The Future is Now

Aaron

In 1995 I moved to Horatio Street when the Meatpacking District had a whole other meaning. Those were the days when you would be walking home and find broken heels from Payless on the sidewalk (now if you see one it’s more likely Louboutin or Blahnik). That is all gone now and the place gets better and better every day!

14 years later I’m back living in the Meatpacking District and last night my neighbors and I took a walk on the High Line for the first time. Honestly, it is so ridiculously amazing I can’t stand it! It is one of the most exciting design projects I have seen in years (The High Line a former elevated rail line built in the 1930’s that was active only until 1980 and now has been transformed into a park). The details that went into the entire project are beyond amazing. From the series of benches that look like cargo moving down the railroad tracks that are still in place (some have wheels and move on the actual tracks), to the sleek benches that jet up from out of the ground and look like something from the future, every detail is amazing. I love the juxtaposition of the modern and old elements mixed with the natural flowerbeds that change with each section of the High Line. At night the lighting is magical, I must say. The project has taken what has been considered an eye sore for years and turned it into a masterpiece. You must go! (I recommend going during the week because the walkways get crowded.)

Our night took us to The Standard Hotel’s new restaurant, The Standard Grill, another exciting New York design project. I love to see a concept taken to the next level in design and that is exactly what the team that conceptualized this restaurant did. The design team for this interior project was New York based RW2, Shawn Hausman and André Balazs’ in house design team. We all love French bistros that look all beat up and “authentic,” but this is one that seems straight from the future. I love that the walls and ceiling in the bar area are in high gloss white with a thin taupe detail around each panel. Even the two chalkboards at the hostess stand have thought-out details. One welcomes you, the other repeatedly said “I will clean my plate” as if written by a school kid in detention. The tables have almost octopus like legs and the bistro chairs are also re-imagined. Then you have the main dining room with incredible mood lighting, deep wood paneling, and red leather banquets which look out over the soon to open outdoor space. It will definitely be a scene when things finally get into full swing! I can’t say it enough this place is so fantastic.

This project proves my theory that uber creative people can work together to combine their design visions with a ridiculous attention to detail and everything can come together in the end. The amazing exterior designed by Todd Schliemann fits in nicely with the rest of the Meatpacking’s old New York architecture.

The cuisine lived up to the design…and can I mention that some of the entrees are served on wooden plates. Each order is presented in such an interesting way that is also accessible, a comfortable luxury.

The staff is so friendly, like a Midwesterner who just moved to the city and so happy to be working in the design epicenter of the moment. Our waitress was from Washington State here studying, thankfully not to be an actor, but to get her masters in psychology. And the outfits the ladies are all wearing are super chic- a silk top with a ruched sash around the neck topped off with a French Maid inspired apron.

Seriously, this design dream team did not miss a beat. When we walked out the door the rumor had spread through the place that Anna Wintour was on her way. Unfortunately she had not arrived before I left, but this will be the new it place to see and be seen.

share