The High Line Hotel, New York City
For the premiere of Get On Up, I finally got to stay at the High Line Hotel (it’s been booked solid the last few times I’ve been to the city). On 10th Avenue in Chelsea, this 19th century Gothic brick behemoth, once an Episcopalian Seminary, is now a chic hotel tricked out with vintage furnishings, original details and fireplaces. Behind the iron gates, find a tree-lined courtyard, reminiscent of Paris, with an Intelligentsia coffee truck stationed at one end and a raw bar at the other. Through the lobby, the interior courtyard, too, is a quiet retreat for your morning latte (Malcolm Gladwell was at the next table, glued to his laptop). The rooms vary in size and decor; mine was ample with a delightfully squishy bed, Art Deco love seat and a grand armoire standing in for a closet. The lobby is a tiny thing with room enough for a coffee bar and not much more. Spring, summer and fall are the hotel’s best seasons when you can truly enjoy the outdoor spaces. It’s short on amenities (no gym, but who cares with the High Line park practically on top of you), and no real restaurant, but the fantastic Cookshop is right next door, serving farm fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a perfect home base to prowl the galleries of Chelsea, the luxury boutiques of the Meatpacking District and West Village, and the food stalls of Chelsea Market. Good to know: there’s quite a bit of construction going on in the neighborhood, but it’s quiet inside. Bikes are available for guests, and, according to my bellman, The Night Before Christmas was written here. Check Tablet or Quikbook for discounted rates ranging from $200 to $400. Check out Story, on the next block, a new concept in retail that reinvents itself with a new theme, product and fixtures every four to eight weeks. If you didn’t pack anything quite understated enough for a few days in New York, head to Steven Alan (also just down the block) for a selection of current young designer collections (ACNE, Band of Outsiders, Isabel Marant among them) for men and women .
You can’t improve upon this perfect lunch at Cookshop: a trout filet served on flavorful summer tomatoes and snap peas in a tomato broth with corn relish.