Sifting through emails and already halfway through my second cup of coffee on Wednesday, I received a text from a girlfriend:
Up for a GNO this Friday in NYC?
It was to celebrate a girlfriend’s birthday and despite an incredibly full schedule I knew I had to be there. I cleared out my schedule and vanished to New York. After catching up over some vodka-drenched blue cheese olives at 525LEX and some primo get-ready time in the hotel room, we were off to PH-D.
The door is tight but like many places in New York it’s all about whom you know. Thankfully my girlfriends know the right people and we were in before I could blink; which is a good thing since there was snow on the ground and a chill in the air. The promoter greeted us at the door around midnight – with Blow Pops – and after coat check we were in mirrored elevators up to the rooftop.
The first thing you’ll notice upon entering is the amazing view of the skyline. The view is unobstructed and showcases midtown offices I’m sure are more fabulous from our rooftop vantage point than when you’re actually sitting in them. Of particular importance: there are so many bodies crammed into the lounge late at night the windows fog over and you can barely see the skyline. Meaning if you want to see the view – i.e. take a photo to post on your Facebook wall – make sure you do so early.
The décor consists of chandeliers, leather tufted banquettes and a DJ backed by a wall of lit speakers. They also have plenty of ledges, tables and couches, meaning every woman is standing on something by the end of the night. The lounge itself is mostly tables and most of the people there are getting bottle service. There’s hardly a dance floor and most people stick to their table so there isn’t much mingling.
The crowd on Friday night seemed international – with plenty of models – but maybe that’s because the Moldovan girl standing on top of the booth next to us who doused our entire group in vodka cran left a strong impression. She was really into the music. Us? Not us much. The DJ was playing electronic dance mixes, top 40 and early 2000s. It worked for the most part but when he played Taylor Swift followed by Sir Mix-A-Lot I was over it. My iPod shuffle wouldn’t have even made that mistake.
The bottle servers were kind enough to bring the birthday girl a cake witha sparkler on it. But after the sparkler went out they took it away. Apparently PH-D thinks cakes are for blowing, not eating.
Was it a dream? Not at all. They aim for the air of exclusivity but miss the mark, at least on the night we were there. While they have all the right pieces the overall vibe ends up feeling almost “trying too hard.” Was it a fun time? Absolutely. You can’t go wrong with sparklers, bottles and so much eye candy – or vodka-spilling eyesores – to take in.