Best Pool Parties (2011)

Le Bain, Grace Hotel

As the weather continues to chill, the city's indoor pool parties are more welcome than angora sweaters. They provide a lusty chance to strip to your most minimal swimwear and splash around as if it were 90 degrees and icky-sticky outside. And there are plenty of clubbies willing to delusionally play along with you. Parties at Le Bain, high atop the Standard Hotel, attract people willing to give up all pretense and dive into the jacuzzi for some wet-and-wild recreation, when the club keeps it open. (And once you're in there, icebreakers are hardly needed. All on the same vulnerable level, waterlogged night crawlers meet and talk sans awkwardness, whether they be tipsy tourists or shameless celebutantes.) Meanwhile, Michael Cohen and the gang host Wednesday-night pool parties at the Grace Hotel, where the gay boys and their admirers perform Esther Williams–like moves before butterfly-stroking it to the bar for a whole other kind of liquid joy. Le Bain, 444 West 13th Street, 212-645-4646, lebainnewyork.com (10014); Hotel Grace, 125 West 45th Street, 212-354-2323, room-matehotels.com/eng/nuevayorkhotel/gracehotel/gracehotel.php (10036)

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