A Lower East Side refugee myself, I stopped by The Carlyle last night for a drink around 8 expecting to be surrounded by upper east side regulars and maybe a couple of the fashion people and celebrities rumored to be holed up in the iconic hotel. Instead, I felt like I was at a downtown fashion week after party.
Even people I didn’t recognize looked like they’d never set foot above 23rd street. And people I did–Johan Lindeberg, Erin Fetherston, Chrissie Miller, a few models, a couple djs and Leandra Medine, who tweeted, “The Carlyle Hotel thinks it’s the Bowery this week”–looked simultaneously out of place, grateful, and like they were having a pretty good time. Watching downtowners, some of whom probably haven’t changed their clothes since fleeing their blacked out homes Monday or Tuesday, sip champagne and cocktails while a suited up live jazz band played in the classic old New York establishment, was a strange and surreal sight indeed.
I left around 10 p.m., but according to Twitter, Forbes‘ Hannah Elliott, Poppy Delevigne, and Scott Lipps also showed up. Paper’s Kim Hastreiter tweeted, “I hear 1/2 of downtown is @ the carlyle.” Elliott wrote, “The carlyle is everything tonight.” The night prior, Derek Blasberg had some fun there with Karlie Kloss. Whoever handles social media for the Carlyle tweeted, “Chic trumps trendy :-) Glad Lower East is enjoying Upper East.” So has downtown officially taken over uptown? Hamilton Nolan weighed in (hilariously) on the Uptown/Downtown “civil war” on Gawker:
At this particular moment in time, downtown, operating on pure rage at days of blackouts and meager restaurant offerings, could burst forth and seize uptown for itself. Uptown is fat, happy, and complacent. Sitting up in their apartments, with electricity, reading the internet, eating Zabar’s food. Downtown has NOTHING. And it is TIRED of it. Also, practically speaking, the UES is full of old people and the UWS is full of nearly-old people. Downtown kids could run through those neighborhoods like teeth through Ramen noodles. It’s only above 125th where the fighting would turn more intense. So logically downtown should just take the UES and the UWS and declare victory.
It’s undeniable: Uptown Manhattan has never been cooler than it is right now. This begs the question: Will Bemelman’s be able to hold on to any of its current hipness once our power is restored or will the fashion crowd forget all about it and return to old stomping grounds like the Boom Boom Room? Does Bemelman’s even want us? The lines are blurring!