Diddy Honored by BET

On Monday BET aired the third annual BET Honors, an award show taped on January 16 in Washington, D.C. recognizing individuals within the black community achieving excellence within their perspective fields as well as exemplifying the mantra “Giving back to give forward.”  Actress Gabrielle Union hosted the event for the second time.

Harlem native Sean “Diddy” Combs received the Entrepreneur Award; an accolade befitting him because more than anyone in the entertainment industry, Diddy is an entrepreneur.  Known for making a way out of no way, Diddy went from being a dancer to a mogul.  His accomplishments are shining examples that affirm if one has a dream and is willing to grind hard to achieve that dream; it will one day become a reality.  Bad Boy, Justin’s, Ciroc (yes the man has his own alcohol) and Sean John – from movies to music to the runway nothing is out of Diddy’s grasp.  He is the true personification of the phrase “Veni, vidi, vici.” What realm Diddy will conquer next, one only knows.  In his acceptance speech, Diddy got personal and thanked his mother Janice Combs.  He told a poignant story of  how she worked round the clock to provide for him and his sister after his father was murdered and mentioned that he wanted to make sure that she never had to work again.  Well, he has certainly managed to attain that task and more.  A famous quote of Diddy’s is “Sleep is forbidden,” this award shows that for him failure is also forbidden.  Former boss and mentor Andre Harrell and Mary J. Blige celebrated him in song.  Considering that Blige was discovered by Diddy and their work defined the genre of hip hop soul, it was a fitting tribute.

Two Jersey girls were also honored.  The original queen of hip hop, Queen Latifah, and the iconic Whitney Houston were also two of the award recipients.  Both hailing from East Orange, these living legends prove the New Jersey isn’t the “Garden State,” it is the Star State.  Taraji P. Henson presented Queen Latifah with the Media Award as Latifah has placed her mark on every facet of the industry and has the awards to prove it.  Another legend, Patti Labelle and future legend Jasmine Sullivan paid tribute to the Queen Latifah, who’s real name is Dana Owens, in song.  Gracious as always Latifah thanked her mother and father and called people to take action in the effort to bring relief to Haiti.  Pioneer, actress, singer, producer and author, Latifah has shown through tireless hard work why she was given the title of queen and on Friday she and Diddy along with Wyclef and other stars will participate in another telethon to help bring much needed aid to the survivors of the recent earthquake in Haiti. 

There are very few that have or will achieve the levels of success that Whitney Houston has, but there were some that had written this legendary vocalist off.  How sweet it is to prove haters wrong, and after being presented with the Entertainment Award by Neo, Whitney is glowing example of what a survivor really is.  In her recent comeback to the spotlight, Whitney has shown the world that her voice was not the only gift she was blessed with.  The other is a strength that I believe may have been unknown to her until it was truly tested.  Whitney says that she stays “prayed up,” and needs nothing more that her God and her child.  Thank God that we will have the pleasure to hear that wonderful voice for many years to come.  Vocal powerhouses Jennifer Hudson and Kim Burrell tore the walls of the Warner Theatere down with songs befitting a tribute to one the best voices in the entertainment industry. 

Other performers included the musical genius of Stevie Wonder, India Arie, Trey Songz, Maxwell and Take 6.  Neurosurgeon Keith Black received the Public Service Award and educator Ruth Simmons received the Education Award.

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Fame Mistress Opens 52nd Grammy Awards

 

The grand dame of music and fashion walked the red carpet looking like an extraterrestrial representative from the planet Diva.  Lady Gaga did not disappoint fans or media with red carpet ensemble or other outfit changes, none of which were able to grace the Staple Center stage.  Although Gaga did not receive the opportunity to speed through a speech before the music cuts into her “thank you “list, she did add Grammy winner to her list of accolades.  Lady Gaga won Best Dance Recording for “Pokerface” and Best Electronic Dance Album for The Fame.  She also opened 52nd Grammy Award ceremony and shared the stage with another piano tickling, fashion icon Elton John creating another memorable moment in Grammy history.   

Speaking of memorable moments in Grammy history, the music industry’s consummate rebel Pink gave one the best performances of the evening.  Her high flying, Cirque du Soleilsque rendition of “Glitter in the Air” proved to the audience in attendance and to those viewing at home that she is still a badass with a banging body to match.

Yonkers native Mary J. Blige provided inspiration duet with Andrea Bocelli.  Introduced by Haiti’s native son Wyclef Jean, they sang “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” in support the impoverished island devastated by the recent earthquake.   

Beyonce took fierce to another level with her hair swinging, military powered performance of “If I Were A Boy.”  She also won Grammys for Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Halo”, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”, Best Traditional R&B Performance for “At Last”, Best R&B Song for “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and Best Contemporary R&B Album for I Am…Sasha Fierce.  I don’t know if The Black Eyed Peas did, but I believe Mrs. Carter definitely had a good, good night.   Mr. Carter added to the family’s night of Grammy wins. The ambassador of New York took home Grammys for Best Rap Solo Performance for “DOA (Death Of Auto-Tune), Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song for “Run This Town.”

R&B crooner Maxwell cemented his comeback with Best R&B Album for Blacksummers’ Night and Best R&B Male Performance for “Pretty Wings”, which he performed during Sunday night’s telecast. He also performed a duet with the incomparable Roberta Flack, thank you Maxwell for truly bringing sexy back.

Punk superstars Green Day provided a glimpse into their new Broadway musical American Idiot.  They sang “21st Century Breakdown”, which won the Best Rock Album Grammy, along with the show’s cast.  American Idiot will hit the St. James Theater in March and officially open in April.

 Photos courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Cielo Opens Its Doors To Help Haiti

As stated in my previous post Help for Haiti, I will report about events going on in the city that are helping raise much needed aid for the Haitian earthquake relief.  Today one of the Meat Packing District’s hottest clubs is opening its doors for an event that is any dancer’s wet t-shirt dream.  Club Cielo, located on 18 Little West 12th Street, is hosting Song, Dance & Love for Haiti.

This event is organized by Joann Jimenez, Jephté Guillaume and Antonio Ocasio and features some of the most legendary DJs and Producers of house music as well as some of NYC’s most talented underground DJs.  Each hour the audience will move, shake, gyrate and produce its best baby powdered foot work to sets spinned by Jellybean Benetiz, Louie Vega, Danny Krivit, Joaquin “Joe” Claussell, Francois K, Josh Milan and Sabine Blazin.

The event is from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. with proceeds being donated to Doctors without Borders in Haiti, $20 is the suggested donation.  The combination of Club Cielo and the line up of DJs signifies an event of epic proportions.  Dance…dance…dance is the theme for this gloomy Sunday.  Before manic Monday morning comes, I suggest all FAMERS get out the house and shake a tail feather for a good cause.

To learn more about Doctors without Borders please visit www.doctorswithoutborders.org.

Fond Farewell

Last year we said goodbye to icons, athletes and politicians.  We also said goodbye to a landmark.  On December 31st, Tavern on the Green opened its doors for the last time in Central Park.  Over 1,000 people from across the U.S. came to take part in the closing of NYC history. 

Tavern on the Green opened its doors in 1934 during the Great Depression; it is almost storybook that its saga should end during the Great Recession.   It was known for its grand décor – a restaurant that presented a magical aesthetic for its patrons. 

Like most New Yorkers, Tavern on the Green was not one of my favorite eateries.  In recent years the cuisine developed a subpar reputation and the décor was not as splendid as it was in its heyday.  It had become one of those places in the Big Apple that garnered a lot of attention from tourists and bridezillas, and was not necessarily considered a restaurant that a “real” New Yorker would go to. 

In New York City restaurants come and go.  A hot new eatery springs up and is all the rage one day and it is cold as day old Manhattan clam chowder the next.  Still, when I learned that the iconic restaurant was closing its doors for good I experienced a sudden pang of nostalgia and regret.  Tavern on the Green was as New York to me as Rockefeller Center, The Empire State Building, Saks Fifth Avenue or The Met.  It was just as an important fixture in Central Park as Strawberry Fields or Wollman Rink.  I developed my deep love for the landscape of the city through my father.  When I was a child, we would go on day trips every Saturday, embarking on a new landmark each time.  It was through my father and those day trips that I developed my affinity for music, arts, culture architecture and style.  As an adult, I have left those landmarks to the tourist to gawk over taking them for granted.  Tavern on the Green was one of those places.

After the loss of the World Trade Centers I swore that I appreciate the landmarks that make NYC so spectacular a little more, but I know realize that I haven’t really lived up to that promise.  As much as New York City is a place of history and landmarks, it is also a metropolis for the latest and greatest.  I had been so busy chasing what is new and hot, I had forgotten about the places and sites that make New York one of the most visited places in the world.  With a New Year come new promises, one of mine is to revisit my childhood and make new memories by visiting more city landmarks before they too disappear and become pages on Wikipedia.

Central Park won’t seem the same without Tavern on the Green, sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.  Sure, it may have become a little tattered and torn over the years and the food could’ve been better, depending on your taste buds, but nonetheless it was staple and part of New York history.  Items from the famed restaurant have been liquidated and sold; it has been reported that Jennifer LeRoy, manager of Tavern on the Green, is fighting to retain its name so she can open a new restaurant at a new location.  Only time will tell if Tavern on the Green will ever open its doors again, but for now I bid it adieu.

How Precious is Precious?

On Sunday Mo’Nique added Golden Globe award winner to her list of accolades after winning Best Supporting Actress, hairy legs and all.  Since the release of Precious, I have debated whether or not to comment about this movie.  The movie, based on the 1996 award-winning novel Push by Sapphire, is set in Harlem and was filmed on location.  Its breakout star Gabourey Sidibe is a New Yorker and was raised in Harlem.  A New York film about a New York girl played by a New York born actress made it perfect for F.A.M.E NYC.  Still, I had trepidation when thinking of writing about this film.

Precious is set in Harlem during the ‘80s.  Anyone living in the city during that time remembers how grimy the city was.  While the film was shot on location, it doesn’t display much of the neighborhood.  Instead the griminess is shown in the character driven story of Claireece “Precious” Jones, played by Sidibe and her mother Mary, played by Mo’Nique.  The mental, sexual and verbal abuse Precious suffers from her mother, whose only obsession appears to be ensuring her welfare doesn’t get cut off, is mind boggling and spine curdling.  To say that Mary is a horrible mother is a gross understatement.  A stray animal has more of a motherly instinct than she.  Instead of protecting Precious from the sexual abuse she receives from her father, she is jealous that Precious has been impregnated twice by her father.  Her jealousy spawns a cyclone of cruelty that could shatter any soul beyond repair.

At the beginning of the film Precious is illiterate and being removed from school because she is pregnant with her second child and begins to attend an alternative school.  It is through the help of teacher, played by Paula Patton, that she begins to learn how to read, how to open up and how to push through her current circumstances to improve her life for herself and her children.

Mo’Nique, known for being one of the queens of comedy, is frightengly convincing as Mary.  The depth of true talent is exposed in this film; her Golden Globe win was more than deserved.  She plays Mary with all the devilishness of a true villain yet she burrows so deep into Mary’s pain that you begin to have empathy for her, asking yourself “What did this woman experience that made her into the monster she became?”

Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe truly embodied the role of Precious.  She gave a performance expected of a seasoned actor.   The role seemed tailored for her and should no doubt have a great career ahead of her.  Sidibe wore the pain of Precious in her expressions, her muffled speech and her walk and showed her transition from hopelessness to hopeful.  No matter how dim the scene, Gabourey Sidibe was a ray of light.

Precious is a film that will stick to your subconscious like hot grits on skin.  It will not go away easy and that is exactly the point. The film should inspire dialog about the myriad topics that are taboo in our society such as incest, abuse, illiteracy, poverty and AIDS – subjects that are especially forbidden in the black community.

After watching Mo’Nique give her acceptance speech, I realize why I contemplated commenting on this film.  The story of a 16-year-old illiterate, obese, HIV positive girl and mother of two children by her father was an idea that was overwhelming.  After the release of the film, many critics praised the movie as a must see.  While I do agree that the movie is compelling and probably director Lee Daniel’s finest project to date, I am concerned about Hollywood’s propensity to grab from the worst of the black experience.  Indeed, wasn’t the prerequisite of this film The Color Purple?  While it is no secret that the entertainment industry as a whole profits off of the pain of the black experience, the lack of diversity in black cinema is troublesome to say the least.  Are we only compelling if we are HIV positive, abused, illiterate, obese or on welfare?  Isn’t the complexity of living day to day compelling enough without such extreme circumstances?  Why aren’t there more multifarious projects being produced out of Hollywood and why only films like Precious receive critical recognition from the industry?  What message does this send to black screenwriters and directors?

In 2008, Miracle at St. Anna was released.  I found it to be one of the best modern war films I have seen, portraying World War II from the black perspective, a side that is rarely seen.  The film received few critical acclaim and was virtually ignored the Motion Picture Association of America and the other powers that be, which I find to be a gross error in judgment.

So, with yet another downtrodden story about a black person on the big screen, is Precious truly precious?  I say unequivocally yes.   It is an exquisite film about a despicable set of topics; however it is my hope that with the success of Precious, more dramatic films will be released that covers the entire spectrum of the black experience.

Barbara Tucker: 25 Years In House Top Event for 2009

To me, house music is not just a genre of music; it is my religion, my culture – essentially a way of life.  House music and the culture it inspires is one of the last underground cultures to be born out of NYC.  Unfortunately the decline of parties and venues that truly support my culture have forced us to revolve in lounges that focus more on what your bar tab is at the end of the night than the vibe, the music and the amount of sweat that is dripped on the dance floor. 

It seems funny to think that the city that spawned my culture is now placing a stranglehold on us – forcing us to adapt or to fade to black.  It is a conversation I have had with many househeads – the chase for the experience we once had that seems to be beyond the grasp of our fingertips, but one we get to touch once in a while.   On March 19th, four decades worth of househeads made the pilgrimage to Webster Hall for Barbara Tucker: 25 Years In House. 

If house music is a religion, then Barbara Tucker would be a saint.  She is definitely one of the divas of our scene.  Her track record of 25 years in house music shows that she is one of the hardest working singers in the business.  Songs like “Beautiful People”, “I Get Lifted”, “Most Precious Love” and “Stop Playing with My Mind” are classics that every househead knows.

The room was filled and space was limited, yet it didn’t seem to matter.  Wherever there was space, househeads were getting it in, contributing to the beautiful vibe that was in Webster Hall that evening.   Seeing Saint Barbara on stage singing her classics made me feel as if I was 17 again, when I was first started venturing into different clubs in Jersey.   The incomparable Louie Vega, David Morales and Tony Humphries fed us the energy to dance well into the next morning and provided a memory that will be looked upon with fondness as we party into the next decade.  Besides the music, the highlight of the evening for me was watching La India and Barbara on stage with Louie Vega behind the DJ booth.  Watching the players behind “Beautiful People” on stage exceeded all my expectations for an evening that will be talked about for years to come.  In fact, people that attended the event were still talking about March 19th well into the summer of 2009.

Barbara Tucker: 25 Years In House offered memories for us to cradle in our hands, keeping us loyal to this culture.  Paradise Garage, Sound Factory Bar, Afterlife, Zanzibar, Club Shelter – all the major clubs that reigned in the NYC area was represented.  We danced and shared experiences with househeads that haven’t been seen in years.  It was a long overdue family reunion filled with love, music, dance and good energy – it was a househead’s dream.

The Call Was Answered Top Event at MSG for 2009

September 11th will always be a day of remembrance and reflection for New Yorkers, but this year Jay-Z sent out a call and answered without a shadow of a doubt.  New Yorkers made their way through the downpour of showers to Madison Square Garden to witness Hov deliver a knock out performance.  The Jay-Z and friends concert proceeds were donated to the New York Police And Fire Widows’ And Children’s Benefit Fund providing awareness to this worthy cause as well as an additional boost of pride on the usual somber day.

The friends that came out for this show included Kid Cudi, Diddy, John Mayer, Memphis Bleek, Pharell, Kanye West, Rihanna, Santo Gold and Jigga’s wife, the diva Ms. Bey.  The tickets sold out faster than a New York minute and thanks to Fuse those who were unable to witness the concert live were able to see the concert without interruption. 

The energy that was circling at the Garden was crazy.  The concert was a genuine celebration of every life lost in the 911 attacks. Every time another artist came out on stage the energy heightened.  Everyone was rocking and singing along, it was the best representation of hip hop I have witnessed in a long time and made me realized why I loved this music.  The Garden has played host to many events, this will undoubtedly rank in the top of all time.  I just hope Jigga will give us an encore next year.

It Most Certainly…WAS Top Tour for 2009

That it I am referring to was Beyonce’s “I AM…” world tour.  I checked out the show at Madison Square Garden on June 23rd and can honestly say even P.T. Barnum would have fallen crazy in love with this display of fabulousness.

French designer Thierry Mugler has always been known for his fashion forward, futuristic designs.  Both Beyonce and alter ego Sasha sashay in some the best work from Mr. Mugler since George Michael’s Too Funky video.   He mixes opulence, sexiness and strength seamlessly.

Beyonce’s all-female band can be summed up on one word, rockin’.  These ladies can jam and made sure that crowd did not remain in their seat for too long.  I also enjoyed the background vocals from “The Mommas.”  These ladies reminded me of days when Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes sang behind Sylvester.  They’re thick, beautiful and full of soul.

The show began with Crazy In Love and featured a special on stage surprise from Jigga himself.  Beyonce performed songs from “Dangerously In Love”, “B-Day” and “I am…Sasha Fierce.”  My favorite highlights included If I Were A Boy (in which Beyonce broke into Alanis Morrissette’s break-up classic You Oughta Know), Baby Boy (in which “the diva” was hoisted above the crowd with wire cable, performing mid-air somersaults ala Cirque du Soleil), Ava Maria (which shows just how Beyonce has grown vocally since her days with Destiny’s Child),  At Last (which shows video footage from the march on Washington, D.C. and ends with footage of the first couple dancing at one of the Inaugural balls), and of course Single Ladies, the new anthem for single ladies everywhere.

Another favorite of mine was the Ego interlude because that was what the show had, ego from beginning to end.  Beyonce’s “I AM…” tour delivered in every way imaginable.  The wardrobe changes on stage were effortless. She performed all her hits even those from Destiny’s Child.  The choreography is upbeat and sensual with hip swinging, booty shaking, leg jiggling and hair flipping action that would make the great Tina Turner proud.  The energy that was exchanged between Beyonce and the crowd would make anyone feel as if they had been hit with a lightening bolt.  The show provided glamour, excitement and empowerment.  It didn’t matter what seat you are in, you were included in the party.  Whether you called the show fierce, fabulous or fun, it was…all of that

Moscow Invades the Eastside

One of my mom’s favorite movies is Dr. Zhivago.  As a little girl I would crawl up under her and we would watch Omar Sharif steal Julie Christie’s heart while my dad watched sheep jumping over fences.  Over the years the movie grew on me just as my affinity for Russian culture.  

As much as I do like Russian culture and food I had never tried authentic Russian cuisine until recently.  On East 20th Street is a quaint Russian restaurant named Mari Vanna.  The restaurant is named for a mythical woman, who welcomed diners into her home with open arms, feeding them traditional Russian food on her best china and linens and the restaurant certainly lives up to the legend.

Upon stepping inside I felt as if I had been whisked away from Manhattan and dropped into a home in Moscow where Yuri was waiting to recite one of his bittersweet “Lara” poems.  The décor, courtesy of designer Vera Tatarinova, is a Russian enthusiast’s dream filled with crystal bowls, picture frames, fine china, porcelain dolls, coasters, glasses and other precious collectibles.  The cozy furnishings and friendly staff made me feel like I was visiting my comrades instead of going out to eat. 

 For appetizers I had Soleniya, homemade pickled vegetables, and homemade blinis with red caviar sour cream, diced red onion and crumbled egg yolk.  I also had the opportunity to finally taste borsch with pampushka a soup consisting of beets, broth, beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes.  It is served with sour cream and is beyond delicious.  Note to self:  winter is around the corner, stock up on borsch.  The only beef stroganoff I had tasted until recently was made by Stouffer’s, but after sampling the real McCoy, I could never go back to pseudo stroganoff again.  The beef was tender, the sauce delectable and my mouth was watering for more.

Another great feature of Mari Vanna is vodka.  The restaurant offers a diverse selection of house-infused vodkas.  My favorite was the beet flavored vodka.  The beet’s essence complimented the vodka well and masked some of the harshness.  Talk about a way to get your vegetables, if V8 tasted like that I would buy stock in the company. 

Mari Vanna is an unexpected surprise for any New Yorker that enters their doors.  Even if they may not have been exposed to traditional Russian cuisine before, I have no doubt they will walk out a fan.  The prices are fair and it is worth it.  There is no better dining experience then when the atmosphere, décor and food combine in symbiotic harmony and create a wonderful dining experience.  Nostrovia!

Meat Anyone?

Sometimes when I look around at the city I can hardly recognize it.  Really, this city has seen more facelifts than Zsa Zsa Gabor.  One upgrade in particular that still makes me shake my head in amazement is the Meatpacking District. 

When I was a girl the Meatpacking District was known for large slaughterhouses, tranny hookers, the Mafia, drugs and sex clubs.  The vices in the meatpacking district almost overshadowed the meat and was one of the best places to find sin in New York City, outside Times Square of course.

Now Gansevoort Market is a far cry from the days when transsexual prostitute skulked around corners and the mafia ruled the slaughterhouses with an iron, Black Hand.  The Meatpacking District is one of the chicest areas in the city with restaurants, bars and clubs that play host to the fierce and fabulous as well as some of the best designer boutiques.  Some feel that the Meatpacking District has become too chic for real New Yorkers and is nothing more than a tourist haven like Times Square.  Maybe they are right, but something I learned from the tragedy of 911 is that you don’t take any part of this city for granted.  So without further adieu, here are my choices for the best that the Meatpacking District has to offer.

DINING

RdV                                 RDV Image

409 W. 13th Street New York, NY 10014    

212-675-3300

After stepping down a dimly lit stairway, you arrive in a sexy subterranean chill zone.  RdV takes elegance underground with its plush Baroque style furniture and potted banana trees that add a tropical feel.  The candlelit private dining room is a hideaway within a hideaway and provides its diners with an intimate experience.  The cuisine definitely lives up to the opulent French setting.  I recommend Foie Gras Terrine for an appetizer and Truffled Chicken or Pan Seared Wild Stripped Bass for a main course.  RdV holds 150 guests and is the perfect lounge to drink and dine when planning a grown and sexy gathering with friends.

Bagatelle                       Bagatelle%20Interior                       

409 W 13th St, New York 10014

212-675-2400

Above ground designer David Graziano, designer of RDV, created a posh French bistro.  Bagatelle has been dubbed the place to eat for the rich and trendy and is also known for their brunch.  I recommend Dimanche – Poule-au-Pot and the Potato Puree.  And if you are going to the Caribbean check out Bagatelle’s sister restaurant in Turks and Caicos.  Great food + great atmosphere = a complete dining experience.

 PARTY

Cielo                        ceilo                      

18 Little West 12th Street New York, NY 10014
212 242-8537

Besides the great décor, which resembles a log cabin, the sunken dance floor, and outdoor back yard that has heated lamps in the winter, this club plays host to some of the legends of dance music.  Francois K., Marques Wyatt, Jojo Flores, Junior Vasquez, and Roger Sanchez have all spinned in their DJ booth.  Louie Vega and Kevin Hedge hold their Roots party every week on Wednesday.  Cielo is an absolute must for anyone who seriously loves dance music.

Kiss & Fly                              Temple Perimeter View in Purple Light

409 W. 13th Street New York, NY 10014

212-255-1933

With the opening of Kiss and Fly lavishness has been brought back to NYC nightlife.  This club caters to the sophisticated and fabulous.  Kiss & Fly is Dom Perignon’s flagship club in the United States. Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld designed a mural for the club that is the backdrop to the $18,000 bottles of Dom Perignon that are on display and on the wine list.  Kiss & Fly also boasts 28 VIP areas with their own “private” dance floor that is raised behind the table.  Fire acts, aerial shows, stilted performances, fire throwers turn this nightclub experience into an extravaganza.

STAY 

Hotel Gansevoort             hotel-gansevoort_3

18 9th Avenue New York, NY 10014

212-206-6700

Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you have to stay at home, the Hotel Gansevoort offers awe-inspiring 360 degree panoramic views of New York City and is the only luxury, full service resort in the Meatpacking District.  Hotel Gansevoort offers an elegant get away to its patrons.  The hotel has 187 guestrooms and 23 suites.  The rooms are lavish, but with a minimalist aesthetic. The duplex penthouse houses a Jacuzzi and fireplace.  Hotel Gansevoort also has 45-foot heated outdoor rooftop pool with underwater lights and music everyday as well as a swanky rooftop loft and spa. Designer David Graziano also places his stamp on the Hotel Gansevoort making the hotel the fourth business in the Meatpacking District that has been touched by his chic  style.  Upon walking out of the Hotel Gansevoort, be prepared to take on the cobbled-stone splendor of the new Meatpacking District.