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A Date with New York City at 60 Thompson
by
Jon Gerloff and Esrin Gozukizil

 

I LOVE NY.  Yes, it has become a cliché, especially in the last year but I really do love New York.  My love for the city I was raised in began shortly after I moved away, about 10 years ago.  When you grow up in New York, you see the negatives: the dirt, the smell in the subways, the pushy, rude people, and complain about them incessantly.  In your heart you know it’s the best city in the world but complaining about the city is a New Yorker’s favorite pastime.  Once you leave New York though, you realize that every other place pales in comparison.  The subways that smell so bad in the summer actually get you to your destination faster than any freeway can.  The people may be pushy and rude, but they actually accomplish things quicker and are the most loyal you’ll ever find.  And pristine streets aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, especially when no one is walking on them.

I go to New York as often as I can, especially since last September.  My previous visits were a sort of pilgrimage to a hallowed place: the city that I loved.  My most recent trip was different.  I went to New York at the end of this summer, over Labor Day weekend, and I was determined to have a “Sex and the City” kind of experience, enjoying what the city has to offer on its own terms. 

For a change, I came alone and stayed in a hotel instead of with family.  I decided to stay at 60 Thompson, a 100 room, boutique hotel in Soho, after reading about it in various articles.  It was listed as the “IT” hotel and I wanted to see what constituted being an “IT” anything. 

Most of the time that title means that celebrities like to stay there and are pampered while the rest of us just endure adequate to inadequate service and small rooms.  This was definitely not the case at 60 Thompson.  From the time I walked into this stylish, tranquil hotel, I was treated with great service and respect.  I had taken the red eye from Los Angeles and arrived well before the 3:00pm check-in.  The staff at the reception desk was very attentive and gave me a room as soon as they could.

The room was surprisingly spacious, especially compared to the closets I have stayed in (the Soho Grand and Hudson hotels come to mind).  My room actually had a real closet, which I didn’t have to sleep in, and was very nicely decorated with a couch, chair and a very comfy platform bed.  The bathroom was covered in marble with mosaic floors and although it had no bathtub (which I never use anyway), the shower was lovely.

The little touches in a hotel help establish its style and this hotel had many little touches.  The linens, comforter and bathrobes were some of the most comfortable I’ve had in any hotel.  The bath products were upscale Philosophy brand.  On my first day, they left me a lovely presentation of complimentary Sake in my room.  Their turndown service included a delicious brownie and bottled water.  The service made me feel very nurtured.

The hotel has a lot to enjoy outside of the room too.  There is a chic restaurant on the first floor, Thom, a collaboration from the owners of Indochine and Bond Street, serving Pacific Rim food. 

You can order room service from the restaurant and the wait, surprisingly, is minimal.  The Salmon Tartar and the Fois Gras were great.  It is also a lovely place to enjoy breakfast, especially on the alfresco cafe, which is set back from the street.  There is also the prerequisite trendy lounge bar, the clubby but intimate Thom’s Bar, which was crowded with beautiful people and a nice man with an earpiece (a.k.a.: bouncer). 

My favorite spot in the hotel was the rooftop terrace, which consisted of a bar and a garden area with lounge chairs.  It is a terrific place, day or night.  In the daytime, you can lounge and read a book, or enjoy a cocktail at sunset.  At night, it is a great place to grab a drink and enjoy the lights of the city, though I felt a pang of sadness when I saw the emptiness in the sky above us where the twinkling lights of the Twin Towers would have been.  It is accessible only with your room keycard but at night they allow a select few “members” to come up too.  On a balmy night, it was the perfect place to be.

With all that said about 60 Thompson, the best part of the hotel is location, location, location.  Located one block west of one of Soho’s major streets, West Broadway, it is accessible by foot to everything in Soho, Tribeca and NoLita, yet a little secluded from the hubbub and crowds.  Thompson Street has enjoyed a gentrification with the expansion of Soho and Tribeca.  It is a street filled with eclectic, interesting boutiques and outdoor cafes while still retaining the charm of years past.  I decided that when I move back to New York, I will live on this street, if not in this hotel. 

Staying in this part of town, I felt no need to venture above Houston Street.  Soho and Tribeca as well as all of downtown have experienced financial troubles in the past year but none of this was evident on my stay.  The streets were full of people shopping (even though it was rainy) and at night the cafes and restaurants were packed with people.  We ate at Bouley, a Tribeca staple, which was quite crowded on the Friday night of a major holiday escape weekend.  I was pleased to see that people are still coming downtown to eat at the great restaurants this area has to offer.

Strolling on West Broadway after dinner, with my Fendi bag on my arm, the sights and sounds were intoxicating and I had to look around to see if Carrie and Mr. Big were behind me.  Downtown has a vibrancy and character that has always been lacking uptown and I was happy to see that it had returned. 

On the day I checked out of 60 Thompson, I had mixed emotions.  I was happy that my city was rebounding from hard times and I was happy that I had found a place to stay that was worthy of its surroundings.  I was sad because I could have stayed forever.

60 Thompson
60 Thompson Street
New York City, NY  10012

Reservations: 877-431-0400
Telephone: 212-431-0400
Web: http://www.60thompson.com

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Jon Gerloff and Esrin Gozukizil are a husband and wife team specializing in world travel and fine dining. Jon is a writer currently working on his second novel. Esrin works in television development for a major production company.

You can reach the authors at: JonGerloff@aol.com (Jon Gerloff and Esrin Gozukizil)

 

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