HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

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No one likes to be old,” Nora Ephron wrote. “The most they will cop up to is that they’re older. Or oldish.”

We’ll own up to being flat-out old. Making it well past the century mark (111 years, people!) is nothing to sneeze at, and we’re proud of every decade…every facelift, each nip and every single tuck.

The Washington online viagra Square Hotel started out in 1902 as the Hotel Earle, shown in the postcard above. Many additions and what seems like a zillion incarnations later, we’ve evolved into what we are today. It goes without saying that we still have air conditioning and color TV. But the rest–the stuff that you can’t find anywhere else–is happily the same..our proximity to jazz and rock clubs, famous restaurants and off-Broadway theater.

From the staid, affluent environment of Henry James’ Washington Square, to the bohemian counterculture of the ’60s, the hotel has always personified the fashion of the day. Creative types like Ernest Hemingway, Buddy Miles, Joan Baez, Dylans Bob and Thomas, Dexter Gordon, the Stones and the Ramones have all gravitated to us.

Artists, writers and musicians still frequent the Washington Square Hotel. So do doctors, insurance brokers, real estate agents and people from all over the world.

Our looks are always going to be changing, but our attitude will remain the same. We hope our guests feel like family because to us, they are.

Happy Birthday both to us and our guests! We hope that you agree that all of us wear our age well.

Check Out Our Garden!

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We’re thrilled to let you know that the hotel’s vegetable and herb garden is even bigger, badder and greener this year. So what’s on the menu? Collard greens, cabbage, lettuce, acorn and patty pan squash, eggplant, tomatoes and pumpkins are just a few of the offerings.

Jake’s Rooftop Garden, named after owner Judy Paul’s grandpa, came to be in an interesting fashion. Tommy Benedict, an urban landscaper and the guy in charge of the whole shebang, took me though the beginnings. (You know those beautiful flower arrangements in the restaurant? The ones that you could never, ever fathom doing yourself? That’s Tommy.)

Judy had always wanted a rooftop garden, and last year finally decided to do something about it. As the building is a little um, long in the tooth, she checked with an engineer to see if it the roof could actually carry the weight.

And so an ingenious idea was born. To avoid putting any direct pressure on the roof itself, a kind of suspended railroad was created around the perimeter and secured with iron. Crates and window boxes carrying the actual produce are perched on the contraption, raised about a foot up along the edge of the ceiling.

And there you have it…a rooftop garden that doesn’t actually touch the roof:

 

Tommy feels that vertical growing in containers as opposed to sideways ultimately produces a higher yield, as herbs and vegetables are continuously harvested and thus constantly replenish themselves. (Farmers with a vast acreage can usually only harvest once a year.) Another advantage to using crates is that individual boxes of veggies can be moved around so that each gets the proper amount of sun…micro-management at its best.

Last year, the garden yielded almost enough herbs to fuel the entire restaurant and bar. (Yes, we grow our own mint for our mojitos–don’t you?)  So this year, Chef Yoel Cruz presented Tommy with a detailed wish list of what he could use in the kitchen–and Tommy came through. Almost a dozen different types of peppers, three types of basil, leeks, chives, zucchini…you get the picture. Our herbs and vegetables are mostly sourced from local farmers and Tommy expects to keep the garden going through October, or at least until the first frost.

Jake’s is a true city garden. New Yorkers are geniuses in space utilization and the hotel is no exception. Tommy explained to me that pfizer viagra cheepest prices horticulture may be a science, but you still have to experiment and make it your own. He’s committed to looking at different ways to feed us and we’re equally committed to eating it up.

 

Come back, Joan!

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We’re no longer that, “crummy hotel over Washington can i order viagra from the chemist Square” that you wrote about in Diamonds and Rust.

We’ve been renovated, revamped and recharged. We’ve got a fitness room, pillow-top mattresses and free WIFI. And we can serve you three delicious meals a day, which we couldn’t when you wrote this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGMHSbcd_qI

Damn that’s a great song.

But we’re not crummy anymore, Joan, so please come back and write another one!

 

Who Painted That?

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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

staff members to tell me buying viagra with no prescription about them.

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 Draper would 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.

Another Old Fashioned, please.

 

 

 

 

Halloween Is Popping Up All Over

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 Monroe and 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.

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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.

What are you going to be?

Image via Daily News

Happy Birthday to ya, Happy Birthday to ya..Happy Birthday!

The way we were…

I was once at a party for a gentleman who was turning 40.  The hostess

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.)

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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).

And you.

So Happy Birthday to ya, and here’s to 110 more!