Friday, September 21, 2012

Beautiful New York: The Plaza Hotel

After we returned from our trip to California, I got in my car and drove to New York City.  My best friend Gina was there visiting her cousin (my college roommate and dear friend), Craig.  Since I never get to see them, we decided to spend a couple of days together.  We shopped and went out to lunch.  In the evening, we had dinner at one of my favorite New York restaurants, Patsy's (side note: as I get older, I've noticed that all of my favorite restaurants are upscale, slightly old-school, and cater to the over 60 set.  These are the best restaurants!  Patsy's is one of them.  White tablecloths, great food, wonderful service, and no trendy, over-dressed guests trying to impress.  It's not scene-y.  I like that about Patsy's). 
 
 
During our New York visit, we all went to lunch at The Plaza.  I've walked past this historic hotel a small handful of times, but I've never been inside.  The interior was so mesmerizing, I snapped a bunch of pictures with my iPhone...
 
 









 
 




I can't quite come up with the words to describe the pure grandeur of this place.  It's truly magical.  You walk through the marble-clad hallways, look up at the gold-trimmed plaster ceilings and you can only imagine the Gatsby-esque parties that have occurred here over the years.  What kind of social giants of the 20th Century stayed here?!  It's a one-of-a-kind landmark that can't be missed, and if you're in New York, you must go!  Next time I visit The Plaza, I would like to have tea in the Palm Court just so I can stare at that incredible glass ceiling for an hour.  The gal in the gift shop told me that when Conrad Hilton owned the hotel in the 1940s, he covered that glass ceiling to make way for air conditioning!  Can you believe it?  Fun stuff. 

Before lunch, we walked into The Plaza Gift Shop, which is filled with interesting things-- new gifty items and fun vintage Plaza memorabilia.  Gina and I bought necklaces by DogEared.  I'm calling it a "friendship" necklace (even though our choices don't match) because Gina and I have been friends for about 20 years.  In junior high, we wore friendship bracelets and signed our notes "BFFs!!".  So, when I wear it, I will think of her.  I also bought an ashtray from the former Edwardian Room (the space is now occupied by Italian designer, Angelo Galasso).  But just a short time ago, The Edwardian Room was a notorious restaurant at The Plaza, overlooking Central Park (originally, it was a mens-only club...  but later evolved to include both genders, which is nice).  The ashtray was only $12.00 and I think it might be considered "vintage" at this point (is it over twenty years old? Ha!).   My little Plaza trinket now holds my bracelets on my bedside table...





The three of us ate lunch at Todd English, located on the lower level of The Plaza.  It's a gorgeous space and the food was delicious.  I highly recommend...

 love the orange barstools and mosaic floor
 
fun typography at the bar
 
 


 

 

 

modern tile in the kitchen



the three of us at lunch
(me, Craig, and Gina)



Homemade pasta anyone?
 
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If you're a history nut like me, you will DEFINITELY enjoy watching a few short videos on The Plaza's website. I would have posted them here (one is particularly great!), but the page won't let me share them. So, click HERE and make sure to watch the two videos under the "Restoration" section of the page. Once you've seen those, scroll down a little lower and watch the video called Architectural Tour-- you'll see the ballroom where Truman Capote hosted his famous "Party of the Century". The videos are short, they're fun to watch, and they allow you to escape to The Plaza for a few minutes today!!
 
 
 
Happy Friday!
 
 
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8 comments:

Karen said...

so incredibly beautiful!

Dayka said...

loved this post. i'm always looking for new (to me), good places to eat when in nyc, so i'm adding patsy's to my list. i'm also off to check out the plaza videos 'cause i love that kind of stuff. even though i have family in nyc, i'd love to stay at the plaza during christmas...it's like a dream of mine.

side note: aren't college friends the best??!

pve design said...

Kelly-
Nice to meet you here and your blog. What a wonderful site with so many drool worthy items....I will certainly be shopping with you!
What a High!
Love to sketch your home!
pve

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Ugh - I hate when people mess with beautiful architecture! That glass ceiling! I worked as a docent/tour guide in grad school at the New York State Capitol Building (definitely check it out if you have a chance!). The renovation is finally done, including the glass ceiling (which was also covered up - why do people do this??).

I've never eaten at Patsy's but have walked by several times. Have you ever stayed/dined at The Carlyle? I love that place... and sometimes, if you are lucky, you can see Woody Allen's band play there :-)

I love dogeared necklaces, too. I wear a gold ship wheel from that company and I've given the Karma necklace to a very deserving friend. The 100 wishes is also on my wishlist.

Glad you had a nice trip!

Holly said...

I love this stuff too and will have to check out those videos when I have a chance. And thanks for the tip on Patsy's - I love getting recommendations on good places to eat that aren't too fussy and just really good food and service. I'm dying for a trip up to NY - I keep hinting to my husband that I'd like to go up for our anniversary in January but I don't think I can wait until then. Will also have to put The Plaza on my list of places to see when we're up there.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely recommend staying in the Tribeca hotel!
-Jon

Philip Horky said...

You are so right about Patsy's. My wife and I had dinner there two nights ago. We had never been before. Once inside, NYC became that magical place you only read about or see in movies: something incredibly authentic and rare (and fleeting).

Philip Horky said...

You are so right about Patsy's. My wife and I had dinner there two nights ago. We have never been before. Once inside, NYC became that magical place you only read about or see in movies: the waiters with the half-length white uniform jackets (with gold epaulets) and all cast from the set of Casablanca, the Russian maitre d' with an impresario's smile, the close quarters, the white table clothes, the sparkling glassware, and the 103 year old man who comes nightly to dine...all combined to give that feeling of something authentic and rare (and fleeting).

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