Like that doomed old Roman Empire itself, Soho, NYC, was once a towering bastion of culture and sophistication, eventually brought low by shameless decadence, disdainful treatment of the commoners and the insatiable greed of the landed classes. And while Nolita would soon become its Constantinople, Soho, like ancient Rome, was swiftly overrun by Barbarians—er, well, in this case, people who shop at Pottery Barn.
NY's new Crosby Hotel lobby.
Ironically, The Brits, once themselves brutally subjugated by the Romans, are now poised to become Soho's 21st Century liberators (from the rule of the evil Emperor Banality). Tim and Kit Kemp’s Firmdale Hotels have finally thrown open the doors of its achingly anticipated Crosby Street Hotel, and as expected, it’s a fantastical wonderland of stylistic capriciousness and replendent peculiarity (its central theme is mythology, which the Brits do have a charmng way with, from King Arthur all the way to Damien Hirst).
The Crosby Hotel's new bar.
Ms. Kemp as ever cold-shoulders humdrum modernism for a wild but playfully sexy color palette, and there’s a very English sort of whimsy about the rooms--each strikingly different, but each with its own art curiosity and all with massive windows framing spectacular Soho industrial tableaux.
A bedroom in Soho's new Crosby Hotel.
The elegant, artfully conceived, garden-view Crosby Bar (with an all day menu) feels something like your posh friend in Amsterdam’s living room, designed distinctly for unwinding rather than posing. With fashionable sorts flocking to hip, new-ish Soho nightspots like Greenhouse (greenhouseusa.com), Southside (nycsouthside.com) and Bar 108 (bar108nyc.com), as well as buzzing restaurants Civetta (civettarestaurant.com), Delicatessen (delicatessennyc.com) and Café Select (cafeselectnyc.com), one wonders if Soho is, indeed, prepped for the Renaissance it took Rome another thousand years to achieve. Stay tuned.
Source: The Crosby Hotel
Photo Credits: Firmdale Hotels