. It made me self-conscious, but aroused me instantaneously, like I was one of he creatures that he studied under a microscope. “Do you know how I want you?” he asked me. Then he led me to the tall glass window.

The view of the Standard from High Line, New York
848 Washington at 13th Street, New York, NY 10014

The New York Times called it an architectural tour de force–and with good reason. Todd Schliemann’s design of glass slabs that float over the old freight railroad in the middle of New York’s MePa (that’s Meatpacking District to you Angelinos) certainly is. Of course, when I say float, I do mean float–the 20-story hotel is held 30 feet above the track bed of the railroad by concrete pillars, in what has been called a perpetual lap-dance.

We could expect nothing less from one of André Balazs’s boutique hotels (Chateau Marmont, anyone?). But if you think alluding to strip club classics when discussing architecture is as hot as it gets, think again. There is a reason why the hottest place to be isn’t necessarily at a Standard Suite (which will run you close to $800 a night)–and this reason has to do with the hotel’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows and what its guests like to do with the curtains wide open.

The New York Post summarized it best:

Thrill-seekers flock to the Meatpacking District’s newly christened High Line urban paradise to catch a glimpse of the free skin show playing out in the massive windows at The Standard hotel, which straddles the park.

“It’s a little peep show — but instead of being on 42nd Street, it’s down here at the High Line,” said Andre Landeros Michel, 34, a Chelsea designer who regularly ventures over to view randy Standard guests having sex in front of the massive floor-to-ceiling windows in full view of the park.

A Parks Department worker said that plenty of people come to the park, built on the old elevated train tracks, specifically to watch the erotic exhibitionism.

The Standard, who has encouraged the debauchery (running ads saying things like “We’ll put up with your banging if you put up with ours,” and “It’s all about sex, all the time”), has been reprimanded by City Council members and promised to be more sensitive. But the show goes on–as it should. Whether you show up to watch or give a show, sightseeing in the Big Apple will never be the same.

Check In: 3:00PM
Check Out: 12:00PM

Photo by nayrb7.