101 Star Bars (#35): The Hudson Hotel, New York

Hudson Bar, 356 West 58th Street New York, New York, (001) 212 247 0769
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Aficionados of Ian Schrager's inimitable style of hotel design will love this crippingly trendy bar in the heart of the Big Apple. Ascend to the hotel lobby and bars from street level on a stairway to heaven in the form of an escalator bathed in acid yellow light. It doesn't matter where you are in the world, this breathes Schragerland.

You could be in New York or London, Paris or Rome; in a Schrager hotel, you are always in vogue. The main Hudson bar is designed around a giant illuminated dancefloor, and gives the impression of stepping on to the set of Saturday Night Fever, but with the colour turned down. The bar is full of the beautiful people of New York, 70s hangovers who haven't noticed that (Schrager's) Studio 54 has shut, and at this time of year smug British tourists taking advantage of the exchange rate and hoping to absorb some cool by osmosis.

Choose your seat carefully. A huge tree trunk, insouciantly tumbled across the floor, has seat backs speared into it, but after a few of the pricey cocktails you might discover exactly how easy it is to fall off a log. The Perspex chairs are as uncomfortable as they look. But the battered leather sofas and upholstered thrones are what you wish you were born to. On the ceiling is a huge painting by the artist Francesco Clemente. Take in a Canton Pearl (Pravda vodka, pear purée, ginger liqueur and triple sec), pretend to be an old friend of Andy Warhol's and lie back in splendour to check it out.

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