I was sitting in the lounge at North Square sipping on (okay, swilling) an Almond Old Fashioned when my eyes were drawn to the cool artwork on the walls. Drinking makes me curious–and chatty–so I asked
The painting of the nude woman over the bar is a copy of “La Belle Raphaela”, originally painted by Tamara de Lempika, a Polish Art Deco painter. This particular rendition was painted on tiles by Mrs. Rita Paul, proprietor of the hotel. Step into the dining area of the lounge and you will see Mrs. Paul’s painted versions of black and white photos of some of the great stars of yesterday: Marlene Dietrich, Anne Sheridan, Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard. Oh, and upstairs in the hotel lobby are still more decorative tiles that Mrs. Paul hand painted. (I love when talented people are prolific. Don’t you?)
Sitting there among all this beautiful artwork, I felt transported back to another time. If only Gregory Peck or Laurence Olivier would stroll through the door…
Actually, Don Draperwould do very nicely, thank you. I’m not all that picky.
So if you too were curious about where the lounge artwork came from, now you know! You’re welcome.
Everyone loves Halloween. What’s not to love? The holiday just screams fun. Fulfilling a fantasy to be someone (or something) other than yourself for at least a few hours certainly trumps stuffing your face with turkey and cranberry sauce in my book. (I mean, I can be Marilyn Monroeand eat tootsie rolls double-fisted at the same time? Yep. Count me in.)
I really don’t think there is any place that is as passionate about the holiday as Greenwich Village. The annual Halloween parade is an unbelievable spectacle of creativity and good humor. I dare you to find a more inventive bunch than the Draculas, goblins, Lady Gaga and Sarah Palin wannabees that march up Sixth Avenue every October 31.
In fact, Halloween is a big deal around the entire city. Shopkeepers keep bowls of candy on hand for sugar-obsessed kiddies that trick or treat along Broadway. Apartment buildings hold lobby pizza parties for their tiniest tenants before they knock on their neighbors’ doors begging for yummy things. Costumes are planned and discussed extensively weeks–even months–ahead.
Which brings me to the phenomenon of Halloween costume pop-up stores. Pop-ups begin appearing in late September all around the city. Probably the most widely-known is the transformation
of Ricky’s stores into temporary Halloween stores. Ricky’s is a local funky beauty/fashion chain that converts a bunch of their outlets into costume emporiums every October. Make-up, wigs, entire costumes…everything you need you can find here. (By the way, the regular Ricky’s is pretty great, too.)
Just a few blocks from the hotel (450 Sixth Avenue) is a pop-up in an old, beloved, since-closed food outlet, Jefferson Market. (Jefferson Market was the NYC Whole Foods back in the day. But a lot better). The unique atmosphere of a gourmet food bazaar cum costume shop inside just screams Greenwich village.
Between all the great options here in the city, it’s going to be a great Halloween.
graciously brought out a cake adorned with a candle for every year (with presumably one to grow on) and the worst possible thing in the world happened to him. The fire alarm went off. He was not happy. Not. At. All. (But yeah, I laughed. We all did.)
So the first thought I had when I heard that the Washington Square Hotel was turning 110 was, “Holy Five-Alarmer, Batman! Call the Fire Department!”
In other words, 110 years is a very, very long time. Since the beginning, the Hotel Formerly Known as Earle has played host to rockers (Dylan, the B-52′s, Bo Didley), writers (Papa Hemingway, P. G. Wodehouse), jazzmen (Buddy Miles, Dexter Gordon) and Monkees (Davy Jones).