Monthly Archives: May 2003

Surface Hotel Update

Scheduling problems—namely, our inability to get our shit together—have forced the postponement of the interviews phase of the Surface Hotel report to next week. As our last act of photoblogging, we leave you with an evocative image of the hotel from Avenue A, where it serves up a metaphorical middle finger to the East Village.

Hilly for Kim

Color us amped about the big Red Sox–Diamondbacks trade. It’s a good excuse to plug the relatively new weblog run by the folks at Diamond Mind, who offer baseball tidbits for hardcore fans. If OPS is your cereal of choice, you’ll enjoy their analysis. (Tom on the trade: “I think [the Sox] come out ahead, both in the short run and the long run.”)
· Kim for Hillenbrand []
· Time is of Essence in Trade []

Class War Update

Choire hits WD-50 for dinner and meditates on the New New LES:

I love it “down there,” but in many ways the new Lower East Side leaves me a little cold. Where I grew up, the poor neighborhoods and towns stayed poor. If you wanted to change class, you packed up your Dodge Dart and got the fuck out of town. But on this island, a small group of ambitious real estate agents can disrupt communities and tantalize foolish landlords into untenable positions with the snap of taloned fingers. My point again being: you can cut the class tension on the L.E.S. with a Wusthof-Trident knife.

Warning: Gratuitous Vincent Gallo sighting.
· WD-50 is the New Hotness []

Scaling the Surface Hotel: A Retrospective

War or no war, let’s let the good times roll with Part II

Rooftop access in Manhattan is a God-given gift to the spirit and, in our case, the inner photojournalist. Beginning in early 2002, we snapped away as a strange structure began rising just to our south. Would it grow past five stories? It would. Seven? Yes. Surely not 10? But why not? For that reason, why not 20? And so it would be. We kept snapping and the damn thing kept growing. Now, they have a shiny new hotel and we have… these pictures.

Yesterday: Views from the Top
Today: Building the Hotel: A Retrospective
Thursday: An Architectural Review
Friday: Questions and Answers (Email us your questions. No question too banal.)

Continue reading

Scaling the Surface Hotel: Views from the Top

At long last, the wait is over…

In late March, as detailed in the preview to this report, we found ourselves boarding the service elevator and rising 19 floors to the top of the Surface Hotel. Well, it wasn’t quite the top—there’s a second floor to the duplex penthouse we couldn’t make it to—but the views are magnificent, largely because the building is taller by half than most everything else in the neighborhood. So now, finally, we present to you the first part in our four-part series on the hotel that is changing the face of the Lower East Side, whether we like it or not…

Today: Views from the Top
Wednesday: Building the Hotel: A Retrospective
Thursday: An Architectural Review
Friday: Questions and Answers (Email us your questions and we’ll have them answered by the right people)

Now, read on to see the Views from the Top

Continue reading


LA Times reporter Geraldine Baum fills the West Coast crowd in on the Surface Hotel and its developer, Paul Stallings. Looks like everyone’s keeping it real:

During a tour of the $250-a-night rooms at the Surface, a woman in a housedress emerged from her apartment in an adjacent tenement and began hanging her laundry on the fire escape. “That’s what we want people to experience,” said Amador Pons, the 28-year-old hotel architect, first pointing to the woman sunning her laundry and then sweeping his hand across a cityscape of tenement rooftops and East River bridges.

This reminds us… isn’t it time for something here on Developing…
· $250 a Night at the Corner of Posh and Gritty []

Five Hamptons Trends for Summer ’03

1) Most important fashion trend for younger ladies (judging by the crowd at Belle’s East Saturday night): Hair extensions! For older ladies, the “kimono thing
2) Most important fashion trend for gentlemen (ditto): Striped shirts, which officially have hit a saturation point
3) Leather flip-flops (and yes, Ken, anything by Converse)
4) Hot tubs
5) The first-place Boston Red Sox

Memorial Day Weekend

Well, they’re saying maybe the clouds will part Sunday afternoon, and CL came through big yesterday with a Monday afternoon Sox-Yanks ticket for us. (We’ll be rooting against the Texas Con Man, but we’ll applaud him if he does ring up #300). Closing up shop here and hitting the road. Happy days.
· What’s New on the Hamptons Dining Scene []
· The Not-So-Sweet Tale on Ben & Jerry []
· Hamptons Events Calendar []