The 269-room Ace Hotel New York feels like a well-worn, supple leather sofa where everyone from young Yale lawyers to indie filmmakers sink into easy conversation about micro-loans, SEO and first dates. At least that’s what I’m overhearing while sitting at one of the many long communal tables filled with laptop-wielding loungers in the World War II era lobby.
That’s what you do here. You lounge. It’s Friday afternoon and there must be 80 people in all forms of postures sitting around talking, typing, Skyping and sipping endless cappuccinos in the dim light in all of their hipster glory
There’s a vintage photo booth in the lobby, a huge Civil War American flag over the small bar and massive white pillars rimmed with retro police station bulbs. A Provençale flower cart welcomes you at the entrance and the registration desk looks like an old-time pharmacy.
The Ace was created in the bones of the historic, single-occupancy Breslin hotel, and I can sense those past stories of itinerant travelers enveloping the room. Asian tourists, a group of older women with shopping bags and dozens of students come and go around me, like a slow film montage unfolding in the comfortable dark.
A couple girls across from me talk endlessly about a first date during the night before.
“He asked if this was a real date, and I said ‘yes,’” chirps one of them.
After a hard day at work I've been known to stop by the Ace Hotel and have a drink or two. This usually leads to a visit to the hotels photo-booth. It's one of my favorite things to do in New York!
Somehow the experience always has the same effect of making me feel like a kid again. It's like hopping on a swing or a bike. The excitement is a rush with the instant gratification of some film to share with my friends.