I’ve lived in New York all my life, but I love checking into a hotel as if I haven’t. Mostly I love the new views, but also the way the experience tricks me into noticing things I usually ignore (like rivers!). When the Standard opened very quietly in late December, I had to try it; the fact that it would still be mostly empty only increased my excitement. I’d imagined some sort of luxury train carriage in the sky, and I wasn’t entirely wrong. Though I’d booked a superior queen room for $195 over the phone, a clerk dressed like a chic Pan Am stewardess upgraded me to a $395 Hudson Suite with floor-to-ceiling glass windows on three sides. Even the Department of Sanitation pier five stories below looked like an art installation. The people outside seemed luxuriously distant—or at least far enough away that bathing in the all-glass shower, which stood in the middle of the all-glass room, felt more day-spa discreet than meatpacking-district flasher. (Thankfully, the toilet had a room of its own.) As with every André Balazs–owned property, the staff is uniformly young, beautiful, and hip. But—big surprise—they’re also unbelievably competent. The concierge hooked me up with a last-minute reservation at Pastis and called the restaurant to make sure I’d arrived safely. (There is no food service at the hotel yet, but if you stay in for the night, a staffer will fetch you some takeout.) If I had to nitpick, I’d say the lights above the bed buzzed a little, there was no full-length mirror, and the water from the shower seeped dangerously close to the carpet. But noticing such things would require taking your mind off the views, and what would be the point of that?