New York is a city that's always evolving, constantly shedding its skin for a new one. Like, not that gross, but the same idea. And no neighborhood depicts that better than Manhattan's Meatpacking District, where The Standard, High Line sits at the apex of culture, cuisine and commerce. In short, when you stay here, you have access to it all. Perfectly positioned on the west side of downtown, rising above the elevated High Line park, the hotel is a quick walk to both the West Village and Chelsea, where there are countless restaurants, bars, shops and stores to fully round out your New York experience.
Summer in the city is like nothing else. While some like to flee the concrete jungle for greener pastures, I like to park it right here and enjoy everything this magical place has to offer. I like it hot, you know? And summer 2021 is already promising to be The Summer of New York City (I capitalized that, you see? It's that real) so you do not want to miss a moment.
Below, I've selected some of my favorite neighborhood spots and things to do, from the savory to the sweet, to the meaty to the lean, to the hot to the hotter. Now get after it.
The Whitney is one of our coolest neighbors. Featuring a vast and dynamic mix of American art, the museum has a constant rotation of new exhibitions to check out and permanent collections always worth revisiting. All visitors must book timed tickets in advance. You show up at your allotted time slot to safely peruse with plenty of space to take it all in.
After much anticipation, Little Island is finally here and people are OBSESSED. Seriously, we have one of the best aerial views from Le Bain / our river-facing rooms and the place is constantly buzzing. Rightfully so, because it is super cute and cool and fun. There's snacks from local vendors, artists and musicians, and plenty of charming walking paths to meander about and take in the sights. 6AM to noon is first come, first island-ing, and after that requires an advance reservation.
It’s hard to imagine Meatpacking without Chelsea Market. Filled with independent shops, ice cream and coffee vendors, a butcher, and full seafood market, just to name a few, the building has turned dozens of its best dining experiences out onto the street, where you can order food, cocktails and bites from sidewalk-facing windows to sit at a cute two-top or picnic table to enjoy. The inside is back open, too, with indoor dining and even more shops reopening. Stan’s tip: The Lobster Place has $1.50 happy hour oysters Monday-Friday from 4-6PM.
OK technically these are two different venues, but two of the most iconic gay bars in all of Manhattan, so we had to give some love to both. Duplex has expansive sidewalk seating out on 7th Ave South, where there is never a shortage of colorful characters for optimum people watching. Right around the corner on Christopher Street is the historic Stonewall Inn, where on weekends, the bar takes over the entire street for snacking, drinking, and hanging with friends. Post up long enough and you'll surely witness an impromptu drag show or lipsync performance. So bring those dollar bills.
They say (who is they, anyway?) that the best things in life are free, however, in New York, that’s rarely the case. But! Hudson River Park is totally free to enjoy, and it rocks. Just head west away from the hotel and you’ll reach one of the best public parks in Manhattan. Grab a coffee to go and head north or south for expansive city views, piers extending over the water for lounging and laying out, dog parks, tennis courts and more. Kayaking has returned, as shown here, and there are little kiosks where you can grab a beer and catch some rays, too.
To know how to summer in the city (using summer as a verb there), is to know when to go inside. Even better is when your air conditioned respite us a psychedelic, immersive art installation that will get you some serious Instagram engagement. Enter Artechouse's NYC exhibition: Geometric Properties, "a creative digital expression of the endless iterations and multiple dimensions of fractals. Embark upon a cinematic journey where the sheer beauty of mathematics, nature and architecture coincide to inspire introspection and awe." Hell yeah.
This is one of the most charming and welcoming bookstores, ever. Like, ever! The staff is incredibly helpful, everything is easy to find, and they always have full stock of all the bestsellers. If they’re out of something, a sale associate will personally order it for you and call when it arrives. It’s a tiny space, so you’ll likely have to wait on the sidewalk if they’re at capacity, but you’re in the West Village, so get yourself a cold brew at Oslo Coffee next door and listen to a podcast while you wait. Small businesses - especially bookstores - need your love, and this shop really deserves it.
Now, this is real New York. Tavern on Jane has been serving up comfort food and pub grub since the mid ‘90s, with fan favorite dishes like crispy brussels sprouts with apple, juicy burgers, fresh oysters and a killer, no-frills weekend brunch menu. It’s a popular local hangout, where any type of person is welcomed as they walk through the door. The tavern has set up shop on Jane Street, closed to all car traffic, so you can enjoy those chicken wings in peace. If you’re a martini drinker, get one here to cool off. They arrive in a massive, classic triangle glass, ice cold and literally spilling over the edge.
Our other favorite public park, duh! The High Line, our namesake park, is back in action with a safe and smooth system that really allows you to enjoy all its wonders, including this very impressive massive drone sculpture. On weekdays, there are no reservations required, but you'll need to reserve in advance for a weekend visit.
Our new neighbor is really, really chill. TribeTokes sells CBD vape oils, skincare and wellness products, fruit gummies, oils and more to keep you nice and relaxed during your stay. Not that you wouldn’t be with us anyway, but this is just a lil’ something extra if you want it. The shop is also currently showcasing a photography exhibit about David Bowie and selling handmade tie dye athleisure. So that’s cool.
Truly a delightful neighborhood bakery, Billy’s has a delectable selection of cupcakes, cakes, cookies, bars and coffees that will satisfy any caffeine fix or sweet tooth. A highlight is the carrot cake -- even if you’re not usually a fan, you’ll love it here. The icing is transcendent. Also, they have the most adorable little cake cups, where they smash all the components of a slice of cake into a plastic cup that you can take to go, save as a treat for later, or shovel into your mouth as you walk down 9th Avenue. A New York moment!
This place is wild. There is actually everything, from a driving range to skating rink to Bowlmor Lanes where you can bowl, run around an arcade and eat fried food. Again, know where to find the fun with the AC.
Art! There’s so much of it in this neighborhood. Just a few blocks north of us are the famous Chelsea galleries, that include all the newest and coolest artists in the industry. Most are free, some are appointment only, and the hours vary per gallery, so be sure to check out the full interactive map at the link above for all the details. Now, go get yourself some culture.
Beep, beep! Oh yes, that’s our own horn you hear us tooting, and why wouldn’t we? The Standard Grill has layers of dynamic offerings, both with seating options and menu items. Weekdays we have a criminally good happy hour ($10 Belvedere martinis and $1 oysters, like, excuse me!) and weekend brunch is always a hit. There's a flavor for every palate at any time. How about avocado toast and cold brew street side in the sun? Absolutely. Steak frites and an Old Fashioned in a sexy leather banquette? Right this way.
Sitting in front of a screen inside, brows furrowed, on back-to-back Zoom calls, has not done our skin any favors this year. Brighten and freshen up a bit right across the street at Caudalie, with a beautiful bevy of treatments and products to restore your glow. Tell them you're a guest at The Standard, High Line for 15% off and a complimentary glass of wine. Things are looking up already.