It’s hard to believe that just over three years have passed, since I first visited Manhattan. It was love at first night. Not only was it my first time in Manhattan, it was my first time in the US! I had been traveling quite a bit before, but for one reason or another, never made it to the US. I was more than excited just seeing the ‘Big Apple’ for myself.
I thought Berlin was pretty cool and didn’t really look for anything bigger, but my first night in Manhattan was one that I will always look back on. I only have one picture, but I think it speaks volumes.
I was staying at The Standard, Highline. If you don’t know about the hotel, it’s worth a few words. The highline is an old above-ground part of the Manhattan Metro system. It was abandoned a long time ago, but the tracks remained. Stretching along the Meatpacking District, it had for a long time wasted away in one of the less glamorous parts of the city. Now it’s one of the hippest parts of lower Manhattan.
The old ‘Highline’ is now a converted park and pedestrian zone above the streets of Manhattan. And straddled over the park is The Standard. The hotel is notorious for two things. One is the no-reflection floor-to-ceiling windows. Whatever goes on when the lights are on, is on full display to the outside world. Of course, for those who are a bit shy, there are shades that can be closed.
The other is the ‘Top of the Standard’, which serves as a cocktail lounge in the afternoon and is converted into a night club around 8:00 p.m. All of a sudden, the Hotel lobby splits in half, and entrance to the top is no longer through the hotel, but from the outside. At that point it also becomes known as the ‘Boom Boom Room’. It has seen it’s fair share of celebrities, particularly as a popular spot to hold after-parties following the Met Gala.
We were lucky that the place was not closed for a private event. We had reservations, but as with so many places, a reservation alone doesn’t get you in. It’s considered to be one of the hardest doors in Manhattan. It pays to dress up.
It must have been obvious that it was my first time in Manhattan. I just could not take my eyes off the World Trade Center in one direction, or catching a glimpse of the Empire State Building in the other. The staff were super nice. When a table opened up with a perfect view of the Empire State Building, they asked if we wanted to switch. That was a no-brainer!
I feel very sentimental about the picture. It’s crappy quality but speaks volumes to me. I still remember standing by the piano, looking at the Empire State Building, the reflection of the art deco decor reflecting in the window, and just being in awe. I could not believe that I was actually in Manhattan, having a fabulous time.
Sometimes there are moments in life when it’s just abundantly clear something is changing. For me, it was my future. I didn’t know that I was going to be moving to Manhattan quite as quickly as I did, but I was sure that Manhattan was where I belonged.