Covering the coverage: The Crosby Street Hotel

Break out the Platinum Card: The much-trumpeted, much-anticipated Crosby Street Hotel—the first U.S. property for London's Firmdale Hotels—opens October 1. (Hotel Chatter clues us in that the opening was pushed back from today, thanks to an electrical problem.) Its introductory offer: $495 a night. In the Crosby's favor: A good pedigree (owners Tim and Kit Kemp's London hotels, including the Haymarket and the Knightsbridge, are some of that city's finest); a great location (on Crosby between Prince and Spring); a tidal wave of buzz. Against it: $495 a night. What will that buy you? The usual amenities, of course—and then some. Let's take a look:

- Attention to detail, from the macro (40 different design schemes for 86 rooms) to the micro (the hotel logo re-created as a pattern on the staff's ties), says The Moment.

- Cohabitation with commissioned works of art, like hand-forged, 700-pound steel gates (says Curbed); a 10-foot-tall Jaume Plensa steel sculpture of a human head made from alphabet letters, in the lobby; and The Reconstruction of My Views, a short film by Jean Roman Seyfried chronicling the changing NYC landscape (and the building of the hotel).

- A (temporary) piece of Soho Ascendant. The hotel is part of the city's "new downtown," says Travel + Leisure —which, admittedly, has been new since the mid-eighties. But before that, Soho was all dark alleys, à la Scorsese's '85 leave-before-dark black comedy After Hours, shot in the neighborhood.

- A 99-seat screening room with Poltrona Frau chairs and wool-lined walls.

- A clean conscience. The hotel is aiming for Gold LEED certification.

- Aromatherapy. The hotel has its own scent, Le Jardin 10012 (its ZIP code), created by British perfumer Lyn Harris for its bath products and candles. This particular jardin smells of bergamot, rosemary, thyme, and cedar.

Photos: Courtesy of the Crosby Street Hotel

My Saturday with the Second Amendment

When Barbour invites you to test out their gear in its natural environment on the grounds of Orvis Sandanona, America's oldest permitted shooting club, you cancel your weekend brunch plans and go. At least that was my thinking. How could I resist experiencing the ultimate culmination of unabashed manliness? The facility offers fly fishing instruction, a shooting school, gun safety classes, and, of course, world-class courses for sporting clays. Sandanona was the perfect day trip from New York City to blow off steam from my 9-to-5 TPS-report-generating existence. For $75, you, too, can soak up the outdoors, bond with your fellow shooters, and try your hand at 100 clays. Spending time in the woods is fun, but for my money I want to be standing among the trees with five of my pals, each cloaked in English hunting jackets and toting loaded shotguns. Let's break down what makes the hunt for those pesky clay pigeons so much fun: 1. The activity is centered on discharging firearms; 2. Dog-friendly facilities mean man's best friend doesn't have to stay home; 3. When executed stylishly, sporting clays requires heavy doses of tweed, Barbour coats, and other waxed-canvas variants (plus all sorts of other gear); 4. No animals are harmed in the adventure; and 5. Did I mention guns? All in all, it was a day well spent. With a little Scotch (post-hunt, of course) and a steak, and my friends and I did our part to remove capital-M Man from the endangered species list.
Orvis Sandanona, 3047 Sharon Turnpike, Millbrook, N.Y., (845) 677-9701, orvis.com

Photos: Michael Williams

High design, (relatively) low price

Mark_h

Not into flashing tourists on the High Line through floor-to-ceiling windows at the Standard? Book a room at the newly redone Mark on the Upper East Side. The paragon of uptown opulence is now in soft re-opening following a two-and-a-half-year gut reno by French design star Jacques Grange. He's flooded the lobby floors with dizzying black-and-white-striped marble, commissioned two Ron Arad light fixtures—a white glass tornado-looking piece in the foyer and a smoked-glass and iron chandelier that resembles two luminous donuts and hangs over the staircase—and installed modular seating by fellow Frenchman Paul Mathieu. Rooms feature stark white Piero Lissoni-designed Boffi cabinets in the kitchen, and white-marble and nickel-plated vanities in the bathroom. Karl Lagerfeld photos appear in every suite (but alas, not in the standard rooms). The bar, along with Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restaurant and room service, won't be ready until later this fall. Meantime you'll have to console yourself with in-suite dry bars—they're comped—and a Bang & Olufsen BeoVision LCD TV in every room. One more key difference with the Standard? Instead of Eyes Wide Shut, you get Price Half Off: Everything's deeply discounted during the soft opening.
The Mark Hotel, $425-$725 during soft-opening, 25 E. 77th St., NYC, themarkhotel.com

Photo: Courtesy of The Mark Hotel
Tags: Travel
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A look inside Opening Ceremony Tokyo

The much-anticipated Tokyo outpost of Opening Ceremony is now open. So what's it look like? In a word: Everything. "Every floor is a different experience," owner Humberto Leon told us. "It's like a tour of American architecture through the ages—sixties Modernist, seventies hippie, one laid out like a typical American office with cubicles." As to the merchandise, though: A handful of brands have set up shop-in-shops—from Band of Outsiders to Nom de Guerre to NYC's punk stalwart Trash & Vaudeville—many of which also contributed exclusive items for the Japanese launch. (Rest easy: Most of the exclusives will come to OC's U.S. stores in about a month.)

"The energy in Tokyo is magnificent," Leon told Style.com. But for homesick New Yorkers, he's built a taste of comfort right in: a restaurant, Potluck at Opening Ceremony. "The idea is, every month a new person—an artist or a designer—brings a new dish, like a potluck," Leon continued. "The basic concept is that it's a mix, but a very American mix: the random options you find walking around New York. We're introducing brunch, which is not a thing in Japan, with make-your-own eggs and everything. We're introducing Vietnamese sandwiches to Japan, too. I know it's hard to believe, but there's no such thing as a banh mi there." If you cook it, they will come.
Opening Ceremony Tokyo, Sibuya Seibu Movida, 21-1 Udagawa-Cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, openingceremony.us

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Tags: Fashion, Travel

Finally, something worth buying at the airport

If Beckett were writing today, he might've called his masterpiece Waiting for Alitalia Flight 973. Few places manage to contain as much existential dread as the modern airport—how else do you explain those copious opportunities to shop and drink? And if those pursuits are all it takes to cure your blues, you may well enjoy the Macallan's new 1824 Collection, which is available only at duty-free shops. The Macallan, famous for its sherry cask aging, uses American bourbon barrels here, creating pleasing variations on its usual theme. The Select Oak, the lightest of the bunch, is balanced, soft-spoken, and redolent of apricot and spice. The Whiskey Maker's Edition is brassier, with gingersnap notes and a mellow finish. Our favorite, the Estate Reserve, is a gentle giant—a layered, chocolaty offspring of the classic Macallan that you'll taste with your whole mouth. (Mr. Business Class may want to wait for October, when the rarest—and priciest—of the group, the Limited Release, joins the other three.) Too bad they make you wait till you get to your destination to open the bottle.
Select Oak, $65; Whiskey Maker's Edition, $96.50; Estate Reserve, $230; and Limited Release, $2,000; for more info, visit themacallan.com</p>

Photo: Courtesy of The Macallan
Tags: Drink, Travel

Like the show? Get the shirt

Acclaimed Dutch street artist had an exhibition, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt. Well, maybe. If the artist in question is Parra, and the exhibition is the one opening tomorrow in Berlin, it could just as easily be Acclaimed Dutch street artist had a T-shirt, and all I got was this lousy exhibition. Parra, whose kinetic, vividly colored illustrations (often of scantily clad girls) have made him a favorite of the streetwear set, opens both an art show and a pop-up shop in the German capital. I like the tee shirt but I will get the painting, at Pool Gallery, features his large-scale illustrations; the accompanying store, housed in the Berlin outpost of Denmark's Wood Wood, has the wearable goods. There's something for all budgets, in other words—that is, all budgets that have room for a ticket to Berlin.
I like the tee shirt but I will get the painting: Works of Art by Parra opens tomorrow at Pool Gallery, 38 Tucholskystrasse, Berlin, 011-49-30-243-42-462; "I like the painting but I will get the tee shirt: Products of Art by Parra" opens August 30 at Wood Wood, 4 Rochstrasse, Berlin, 011-49-30-280-47-877

[Arkitip via Cool Hunting]

Photo: Parra/arkitip.com
Tags: Art, Fashion, Travel

Today in unsurprising style collaborations

Suite 501

As far as we could tell, the Ace Hotel was already the quasi-official home of vintage Levi's and Ryan McGinley art porn. But the hotel's Palm Springs location and the denim guys have gone ahead and made it official: Behold Suite 501. Expect Whitman quotations (he's the muse of the brand's Ryan McGinley-lensed "Go Forth" campaign), the campaign itself, a denim headboard, and, from the looks of the mock-up, maybe even a Robert Geller for Levi's jacket for effect. Like the usual hotel-room bathrobes and accoutrements, you can't take it home. Unlike with the usual ones, you'll want to.

[via L.A. Times]

Photo: Courtesy of Levi's
Tags: Fashion, Travel

We saw this one coming

Eighteen stories of floor-to-ceiling windows is a recipe for one thing: a ton of very public sex (and the occasional naked girl on trampoline). Or so say the neighbors of NYC's Standard hotel, who've been treated (or sentenced, depending on your perspective) to near-constant exhibitionism from hotel guests since it opened. The New York Post reports today that NY City Council Speaker Christine Quinn vows to end the adult entertainment overlooking the family-friendly High Line park; local pervs advise that Saturday night is the best time to scope out the proceedings until she succeeds. Purple's Olivier Zahm could not be reached for comment.

Photo: Olivier Zahm/purple-diary.com
Tags: Travel, Vices

London calling

Social Suicide

The British are coming! The first leg of the Wish You Were Here swap—a fashion exchange program in which 15 of Carnaby Street's indie boutiques trade places with their Lower East Side brethren—pops up here on Orchard Street tomorrow. (The 2,000-square-foot emporium will be followed by a similar one in the U.K. this October.) What'll you find? Carnaby Street may not be the Mod haven it once was, but there are still some decidedly rakish options. Polka-dot and repp stripe ties from Peckham Rye, preppy standards liked a piped gingham-check blazer by Hurwundeki, and the Savile Row-on-acid tailoring of Social Suicide, whose Technicolor paint-and-patch-laden jackets (pictured)—more London '09 than '69—are cut from blocks used by the late, great Row reinvigorator Tommy Nutter. That's a proud tradition to uphold. Nutter's suits and his pun-ready but nevertheless iconic House of Nutter were hallmarks of Carnaby's first big go-round. Need proof? Three out of four of the Beatles are wearing Nutter suits on the iconic cover of Abbey Road. (The outlier? Denim-clad George, bringing up the rear.)
Wish You Were Here runs tomorrow through Sept. 13 at 186 Orchard St., NYC, wishyouwerehereswap.com

Photo: Courtesy of Wish You Were Here
Tags: Fashion, Travel

A different kind of room service

Tokyo's newest capsule hotel—created by designers Masaaki Hiromura and Takaaki Nakamura, with technology by Panasonic—redefines minimalism to encompass not just spare surroundings but actual square footage (or square "inch-age," as it were). The 9h, as it's called, features stacked pods of about six- by three-foot "sleeping environment systems," containing a pillow, a mattress, and an electronic console to control lighting and sound. Pajamas and slippers are available from the front desk—during the nine hours each day (one for shower, seven for sleep, and one for waking rest) the capsule is open for business, of course. (Its no-nonsense graphic rendering, above.) The other 15 hours of the day still fall under traditional "don't have to go home but can't stay here" rules.
Opens in Kyoto in December, 9hours.jp; previewing at Tokyo's Axis Gallery starting August 19, 5-17-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo; 011-03-5575-8655; axisinc.co.jp

[via Transracial]

Photo: 9hours.jp
Tags: Travel
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