WSJ. Magazine Catches Up with the ‘Beethoven of Noodges’

Ahead of May's new book and Madison Ave. hotel, Andrew Goldman profiles Ian Schrager.

IanSchragerWorksCoverA new book and three New York City hotels. In honor of all this forthcoming activity, Andrew Goldman has put together a wonderful profile of hotelier Ian Schrager.

The “Beethoven of noodges” mantle is bestowed by Goldman following a description of how Schrager is still driven crazy by green floorboards in the designer’s NYC apartment. Schrager, at great expense, had most of the offending bits of floorboard removed. But a few could not easily be extracted and hence, remind to this day of some stain gone wrong. Overall though, Schrager makes no apologies for his fastidiousness:

“People don’t come in and say, ‘I love the bathroom because the grout marks are a 16th of an inch,’ ” he says [of 1984 opened hotel Morgans]. “But they come in and it just kind of viscerally feels good. I can’t say which one of these details even makes them feel that way. Maybe none of them. But every project I’ve ever done, it always comes out good at the end of the day, so there’s a redemption.”

The New York Edition, created in partnership with Marriott, opens on Madison Avenue next month. Public New York opens in 2016 and a second New York Edition hotel, in Times Square, is slated for 2017. Per Goldman, the coffee table accessory arriving May 5 sounds equally sumptuous:

The book is also a compendium of America’s glamorous set cutting loose at Schrager’s places, whether it’s Baryshnikov and Liza Minnelli dancing at Studio 54 in the ’70s, Madonna showered in rose petals at Palladium in the ’80s, Calvin Klein and David Geffen sunning themselves at the Delano in the ’90s or Tom Ford and Donatella Versace sharing secrets at the Gramercy Park Hotel a few years ago. Schrager has never relaxed at any of his venues and, amazingly, never indulged in a particular rite of fabulous New Yorkers of a certain age. “He certainly never danced at Studio 54,” says one close friend, designer Norma Kamali, his girlfriend in those days. “I never felt comfortable,” Schrager says. “It was my office.”

[Jacket cover courtesy: Rizzoli]