Archive for the ‘New York’ Category
One of the many famous books that has been written in New York is Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Since I always associate the author with France (he was born there in 1900 and became a pioneer of French aviation), I never realized that he actually wrote this classic book while living in exile during World War II.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry lived in New York from 1941 to 1943. He stayed in an apartment on the 23rd floor of 240 Central Park South. His apartment in this posh neighbourhood overlooked Central Park and is where he did most of the writing and illustrations for what would become his most famous book. (He and his wife rented a home in Asharoken where he also wrote part of the book.)
Writer Stacy Schiff wrote an incredible piece for the New York Times about Saint-Exupéry’s time in New York that you can read here.
“On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”
Eloise’s New York
The Fitzgeralds tie the knot
”They did both look as though they had just stepped out of the sun; their youth was striking. Everyone wanted to meet him”.
- Dorothy Parker
When F. Scott Fitzgerald met and fell in love with Zelda, he was not yet rich or successful.
It has been said that Zelda broke off their engagement because she was tired of waiting for him to make his fortune, and that she only agreed to marry him after he’d established himself as a real writer when his book This Side of Paradise was published. A week after it was published, to be exact.
Regardless of what you think of all that, any Fitzgerald fan knows how much of an influence she had on his writing. In fact, he sometimes had his heroines say her exact words in his books.
As one of the most well-known couples in literature, I didn’t miss the opportunity to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral the last time I was in New York. It was there that Fitzgerald and Zelda were married in a small ceremony on April 3, 1920.
This stunning church on Fifth Avenue, the largest Gothic-style Catholic cathedral in the US, was where it all started. And it was only four years after that they were living in France as Fitzgerald worked on The Great Gatsby.
As I stood inside I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had never agreed to marry him…
“I am Eloise. I am six. I am a city child. I live at the Plaza.”
As a kid reading Kay Thompson’s book Eloise, I would have never imagined that one day I’d have the opportunity to stay at The Plaza. But, unbelievably, I did stay at this literary landmark a few years ago. And while I didn’t exactly have my run of the place like Miss Eloise, I did manage to have a pretty good time.
I’ll never forget my first ride in the elevator. I felt so out of place in the grand hotel because, unlike Eloise, my mother does not have a charge account at Bergdorfs and she has never known Coco Chanel. I opted for a late night drink at the Oak Bar, but for a real Eloise experience you should have tea at The Palm Court. Also, don’t forget to order something from room service, saying “Charge it, please.”
If you’d like a detailed Eloise itinerary for you and your kids, pick up Storybook Travels or have a look at The Plaza’s own Eloise Guides. And if the Eloise Shop in the hotel isn’t enough for you, there’s always this package that lets you live like Eloise for the night.
If you’ve never read this classic children’s book, what are you waiting for? And if you’d like to learn more about how author Kay Thompson came up with and published the story of Eloise in 1955, here is the complete Eloise Timeline.
“Libraries are the memory of humankind, irreplaceable repositories of documents of human thought and action.”
- New York Public Library
Every time I visit New York I always make a stop at the main branch of the New York Public Library at Fifth & 42nd, otherwise known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman building.
This particular branch is more than just the place that Carrie got stood up by Big in the Sex and the City movie. It’s also considered to be the finest example of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States (here’s a great self-guided tour of the building). Here are some other interesting NYPL facts: