Paolo and Francesca…

a novel about beautiful people in Italy.

Tag: Standard Hotel

tour of the Standard Hotel.

it pays to have connections.  today I had the pleasure of touring two of the most fabulous suites in the city of New York, the Hudson Studio and the Liberty Suite at the Standard Hotel.  when Francesca and Selim visit New York, they stay at the Standard in the Liberty Suite.

Liberty Suite Bed

gentle readers, the bed is round.

Liberty Suite bar

Francesca would approve of the photography books; Selim would approve of the Patron.

Liberty Suite dining

succulents, fruit, and a view.

Liberty Suite bath

the bathtub looks downtown toward One World Trade and the Statue of Liberty.

New York State of Mind.

view from the Standard Hotel looking uptown.

view from the Standard Hotel looking uptown.

photo credit Brian Solis

“I bet you never had a round bed at the Four Seasons, either,” she replied, looking around the room. In addition to the central, circular bed, they had incredible views of downtown Manhattan and the Hudson River and a bathtub in the middle of the bedroom.

“I am eager to try out the bed,” he replied, grabbing her and twirling her around the room. She demurred, and instead showed him the lights across the Hudson.

“That’s New Jersey,” she said. “That’s where my mama’s from.”

“You’re joking.” She shook her head. “Your mother is from New Jersey?”

“She is. She went to Italy to do a semester in university and she never came back.” Francesca smiled with nostalgia. It had been her favorite family story when she was young–her mother, the American art history student, running off with her father, the Italian student activist. She had imagined their romance when she was a teenager, after her father had died, a memory based more on creativity than fact. Her mother now seemed a stranger compared to that young woman of her imagination, carefree and easy once. Her father’s death and the overwhelming influence of his family had changed all that.

She snapped back to attention. They could see the new Freedom Tower, too, from the downtown-facing windows, all illuminated though it was still incomplete. She reached for Selim’s hand.

“Let’s go out,” she said. “Before I fall asleep.”

They walked through the streets of the West Village, smoking cigarettes, peering into the windows of the townhouses, and peeking at the corner cafes. The Spotted Pig was bustling with crowds outside and Francesca and Selim ducked in to try to get a table. They stood at the bar to wait; Selim drank a draft beer and Francesca had a cocktail called Corpse Reviver #2.

“That’s rather grim,” Selim said, to no one in particular.

“It’s a classic,” the bartender explained. “Back in the day, it was a hangover cure.”

“There you go,” Francesca said.

“People here are so friendly,” Selim whispered to her. “I don’t know why they say New Yorkers aren’t nice.” She could detect a hint of sarcasm even in his whisper.

“It’s delicious,” she replied, passing him the pretty gimlet glass to taste her drink.

Selim looked anxiously over at the hostess station. “I wonder why it’s taking us so long to get our table.”

“Relax,” she said. “This is fun. We’re at a bar in New York City.”

He drank his beer. “You’re right,” he said. “I’m almost always here for work, I forget what it’s like to have fun.”

“I’ll remind you,” she promised. “We’re going to have a great time.”

rich girls.

[before this: wine bar]

The DJ was spinning a song she loved, The Virgins’ “Rich Girls”, a song that had been popular on the runways a couple seasons ago.  She wrapped her arms around Selim’s neck, still holding the champagne, pulsing her hips against him.  Instinctively, she fingered the diamond on her left earlobe, checking to make sure it was still there.  She moved closer to Selim, kissing him as she danced up against him, the crush of people surrounding them pressing them into each other.  His chest rose against hers, she felt his lips on her shoulder, on her neck, his tongue circling the diamond on her earlobe.  She breathed heavily, wantonly, twining her legs in his so she could grind with him.  The music had shifted to techno, throbbing beats mimicking their bodies’ motion, Calvin Harris singing about feeling so close and she still wanted to be even closer to Selim.  Strobe lights circled around them, the lights of the city flickering outside, the heady combination of the Cristal and the joint they shared before they went up and the fog machine and the pulsating music made her head spin, and she had never felt so alive in her life.

NB: there are better dance remixes of this song, but this video is CLUTCH.