Our last full day in New York begins with a light breakfast at the Red Flame then Mass at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin on West 46th St. Here’s a link to an interesting video that showcases St. Mary’s beauty. And here is the video I’ve put together which begins with a clip of High Mass and shows why the church is nicknamed “Smokey Mary’s.” The video then adds some of the highlights from the rest of our day with background of “Sunday in New York” sung by Bobby Darin.
After St. Mary’s we will head down to the Morgan Library & Museum on Madison Avenue & East 36th Street. We have often heard of this museum’s beauty and its grand collection of rare books, but we haven’t had the chance to visit it yet.
After the Morgan, we will walk up Fifth Avenue to the St. Regis Hotel for drinks at the King Cole Bar. This is one of the most beautiful bars in New York, named for the mural by Maxfield Parrish, which originally graced the bar room in the Knickerbocker Hotel at Broadway and 42nd St., which opened in 1906. After the hotel closed in 1920, the mural was removed when the building was converted to an office tower. (It reopened as a hotel in 2015.) The mural was put in storage for several years and was later loaned to the New York Racquet Club on Park Avenue. In 1935, it was installed in a dining room at the St. Regis. It was moved to the smaller bar room in 2005.
Famous drinks seem to follow the mural. The Knickerbocker claimed to be the original server of the Martini in the United States, while the King Cole Bar claims to be the originator of the Bloody Mary (originally labeled the “Red Snapper”).
Another historical tidbit, in the basement of the Knickerbocker Hotel was a grill room, where Fred and Adele Astaire performed in December 1915 during a break from their vaudeville tour, ten years before they danced at the Club Trocadero.
After drinks at the King Cole Bar, we will head to Feinstein’s/54 Below, a nightclub in the basement of the space that used to be Studio 54, the famous/notorious disco club of the late 1970s. Today it is a beautiful space, perhaps the only remaining classic nightclub/cabaret in Manhattan. Last year we saw Michael Feinstein perform there, and in previous years we have seen Marilyn Maye and Emily Skinner, a Richmond native.
After dinner and the show at 54 Below, it will be back to the Algonquin for one last scotch in the lobby bar before we head back to Richmond on Monday.
Today’s Drink: Single Malt Scotch (Islay)
Tonight’s Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s