Five Years at the Top

Celebrating a birthday at The Standard


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They say nothing gold can stay. Still lustrous after five years, The Top of the Standard, a.k.a. the Boom Boom Room, has gone ahead and proved them wrong. Half a decade—in New York's ever-changing nightlife scene, that can seem like a lifetime. It's certainly an excuse to celebrate, as owner André Balazs did last night with a roomful of revelers that included Neil Patrick Harris, Zachary Quinto, Maria Cornejo, and Jane Mayle.

The accents up on the eighteenth floor were more gilded than usual: gold balloons, gold-flaked cotton candy, gold on guests. ("Gold, Black & Sparkle" was the dress code.) In the early going, a New Orleans jazz band blew out everything from "When the Saints Go Marching In" to a brassy rendition of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky."

They even, at one point, trotted up the steps to the club's new rooftop space. (It's a nice addition—and a boon to smokers.) The city glimmered. "I've had a few crazy times here," Dsquared²'s Dean Caten acknowledged, adding that there's nothing like the place—"not this glamorous, not this chic"—in his home base of London. He was passing through New York to look at retail spaces, and is next off to Miami and Los Angeles to do the same.

Retreating to a quiet corner for a moment, Balazs compared building and overseeing the high-elevation party nest to raising a child. "You're always challenged and attentive to nuances and growth. You need a place alive, and that means staying aware of what it is—music, people," he said. "It's not just about real estate." The hotelier added that he's got a special place in his heart for the Halloween bashes that Boom Boom has played host to over the years, usually in conjunction with Purple magazine. The wild pageantry of them is one thing. But for a place as see-and-be-seen as this one, the Halloween parties bring another twist. Noted Balazs, "Everyone is unrecognizable, and therefore free."

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