New York

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Take Me There: The Dream Downtown in NYC

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A couple of years ago on a work trip out to NYC I was booked into the Dream Hotel in Manhattan.  At the time, I had never heard of the hotel, but the girl who made my travel arrangements told me it was, and I quote, “A totally cool, modern, sorta trippy hotel” that I would love.  She was spot on – I photographed my way through the hotel to the point where my Facebook friends called a moratorium on hotel photos.  Well, it seems that Dream Hotels have recently expanded and now have a second location in Manhattan, this one even cooler than the original.

The building was designed in the 1960’s by Albert C. Ledner for the National Maritime Union, and is appropriately dotted with portholes.  The Dream Downtown was given it’s modern twist by the team at Handel Architects who decided to keep the portholes and incorporate other awesome features like the glass-bottom pool.

I particularly love the lobby lounge and garden walk which are outfitted with teak wood, and allow light in from the glass-bottomed pool above.

You’ll find the Marble Lane Restaurant sunken in the middle of the lobby, dotted with what seems like a never-ending supply of globe-shaped lights.

And then, there are the rooms.

I just love the incorporation of the portholes into the design of the room – every room is different and you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get.  I think I’d request a corner room like the first photo in the room section above to get as much light as possible!

What do you think of the Dream Downtown?  Would you stay here?

Photos 2, 4, and 5 courtesy of Bruce Damonte.

All other photos via the Dream Hotel.


Monday, June 7th, 2010

Inspiration Monday: The High Line


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Ah, The High Line. After years of following this project, from the fight to save it to the competition to the completion of part one, I FINALLY got to set foot on it! I’m so happy. This design is so genius, it might just be my favorite landscape architecture project of all time. In fact, at the moment, I can’t even remember what my old favorite was, isn’t that terrible?

What’s so great about The High Line? Where to begin? I loved looking down on it from the 16th floor of The Standard. I loved seeing it from the street and thinking “I have GOT to get up there pronto!” I loved experiencing the city from that level, at eye-level with billboards, elevated cars, seeing building facades from a different height. I loved that at first glance one might be fooled into thinking the plantings were wild, but then upon seeing them seeing that they were carefully curated and that unseen maintenance was occurring. I loved all the different options for seating – some amphitheater style, some bistro tables, some lovely benches, some in the middle of a small grove.
I loved the mix of materials and the overall railroad industrial aesthetic, and I especially loved the metal tracks that remained and reminded visitors what the history of this place was all about – better yet, I loved where the tracks veered off on little side exits into brick walls, which reminded me of the entire industrial system that used to exist – the rail cargo having a direct entrance into the factory buildings. When we all try to be greener, we should think of this true door-to-door delivery where a product could go from the source to the destination in one trip.
Another thing that’s so interesting is that at one point in urban planning, skywalks were installed everywhere. This move was later blamed for the demise of street life in these areas. Conversely, the elevated public space of The High Line has made the neighborhood even more desirable and drawn even more business down at the street level on up. I’m nuts for this project. If you are too, you should become a friend of The High Line.






Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Jeana of Dwell Studio in Martha Stewart Living


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I’m so glad I started following Dwell Studio on Twitter. Otherwise, I might have missed the blog post about Dwell Studio partner Jenna Chused’s feature in Martha Stewart Living! Her apartment is impeccable without being intimidating; for example, I love the way she used this school chart as art:

And I have some serious kitchen envy over this one. Wow, the power of a rug! This kitchen is strong like bull (as my father would say):

Check out the rest of the slideshow over at Martha’s place – I promise it will be worth your while! Also, you can get your own Dwell Studio style by browsing over here.

Photographs via Photographer name was not listed; if you know it, please comment so that I can add it to this post.


Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Have you been on The High Line Yet?


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I haven’t, but I’m dying to! What did you think?

I’m a huge fan of Bill Cunningham, and he has a charming video here about the fashions he’s seeing on The High Line.

Speaking of fashion, check out the High Line Merch here. I love the Trina Turk green and white print hat:

Keep up with High Line news over at The High Line Blog and the ever-growing Friends of The High Line flickr group pool. This shot is from flickr member ljpsf.

top two photos from


Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Beautifully Said – Design Observer


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Wow. I wish I could write like Alexandra Lange. It isn’t ALL that often that I actually read the text in a blog and admire the writing so much (I don’t mean any offense to bloggers at all, I’m just saying that this is a stellar example of a blogpost). This post over at Design Observer regarding the Standard Hotel in NYC and its precedents is a standard I wish I could shoot for and live up to as a writer, but it’s not ever going to happen (in fact, I’m lucky if I give my posts a re-read or even a spellcheck, so I have a long way to go). There is no unintelligible “archispeak” or blathering boring theoretical crap. It’s complete, it’s beautifully written, it’s has the teensiest tiniest, almost imperceptible dash of subtle snark. It understands history and context, and gets to the heart of the matter and asks brilliant questions, leaving the review open to discussion; that is to say the reader can complete the review for herself in a Choose Your Own Adventure kind of way. GO READ IT NOW! You’ll be a better architecture buff for it!

I don’t think I’d enjoy this building very much. Genius Brutalist engineering or not, my paranoid neuroses would not let me trust those legs to hold up the building. By the way, the legs are straddling The High Line.

The Standard New York, Polshek Partnership Architects, 2008

Photo by Andre Balazs Properties via Design Observer