6 Best Rooftop Pools in NYC

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Photo courtesy of the Dream Downtown

One of the best things about summer in the city is rooftop pools. The muggy heat and beating sun necessitate the need for a quick dip, and the inherent cool of New York means that its pools aren’t just ordinary aquatic settings. We’ve culled through the rooftop pool scenes in Manhattan and Brooklyn to bring you the best the city has to offer, from ones with spa-like serenity to others that you can literally dance into.

Le Bain: Le Bain at The Standard, High Line isn’t so much a rooftop pool as a penthouse dancefloor with a pool. The Meatpacking spot is celebrating its fifth anniversary all summer long (complete with a follow-along hashtag: #5thsummer), and its summer programming includes a helluva lot of DJ’ed parties. DJ Rich Medina will be playing there this Friday May 29 with Vikter Duplaix. Medina has played the rooftop venue countless times and claims it’s one of his favorite spots in the world. “The rooftop and pool are incredible…with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Hudson and the west side of the city…top that off with a phenomenal sound system, extremely credible sound engineers, and a fully stocked wet bar, and you have a recipe for an incredible venue.” An excellent review, all around.

Gansevoort Hotel Group: Both the Meatpacking District and Park Avenue locations of the swanky Gansevoort Hotel Group have rooftop pools frequented by pretty people drinking expensive cocktails. To get access as a non-hotel guest, you’ll have to a. sneak in, b. buy the Daycation package, which for $300 gets you a cocktail and a massage among other spa-like perks, like poolside reflexology (that’s fancy talk for a foot massage).

SIXTY LES: This Lower East Side boutique hotel is so cool that its rooftop pool is outfitted with an Andy Warhol filmstrip. Nibbling on Blue Ribbon sushi while tanning in a bikini isn’t for everyone, which is why the pool is only open to hotel guests, for now. It plans to open to the public later this summer with special events, so stay tuned.

The James: JIMMY, the rooftop pool and bar at The James Hotel, is a go-to for urban summer lounging. The pool is reserved for guests on weekdays until 5 P.M. but opens its doors to the general chic downtown crowd on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 P.M. on for weekend pool parties with rotating DJs.

McCarren Hotel: The best pools in this city don’t have to be in lower Manhattan or on a rooftop. Enter the McCarren Hotel, whose saltwater pool is on the ground floor (you’ll still feel hip and tan) and open to non-guests with a daypass ($40 deal through the month of June). If you’re looking to pick up a morning yoga habit, the hotel offers poolside yoga in partnership with SyncStudios every day this summer.

Dream Downtown: Another hip Meatpacking hotel, another rooftop pool. The Beach at Dream Downtown boasts a glass-bottomed pool and French Riviera-inspired chaise lounges. Luckily, you don’t have to be a chic European hotel guest to soak up its summer offerings: daypasses are available to non-guests Monday-Friday, and the pool will host DJs throughout the week.

Cher Is the Newest Iconic Woman to Land a Fashion Ad Campaign

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Pop diva Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs, as seen in an ad unveiled in WWD today. The casting of the 69-year old icon comes as no surprise to the fashion world, who watched the legend arrive arm-in-arm with the designer at this year’s Met Gala. Love magazine editor and Marc Jacobs ad creative director Katie Grand first posted the ad to her Instagram this morning, photographed by David Sims. The songstress is dressed in an all-black floor-length dress, moto jacket, and leather gloves, with some seriously arched eyebrows.

The music legend is the newest badass iconic woman to star in a major fashion campaign. Eighty-year old Joan Didion made sartorial mouths drop when Céline ads earlier this year showed her signature tinier-than-thou frame in black sunglasses, and 71-year old Joni Mitchell went folksy for Saint Laurent a few months later. Mitchell’s casting was part of the Saint Laurent Music Project, designer Hedi Slimane’s project that has also photographed defining musicians like Marianne Faithful, Courtney Love, and Kim Gordon.

Didion, Mitchell, and Cher are hardly the first iconic ladies to be featured in fashion campaigns over the last few years. Helen Mirren signed a contract with L’Oréal Paris last October; Iris Apfel sits alongside Karlie Kloss in Kate Spade ads; Jessica Lange was the first celebrity face of Marc Jacobs Beauty in spring 2014; Catherine Deneuve posed for Louis Vuitton; and style icon Linda Rodin starred in The Row’s ad campaign. Safe to say that the casting of such infamous feminine icons is a welcome contrast from the Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber ads of the world.

Below, Joan Didion for Céline and Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent. (Images via Céline and Saint Laurent).

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Azealia Banks Is Breaking Into Acting With a Rap Movie Musical

SPIN AND REFINERY29 JOIN FORCES FOR EXCLUSIVEFASHION AND MUSIC PARTY WITH AZEALIA BANKS

Photo courtesy of Jesse Lirola/BFAnyc.com

Twenty-three year old rap sensation Azealia Banks is set star in RZA’s It Doesn’t Have to Rhyme, the rapper-turned-director’s follow up to his 2012 The Man With the Iron Fists. The musical drama is “described as being similar in tone to 8 Mile.” THR reports that Common is also set to star in the film, which will tell the story of “a female rapper (Banks) who enrolls in college and enters a poetry course. While the class doesn’t improve her lyrical skills, as she had hoped, it does unleash in her a passion for slam poetry.” Common will play her mentor and Jill Scott will play her professor with Lorraine Toussaint as her mother. Things are moving ahead quickly, as production is set to begin this week in New York. If Banks wasn’t already a star, she’s certainly going to be now.

Check out Banks’ infamous and amazing Hot 97 interview below.

Chicago Athletic Association Reemerges as Luxury Hotel

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Restored ballroom

Travelers heading to the windy city (and local Chicagoans looking for a a place to throw a knockout event) will have a new place to stay starting May 27, when the storied Chicago Athletic Association reopens its doors as a 241-room luxury hotel.

Travelers heading to the windy city (and Chicagoans looking for a a place to throw a knockout event) will have a new place to play starting May 27 when the storied Chicago Athletic Association reopens its doors as a 241-room luxury hotel. The restoration, which involved a collaboration among design firm Roman and WilliamsHartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Geolo Capital, and Agman partners, took two years to complete.

The historic building and its gorgeous architectural details were brought to life in 1890 as a place for the storied families of Chicago — think names like Wrigley and Spalding – to socialize and enjoy sport. Roman and Williams preserved the details, which included bas-relief woodcarving fireplaces, 19th-century stained glass windows, and marble staircases, as part of their restorative process.

Beyond the guest rooms and suites, the luxury hotel will boast 17,000 square feet of event space, a rooftop bar, retail space in Madison Hall, and multiple restaurants, including a Shake Shack.

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Chicago Athletic Association

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A room at the restored hotel

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A suite at the restored hotel

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Chicago Athletic Association exterior

Images courtesy of Commune Hotels and Resorts

How One Gay Teenager’s Obsession With Twin Peaks Led Him to Model His Life After Laura Palmer

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As the golden child of Twin Peaks, Laura Palmer was beloved by everyone in the quaint Pacific North West town. Prom queen, model student, and respectful daughter, her life looked like a cherry-pie dream—that is until she washed up on shore dead, wrapped in plastic.

David Lynch’s Twin Peaks begins when Laura’s life ends. The hushed mysteries and dark secrets of the town start unraveling through the investigation of her murder. Quickly we learn that all was not as it seemed, and our perfect Palmer was actually caught in a horrible web of lies. She was in way in over her head, both with a drug addiction and a job as a sex worker. So naturally, when we heard that someone modeled their life after the tragic teen figure, our curiosity was tickled.

From director Adam Baran and producer Jonathan Caouette comes, Northwest Passage, the real life story of one gay teenager’s obsession with Twin Peaks. Now seeking funding on Kickstarter during it’s fourth year in production, the doc explores the life of Travis Blue, a man whose Laura Palmer fandom began when the series started filmmaking in his hometown. ”Travis became fascinated with the idea that his world could be transformed into a fictional place as weird and wondrous as Twin Peaks.” He saw Laura as a role model and began to copy her behavior, escaping into a dark and dangerous world of drugs and sex. The Kickstarter page further explains the film as:

Northwest Passage is an incredible story of life imitating art that’s especially relevant today. Millions of people take cues for their lives from fiction – movies, TV shows, books and more, but in Travis’ case it played out in the extreme. We have been interviewing Travis for four years. Out of our interviews with him, we’ve crafted a plan for a striking documentary that brings his memories to life in an appropriately Peaks-ian style. Northwest Passage will also appeal to fans of the many TV series Twin Peaks inspired – including THE X-FILES, THE SOPRANOS, LOST, BREAKING BAD, and TRUE DETECTIVE, as well as fans of queer film and independent cinema such as MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO and MYSTERIOUS SKIN.

Going on to describe the importance of the project, they note:

Travis’ story is an important opportunity to shine a light on a host of issues which remain relevant today, including drug and alcohol addiction, teen sexuality, homelessness, and abuse. Supporting our film provides awareness of these and other vital themes.

Beyond simply exploring the impact of Twin Peaks, our film is, on a human level, the story of a gay teenager searching for himself and all the chaos, confusion, joy and fear that comes with that difficult process, told in an original way. The fact that Travis is able to share his story with others is remarkable. Like TARNATION and MYSTERIOUS SKIN, Northwest Passage has the power to help people heal and come to grips with life’s horrors. Travis may have endured terrible situations, but he survived. Our film can inspire others to find their way as well.

As of now they are a little under halfway to their goal, so if you’d like to see Northwest Passage: A Doc About Growing Up in Twin Peaks, head HERE to donate.