“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” — Dorothy Parker
I’m a big fan of Mrs. Parker‘s acerbic wit and have subscribed to the New Yorker for years. I’m also a sucker for an old hotel with a fascinating history. The stories of how the magazine came into fruition among the brilliant minds who comprised the legendary Round Table of the Algonquin Hotel, made a visit to this literary landmark mandatory for me.
It was several years ago and I was in New York City with my husband. We were heading down Broadway to 44th Street to have a drink in the lobby lounge and visit with the ghosts of Mrs. Parker and Mr. Benchley. As we neared the Ed Sullivan Theater, we were approached by an intern from David Letterman’s show who offered us free tickets to the show that was starting momentarily.
The show featured lovely Isabella Rosellini and an unknown writer/actor/director named Billy Bob Thornton. After that fortuitous detour, we continued on to the Algonquin.
While we were waiting for a table to open up, a stranger approached us and asked if we knew where he could go to have a smoke. We chatted a bit, and quickly realized he was the guy we had just seen being interviewed by Dave. We mentioned seeing him at the taping an hour before. He was charming and kind of shy. A few weeks later Sling Blade premiered and Billy Bob Thornton broke into Hollywood.
So, that’s my little Algonquin brush with fame.
The Algonquin is a special place — whether it’s cocktails in the lounge, a cabaret act in the Oak Room, retro-style dinner at in the Round Table Room, or admiring the artwork of longtime regular, Al Hirschfeld in the Blue Bar — it remains vital 107 years after opening it’s doors.
Special promos including the “Writers Block” package (25 percent off the best possible rate if you can show a work in progress or a published work) can be found on the website. The brilliant literary legacy continues…
Photo courtesy of the Algonquin Hotel