The Standard Hotel's Double Standard: Exhibitionism On Our Terms, Only

Damn, Standard Hotel: we were this close to enjoying your presence in the Meatpacking District, which needed some legitimate spicing up. Your exhibitionist-friendly windows were all in good fun, until you decided to relocate a Gay Bear/Leather Parade downtown. Villains!

Basically, Andre Balzas and Co. decided that they didn't want to deal with a bunch of leather-clad gays walking up and down the street in front of their hotel, because, well, it'd inconvenience their business. And after Robert Valin, executive director of the West Village Leather and Bear Street Fair, got "unanimous approval" from the neighborhood's community board, the city decided to shut it down, anyway. Via The Villager:

...The Mayor's Office recently informed them that W. 13th St. was "not an option," because the Standard Hotel doesn't want the festival there...Valin said the Standard doesn't feel the flagellation-friendly fest "fits the image of the hotel"; yet the leather group isn't passing judgment on, and in fact supports, the hotel's policy of "having sex in the windows - which is cool, which is fine with me, which I think is great," Valin said. Meanwhile, the Mayor's Office is treating the leather event quite roughly - some might even say, sadistically. "They're putting us on streets that are totally invisible," Valin complained, "but this is about visibility for the leather community."

Talk about putting the Balz in Balzas: The Standard's been doing nothing but riding the wave of publicity of their "let it all hang out" publicity of their guests flashing New York. And here we thought New York was getting gritty again. Wrong.

Meanwhile, if you do want to get freaky in the Meatpacking District, you can always shell out for a room: they start at $320, and end at the integrity of a once fun city whose culture wasn't being undermined by corporate interests. The Meatpacking District remains unchanged.