As Alfred Hitchcock knew, a movie cameo can make a big impression, even if it’s over in a blink. Consider the brief appearance of the Berlin Hilton in Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielberg’s clear-eyed dramatization of a Cold War spy exchange that’s nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Production Design. Read more
If you find yourself on West 44th Street, take a stroll through the lobby of the Sofitel New York. It’s a chicly retro space where you can plop on a sofa without brandishing a room key and chat with a friend or check your messages without being strong-armed into ordering a drink.
As a bonus, through October 21 the lobby once again doubles as an art gallery, displaying new paintings by Sonya Sklaroff, an urban landscape artist whose richly colored oils celebrate such iconic, if unexpected, emblems of city life as water towers, neighborhood streets and the muted hues and dueling umbrellas that accompany an impromptu summer shower. Read more
Hotels are embedded in our lives, and not just when we travel. They’re welcoming places, standing at the ready with a bar where you can meet friends, a lobby offering shelter on an inclement day and a restaurant that’s often one the best in town.
We attend weddings and conferences at hotels. Some of us have memberships in hotel gyms. As unofficial local landmarks, the best hotels exude a promise of glamour, adventure and serendipitous surprise. Walking home from my first job in New York, I often strolled through The Plaza. One day I whirled through the revolving doors with Mick Jagger. Read more
Outdoor movie screenings enjoy a long, illustrious history (think drive-ins). But a hotel rooftop can do the trick, too. Here’s where to catch a flick (and drink something other than Diet Coke) during the long, hot New York summer. Read more
Did Herman Melville dream up the first themed boutique hotel?
Never mind that this was never his intent. But I’m rereading Moby-Dick, and it’s hard to ignore what we know about modern-day hotel design when Ishmael, roaming around New Bedford, Massachusetts looking for a bed for the night in Chapter 2, spots The Spouter Inn, “the dilapidated little wooden house” that “was the very spot for cheap lodgings.” (Our narrator had already dismissed The Crossed Harpoons and Sword-Fish Inn as “too expensive and jolly.”) Read more
In what seems the latest pop video must-have (see Taylor Swift: “Bad Blood”), Madonna calls in some favors and stocks “Bitch I’m Madonna,” her loopy new vid, with enough famous faces to fill an issue of Entertainment Weekly (or the next Grammy Awards). Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Rita Ora, Diplo, Alexander Wang and Chris Rock pop up along with Madonna’s sons Ricco and David, but they’re just the warm ups. The Standard Hotel at the High Line snaps up the biggest cameo as the backdrop for Madonna’s 4-minute-2-second party. Read more
Those who think in black and white are buzzing about the newly opened The Hirschfeld Century: The Art of Al Hirschfeld at the New-York Historical Society. During his jaw-dropping 75 years as a New York Times linesman, Hirschfeld’s inimitable renderings captured the essence of his boldface subjects — actors, musicians, artists, dancers and other cultural denizens — with an added helping of wit. Not surprisingly, collectors clamored for his original drawings. A cool 100 of them are on view — a sly wink to the number of years he lived. Look for Ella Fitzgerald, Ringo Starr and Hirschfeld’s timeless self-portrait from 1985 for starters. Read more
Along with Canadian Club, the Oyster Bar and the commuter train from Grand Central, New York city hotels figured big in the lives of Don Draper and his Sterling Cooper cohorts. Here’s where they checked in — and what you’ll see today if you check in (or check them out). Read more
The museum, a magnificent eight-story creation from architect Renzo Piano, boasts three terraces looking directly onto the Standard (and into its infamous windows). The roof of Hotel Gansevoort Meatpacking District is also visible in a supporting role.
Al Hirschfeld was never a member of the Vicious Circle, the storied gathering of writers, actors and wags who traded lunchtime barbs around a round table at the Algonquin Hotel. But it’s easy to imagine he might have been.
He knew the group’s acid-tongued members personally, including critic Alexander Woolcott, playwright Gerald S. Kaufman, New Yorker editor Harold Ross and serial quipper Dorothy Parker. Read more
Overnight New York is the independent guide to New York City hotels with honest, unbiased reporting and no ties to the hotels we write about. We visit each hotel anonymously and always pay when we eat and stay. Think of Overnight New York as a best friend who susses out where you want to spend the night — and where you don’t — and tells you what’s new, what’s trending and where to meet for drinks after work, indulge in a romantic dinner or put up the in-laws.