I’m happy to report that the press release for the Wythe Hotel, a precious new hotel in an old textile factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, drops the adjective “authentic” only once. This shows incredible self-restraint on the part of the PR agency (a profession not exactly known for self-restraint): Authenticity is to Brooklyn what sun is to San Diego. It’s practically the civic religion thereabouts.
That’s not to suggest that the Wythe is coy about its "authenticity," even if the press release doesn’t beat you over the head with it. Built in 1901, the factory has been converted into a 72-room hotel and restored to a T, its industrial character “beautifully preserved,” with every last pine beam and arched window and cast-iron column shellacked and fetishized. Brooklyn food king Andrew Tarlow--of the, yes, authentic restaurants Marlow & Sons, Diner, and Roman’s--is managing the hotel’s food and drinks. Rooms include “custom made beds made from re-claimed ceiling timbers” by Brooklyn-based Dave Hollier Woodwork and Design; “seasonally sourced mini-bar offerings”; and “eco-friendly bath products” by Goldies, a natural, and therefore authentic, soap company in Brooklyn.
And not to split hairs here, but how authentic is the Wythe really? I mean, if they wanted to channel an early 20th-century textiles factory, they’d lock everyone in their rooms and force them to work 14-hour shifts, sewing ‘til their fingers bled, without fresh air, food, or water. Ain’t authenticity grand?