Heaven and Hell and Apocalyptic Lunches: Partying at the Standard with Marco Brambilla

A still from Marco Brambilla's new Ferrari-commissioned video installation, RPM

At around 9:30 last night, Andre Balazs arrived at the top of the Standard, the intimidatingly tall and starkly designed hotel he owns in the Meatpacking District. Which is to say, he arrived at the Top of the Standard, the sleek bar with wraparound windows on the hotel’s 18th floor, that is better known to most as The Club Formerly Known as the Boom Boom Room. Or just the Boom Boom Room. Or, well, let’s just say that this morning The Observer received an e-mail asking if we were at “Boom,” and we understood immediately what was meant. As Mr. Balazs passed the glossily made-up girls at the front desk, he was asked, “Will you be needing a table, sir?” but he ignored the question, glided past the girls and through the massive gilded door of Boom, took a lap through Downtown for Democracy’s jam-packed benefit hosted by über-hip L.A. gallery Ohwow, glad-handed with hipsters, caught a speech by Terry Richardson’s girlfriend Audrey Gelman (who, by the way, is legitimately involved in politics), then took the elevator 15 floors south and arrived, without having been missed, without seeming to have really disappeared at all, at his hotel’s Highline Room event space, where he’d laid out two long tables for a dinner in honor of his friend and colleague, artist Marco Brambilla, and lined them with bold-faced names. This is why Andre Balazs is the reigning maestro of the hospitality industry, and you are not. Read More