New Paintings by Artist Sonya Sklaroff Transform Sofitel New York Into An Art Gallery (Again)

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

Three NYC Hotel Rooftops Where You Can Catch a Movie and Feel the Breeze

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

Was The Spouter Inn The First Themed Boutique Hotel?

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

Lady M Unleashes ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ — And Stages Her All-Night Party at The Standard Hotel

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

Celebrating the Iconic Line Art of Al Hirschfeld At The New-York Historical Society — And the Algonquin Hotel

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

The Unofficial Mad Men Guide to New York City Hotels

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

Good Looks: Checking out the Standard High Line from the New Whitney Museum Roof

Here’s a brand new perspective on the Standard High Line. The vantage point is a roof deck at the Whitney Museum of American Art, opening May 1.

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.
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One More Tete-a-Tete For The Fabled Vicious Circle At The Algonquin Hotel

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

Mermaids, Mythology and Magic: the Roger Smith Hotel’s Haunting New Murals

Last Thursday, when Lily’s Bar and Lounge at the Roger Smith hotel closed for the night, the large panels that envelop the room were the color of Wite-Out.

That changed the next day. Armed with acrylic paints, India ink and an idea from a recent visit to Iceland, artist Danica Novgorodoff rolled up her virtual sleeves and got to work. Read more