NYC is for lovers… book lovers that is! This bustling metropolis is, was, and perhaps forever will be the home of many literary maestros and masterpieces. With the sheer number of authors, poets and story backdrops New York City has influenced and inspired, it’s no secret as to why this city is a haven for literature junkies of all kinds. Whether you’re looking for a wordsmith-driven pub crawl or you want to take a stroll through Central Park and soak in the statues of famed literati, these spots through out the Big Apple are sure to satisfy your inner bibliotaph.
Blue Bar- The Algonquin Hotel
We will be celebrating the 98th Anniversary of the Round Table tomorrow at 3PM! We will be welcoming @k72ndst and relatives of Dorothy Parker. At 4 PM we will embark on a walking tour around the neighborhood. If you are in NYC and want to drop by please leave us a comment below! You can also join us virtually on Facebook Live.
Have you ever heard of The New Yorker magazine? (Insert eye roll and “duh” here.) Well, it was in this 115-year-old, boutique hotel where the famous zine gained the initial support and popularity that eventually lead it to become the household name for New York City residents, that it is today today. From 1919 to 1929 renowned poet Dorothy Parker held her famous Round Tables (named after the court of King Arthur) where regulars such as playwright George S. Kaufman, novelist Edna Ferber, writer Alexander Woolcott, and many other journalists, authors, publicists, and actors would gather to exchange ideas and witty banter over lunch. Some other familiar (and frequent) faces at the Algonquin were Sinclair Lewis, William Faulkner, Derek Walcott, Maya Angelou, Erica Jong, Gertrude Stein, Helen Hayes, Simone de Beauvoir, Scott F. Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
The Plaza Hotel
This posh and ritzy establishment has F.Scott Fitzgerald written all over it. Not only is this the spot where Fitzgerald himself, along with his free-spirited wife, Zelda, frolicked through the fountain in the front. But it is also a frequent setting within Fitzgerald’s most famous novel The Great Gatsby. It is here where the book’s protagonist, rags-to-riches Jay Gatsby spent much of his time to confirm his status and be a part of the 1920s most affluent and influential social circle and it is here where Tom Buchanan confronted Gatsby about his feelings for Daisy.
Edgar Allen Poe Cottage
Tucked away in the Bronx, is a small wooden farmhouse where acclaimed poet Edgar Allen Poe spent the last three years of his life (1846-1849). Now known as the Poe Cottage, this 1812-built cottage offered the poet a rustic setting that lead to some of his most esteemed works. It was here that Poe penned The Cask of Amontillado, The Bells and Annabel Lee.
Now a Michelin Star Rated restaurant, another one of Hemingway’s favorite watering holes was the Minetta Tavern. Located in the Greenwich Village, this place was quite the hotspot for many famous writers and poets and opened its doors in 1937, receiving its namesake from the paved over, and once flourishing Minetta Brook, which ran from Union Square to the Hudson River. Ezra Pound, Eugene O’Neill, E.E. Cummings, Dylan Thomas, and Joe Gould are just a few names perennial patrons of this quaint tavern on a weekly basis!
White Horse Tavern
Famed poet, Dylan Thomas, spent much of the last 18 months of his life at this establishment in the Greenwich Village. Legend has it that Thomas literally drank himself to death here, as just a few days before his passing he left this place with roughly 18 whiskeys in his system! This was also the birthplace of The Village Voice, an American news and culture paper, and was a loved meeting place for other famous authors such as Kimmy Baldwin, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson and Edith Wharton.
A slightly different scene from the mini pub crawl you’ve just encountered, but if you’re looking for a literary fix while also catching a breeze and serene views, Central Park is your go-to spot. There are two particular places on the premises that have immense literary significance.
In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, there is only one place where the novel’s protagonist, Holden, declares himself to be truly happy. That place is this carousel. Holden takes his sister Phoebe here at the end of the book.
Sir Walter Scott, William Shakespeare, Fitz-Greene Halleck… sound familiar? Walk down Central Park’s most notable horticulture feature, and breathe in some of the freshest air the city has to offer as you walk past one of the largest and last remaining stands of American Elm trees in North America… all while gazing at statues of renowned literati.
Hey bookworm! Know of a place we can add to the Big Apple’s literary guide? Let us know about it in the comments below!
And if you haven’t been to any of these places yet… what are you waiting for? Booking your book lover’s tour of NYC is just a click away!