Like any tool-fearing New Yorker, we finally turned our backs on the Meatpacking District for good once Florent closed. But The Standard Hotel gets a pass: We love its look, its location, its grill, its exhibitionists—even its infuriatingly exclusive club, which taunts us with its lurid red light from the 18th floor, throbbing irresistibly like the Eye of Sauron. Of course, the club (widely known as the Boom Boom Room despite the hotel changing the name) is inaccessible to all but the most celebrated and connected. And who'd want to mingle with all those attractive affluent people anyway! Nevertheless, last night we submitted to the hotel's velvet rope, to get as close to the Boom as civilians are allowed, up on the hotel's new roof bar.
Once past the humiliating scene on the sidewalk, guests ride up to the top via a freight elevator that opens directly into the b-list bar, thereby ensuring that nobody ends up in the Boom Room (which the gods reach via a separate elevator with that amazing Dante-esque video.) We previously showed you the lower level of this bar, called Le Bain (French for the bath). It's all black tile and a little muggy, with a 4-feet deep pool and swimsuits sold out of a vending machine. The roof is up a flight of stairs, and is covered in thick fake grass, which is kind of gross, but maybe not as revolting as real grass?
There are low-slung beach chairs, big round water beds, stacks of towels for people to lay out on the "grass," coin-operated binoculars, and, of course, a bar. But the design is rather understated, which makes sense because there's no competing with these spectacular views. On opening night Le Bain was packed with models and greasy scenesters; stepping onto the roof was like wandering into a Steely Dan song. Comments overheard: "There will always be a lower class and an upper class!" "I LOVE your Chanel bag!" "The line for the bathroom is so long Ima piss off the roof." Okay, that last remark was ours, but fortunately we discovered that the single-occupancy W.C. downstairs is complemented by larger facilities, located in the hallway separating Le Bain from the forbidden Boom Boom Room, where two hostess models keep listless sentry.
Anyway, we took some crappy photos for posterity, because without the publicist inviting us, there's no way they'll let non-ridiculously good looking people like us slip into the bath again. Also, it seems that as soon as we left some models got naked in the pool. Figures.