Hotel Hangouts The Latest Gap Between Manhattan and Brooklyn Cool Kids

by BILLY GRAY · April 12, 2010

    Oddly for New York, hotel restaurants, bars and clubs are where it's at these days. They're even bringing glitzy Manhattan scenesters and grungy Brooklyn hipsters together. Or are they tearing the young, boozed up tribes even further apart?-

    Think about some of the recent big deal grazing destinations that have brought locals into tourist lodgings: the Standard Grill and Top of the Standard (nee the Boom Boom Room) at, well, The Standard; Jane Ballroom at the Jane; Rose Bar and Maialino at the Gramercy Park; the Breslin at the Ace; Locanda Verde at the Greenwich.

    Yesterday the Times Style Section devoted its nightlife-reviewing "Boîte" feature to Top of the Strand, a rooftop bar at the Millinery District hotel whose familiar name will undoubtedly lead to confused European tourists expecting views of the Highline, Madonna and luscious New Jersey landscape with their sky-high cocktails. And today came a story about the stodgy old Pierre, maybe following Le Cirque's lead, chasing a downtown-ish crowd with bimonthly dance parties.

    Meanwhile in the land of dumpster pools and fascist food co-ops, cooler-than-thou youngsters are also flocking to hotels for their late night/morning kicks. But, like so much of Brooklyn, these hotels come with ironic air quotes. Because, you see, they're not really hotels at all! The currently-shuttered Market Hotel and what I will call The Other Hotel (to help it avoid a similar NYPD raid) are after hours dance dens fashioned out of an old Dominican Speakeasy (the more indie rock-oriented Market) and a machine shop (the techno- and house-centric Other).

    Let's go TripAdvisor for a minute and explore the strengths of these accommodations.


    More amenable to business travelers. The Times describes the Top of the Strand's unofficial dress code as "off-duty banker-ish for the men (high-end button-down shirts, the occasional sport coat and expensive jeans)." The Brooklyn crowd hasn't seen a high end since the last major coke bust in Williamsburg.

    Better views. Because if things continue apace, in five years every roof in Manhattan will include a full bar.

    Lenient Do Not Disturb policies. Time was, the only reason New Yorkers would visit city hotels was to sooth the nerves of frazzled visiting family members. Or, at bars in upscale hotels like the Pierre, to pick up hookers. We can only hope the spirit of illicit, Glenlivet-soaked trysts survives at the Pierre's DJ events.  And we all know frisky Standard guests like to bare all to the horned up pedestrians below.


    Late checkout. Market Hotel described party closing times as "Late Late Late." And a die hard crowd hung around The Other Hotel 'til past noon on Saturday.

    Courtyards. Green space is tough to find in Manhattan. The Other Hotel boasts a verdant patch of South Williamsburg farmland...

    Convenient to major transportation....nestled between the pastoral BQE and a bridge on-ramp.

    Smoking rooms. Or at least smoking courtyards. And we're sure cigarettes had something to do with the Market's po-po woes. Don't they always?

    Pretty different after all, huh? At least denizens of places like Market Hotel and Jane Hotel can unite in the fear of the party--like a hotel visit and all fleetingly cool spots in NYC--not being meant to last.

    Photo 2 via Casey Kelbaugh/NYT

    Photo 3 via Michael Appleton/NYT