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City Life

Standard Exhibitionism

It hasn’t been in the news much lately the standard hotel in New York that straddles The High Line, is relatively infamous.  It captured a lot of attention last summer after opening with its sexually charged advertising campaign.  An early promotional advertisement declared “We’ll put up with your banging if you put up with ours,” and the Hotel’s Facebook page stated the situation a bit more clearly.

“We encourage you to exercise your inner exhibitionist. Please share your intimate, and explicit photos with us — those floor to ceiling windows aren’t just for the views . . .”

Whether you agree with the strategy or not you can’t deny that it was effective.  The campaign and its results generated a lot of press last summer.  Some positive and some negative.

The Standard Hotel New York.


“We saw a naked girl jumping up and down on a trampoline right in front of the window,” said Shannon Brickner, who works at a boutique on West 13th Street.

“From the street, I saw a man and a woman. Everyone was looking up at them.

“They were facing outwards, and I could see their backsides pressed up against the window. I thought it was a photo shoot or porn.”

Complained a waitress at the Brass Monkey, “It’s a free porn show.

“You hear the cheering, then you look up and see naked people. You get some people that don’t realize. Then you get the real exhibitionists.”

Some unhappy passers-by were disgusted, too. “Recently, I saw a man masturbating in one of the windows,” said one person who asked not to be identified. “That’s when it left the funny side and moved to the gross, dark side.” S.

Not everyone was surprised, some see it as par for the course for an edgy neighbourhood.

Grandparent Gwen Barrett said “That kind of stuff here is anticipated,”
Still, “I definitely wouldn’t want to bring my grandkids here,” she added.

The controversy over what takes place in front of The Standards windows raise questions of decency, control, and responsibility.  A City Counciler has gone on the attack declaring that “The alleged actions of The Standard are unacceptable.” Of course what exactly is the hotel to do?  Sure the Hotel can tone down the advertising that invites people to stand naked in front of the windows, but people have been going to hotels and stripping down in front of the windows for long time, even before The Standard opened.  It’s just that most don’t happen to have a public park / viewing deck right below.  It isn’t really possible to legislate that people must close their blinds when they plan have a nude romp inside their own homes, so we can’t really do it for hotels either.  Whatever your position on the nude antics that take place in the windows it certainly keeps the city interesting!


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