10011 Travel Guide - Page 2
There are anti-views, and then there's this. The Real Deal recently got a peek inside the overhauled Chelsea Hotel, where work is very much ongoing. And it ain't pretty. Last time we tried to check out a hotel construction site, we were almost exiled. When did The Real Deal get to be so
Of course, we knew this was coming. Removing the art from the walls was one thing. But when we heard certain parts of the building were already being ripped out to make guitars, we knew the hotel's new ownership meant business.
The gossip site posted a series of photos of Lohan and Vik inside Vik's apartment in Soho doing whatever it is two people like Lohan and Vik do. Apparently, these shots were taken before Lohan's disastrous attempt to get into some Fashion Week parties at the Dream Hotel.
In New York's Greenwich Village, right above Washington Square Park, there exists a building known as the Marlton House—formerly an SRO, it was converted in 1987 into dormitories for students at Parsons The New School for Design. And now, thanks to Sean MacPherson and Richard Born, it's becoming a hotel again.
What's interesting about the building is its history of attracting notable writers, artists and actors as guests—Jack Kerouac, Edna St. VIncent Milay, Maggie Smith and John Lithgow have all stayed here.
Now, this is something that's been on our minds for a while now, ever since we first visited the Dream Downtown. Though at the time, it was more like a nagging thought in the back of our minds—call it a persistent unease—that something wasn't quite right.
We're talking, of course, about the cloying, slightly church-like fragrance that permeates every corner of the Dream's bubble-icious lobby. If you've walked through those heavy wooden doors, even just for a second, then you'll know what we mean...
A Racked story explains that pieces of the hotel's woodwork (as in, beams, lumber and scraps) are actually being used by Carmine Street Guitars owner Rick Kelly to, yep, build new guitars. Apparently, Kelly sees the relics as "bones of Old New York City." Funny, we'd be willing to bet they'd find actual bones in there, if they were willing to dig deep enough.
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Yes, we finally made it to the Dream Downtown. But before we go all mushy talking about how it was everything we'd hoped it would be (of course, it's more complicated than that), let us clear something up real quick.
Despite blatantly obvious similarities, Dream Downtown and The Maritime are separate hotels. That's right—two distinct, neighboring hotels, both with portholes dotted around their exteriors. An architect by the name of Albert C. Ledner designed both buildings in the 1960s, though neither were originally planned as hotels.
The day of reckoning has finally come for the Hotel Chelsea in New York, the last Bohemian outpost. The place that housed famous artists and musicians for several years before giving way to tourists on a budget closed yesterday with only a few days of notice.
The hotel had been acquired by a new owner back in May who explicitly said that the hotel would be renovated and modernized. It's just that no one expected it to happen this fast.
According to the NY Times, hotel employees learned late last week that the hotel would be closing after Saturday. The 100 residents of the hotel would be allowed to stay but no more guests would be allowed and that included folks with existing reservations. (No word on where they were sent instead.)
In case you should ever find yourself bored in Chelsea, there are more than a few quirks inside the lobby at Dream Downtown to divert your attention. Like bubbly design details, and odd credit card signature policies.
But if you show up during the daytime, when the lobby is uncharacteristically calm and peaceful, then you'll get to witness this other visual phenomenon. Go ahead, fall into a dream-y stupor, like we did, as you watch the overhead pool's light dance on the lobby floor in little penny rounds.
The other week we stalked the pool scene at the Dream Downtown and even put our toes in the sand of the rooftop pool's "urban beach." But before we did all that, we actually had a late breakfast downstairs in the Marble Lane restaurant off the lobby. (Breakfast is served until 11am and non-guests are allowed.)
So we slid into the Ferrari leather-lined booths and noshed on some amazing Challah French Toast (below) while scoping out the scene--namely the cluster of light bulb fixtures and the large windows in the back of the lobby out which we could see people coming and going on the stairway to the rooftop.
There was only one other table of diners and so the service was as friendly as could be. When we finished our meal we handed over our credit card like usual. Pretty standard. The waiter came back and asked us to sign the slip and just as we were about to add a tip, we noticed there was no tip line. So we inquired, "Is gratuity included?" And he told us no.
Instead, we were signing an agreement to the bill charges of one french toast, two eggs (our dining partner's meal), a coffee and a tea. Wait, what?
Now we hope this morning's hotel pool news hasn't turned you off on hotel pools entirely because there's a sexy new pool you can go to in NYC and it's not just a dream. Well, actually it is. It's at The Dream Downtown.
We poked around the new hotel again last week and while we were admonished for taking pictures downstairs, we were told that the pool deck is open to the public. And once we got up there, an attendant actually told us, "Go ahead and take pictures." Go figure.
Anyways, the pool deck is dreamy if a little bright, thanks to all the shiny metal that surrounds it. There's a small bar and restaurant which non-hotel guests can dine at but if you wanted to park it on one of the Dream lounge chairs that surround the pool or that occupy the "beach" section in back, you might be asked to show proof that you're a guest.
The Dream Downtown has barely been open two weeks and already it's got people lining up around the block. How do they do it? For starters, they've got determination.
The Dream team (sounds kinda nice, doesn't it?) are rather fond of their protracted moment in the limelight, and want to make a bigger splash than that other recently opened downtown hotel, the Mondrian Soho. As managing director Michael Lindenbaum told us the other week: "Those guys had a big build up, but we thought they kind of fizzled." Ouch!
Second of all, they've dedicated a portion of their brand spankin' space to a weekly gay pool party known as Shark.
This last weekend was a crazy one for New York City. On Friday night, the same-sex marriage law passed, causing mass partying in the streets. Then, on Sunday the Pride Parade again took over the West Village for over six hours of rainbow floats and bare-chested booty-shaking. So what about Saturday? Well...the disgraced former Representative Anthony Weiner had lunch with his wife Huma Abedin at The Maritime Hotel.
For their light meal of pizza, pasta and salad, the pair chose La Bottega, the scene-y alfresco restaurant at the base of the nautical-themed hotel on 8th Avenue. Our first thought? Why pick such a see-and-be-seen location, especially considering that La Bottega is a favorite gay brunching spot and this is Pride Weekend? The answer is obvious: Weiner and wife must have loved this place before the scandal, and thus returned to it to show some face.