The recently opened Hotel Indigo on Orchard Street continues to try to make inroads with the local community. The latest effort: a nighttime light show titled The Color of Discovery.
From the press invite:
With the launch of The Color of Discovery, the Hotel Indigo brand is set to expose consumers to a one-of-a-kind, community experience like never before. The Color of Discovery leads travelers to explore and discover the local neighborhoods of each Hotel Indigo property through a series of mnemonic reveals. The brand’s message is to deliver a unique boutique experience at each location and the color Indigo is the emblematic of each unfolding adventure.
To launch this campaign, Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York is hosting an event exposing the culture of the Lower East Side (complete with graffiti art, performances and neighborhood elements) while partnering with Dawn of Man and Lee Quiñones to bring the new campaign to life in a truly imaginative display of 3D projection art that incorporates the signature Indigo mnemonic, thus revealing each aspect of the local scene.
[Photo by James and Karla Murray]
At one point, it looked like the projection of an old tenement projected on the new building that the Hotel Indigo replaced. BoweryBoogie noted this morning that this Color of Discovery is helping the hotel further solidify "its sense of self, you know, just in case you didn’t realize the towering 23-story building was there."
Then there is the hotel's 15th-floor bar called Mr. Purple.
According to initial reports, the bar, featuring an outdoor pool, was named after Adam Purple, the well-known Lower East Side environmentalist and activist, who died on Sept. 14 at age 84. (The Gerber Group, who operates the bar space, later seemed to backtrack on this.)
On Nov. 24, a rep for the Gerber Group sent us the following statement in regard to Mr. Purple to show that they are committed to supporting the local community:
The name of the bar and restaurant was established when the project was first conceptualized in 2014. It was indeed inspired by Lower East Side resident David Wilkie, who became known as "Mr. Purple." A gardener and activist, he was an iconic figure who dedicated his life to beautifying and improving the neighborhood. A mural was painted in his honor and can be seen on display in the lobby area of the hotel.
Also, in honoring Wilkie's dedication to the neighborhood, the restaurant is committed to supporting the Lower East Side community through several initiatives including partnerships with the Bowery Mission and local businesses such as Russ & Daughters, il laboratorio del gelato and Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery who are all featured on the restaurant's menu. Additionally, through the Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN), 30 percent of jobs at the hotel have been allocated to local residents.
After posting this statement, we heard from Russ & Daughters, who wanted to set the record straight:
Russ & Daughters doesn’t have a partnership with Mr. Purple or Hotel Indigo. That restaurant simply purchased smoked salmon at our shop one time. We never authorized them to use our name on their menus or in their promotional materials.
We then contacted the Bowery Mission to see if they do have a relationship with the hotel. In an email, James Winans, chief development officer for the Bowery Mission, told us the following:
The Gerber Group reached out to The Bowery Mission a number of weeks ago. They seem genuinely interested in getting to know The Bowery Mission and learning how they can help us serve our homeless and poor neighbors. The Gerber Group has made an initial financial contribution and spent a morning volunteering at the Mission.
Part of this relationship also included Mr. Purple donating a $1 to the Mission from every drink sold on Thanksgiving eve and Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, in a report yesterday, BoweryBoogie noted further tension between the bar and some local community members, particularly those who were friends with Adam Purple.
Multiple sources tell us that there was actually a meeting earlier in the year between Adam Purple and the Gerber Group. While the hotel was still under wraps. Purple apparently never gave them permission to use his name or his likeness and did not sign any documents to that effect.
We hear whispers that a large contingent wants to approach the hotel with positive solutions ... If the hotel is open to hearing these ideas and willing to speak with a representative from the community, they are saying, then there might be a way to honor Purple’s legacy, and at least might make a clueless concept a bit less offensive.
The short list of ideas includes asking the hotel to create a proper memorial in the bar with a display of photos and info about Adam, taking the “Mr. Purple Burger” off of the menu [Purple was a devout vegetarian] or replacing it with a garden burger, and educating the staff on the real story of Adam Purple.
For the time being, New Year's Eve reservations are now being accepted at Mr. Purple...
🍾💜🍾💜🍾 Celebrate #NYE at Hotel Indigo LES @mrpurplenyc!GA + table packages are on sale now #nye #2016 #nye2016 pic.twitter.com/v9dFFKYkof— Hotel Indigo L.E.S. (@HotelindigoLES) December 8, 2015
If you're interested, the VIP Table Package No. 3 is $3,000 ...
Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] The upscale hotel bar with a pool named for the late environmentalist Adam Purple
[Updated] The Gerber Group responds to criticism over Mr. Purple