Herman Melville. Henry James. Edith Wharton. Washington Irving. Bernard Malamud. All these writers were born in New York City, and numerous others have adopted the city as home. Here are five spots where you can pay tribute to literary greats in New York City.
The Algonquin Hotel
Recreate the famous literary Algonquin Round Table – where Dorothy Parker, George F. Kauffman and other writers and artists traded witticisms in the 1920s – at the historic Algonquin Hotel. The Algonquin’s history reads like a who’s who of the past century: William Faulkner wrote his 1950 Nobel Prize acceptance speech in one suite; Douglas Fairbanks and Orson Welles honeymooned here; and Angela Lansbury and Tallulah Bankhead both lived here in their teens. Dine on traditional American dishes like New York strip steak and crab cakes at the Round Table Restaurant, followed by a night out at the Blue Bar, where you can sip cocktails and spout Dorothy Parker bon mots like “I shall stay the way I am… because I do not give a damn.”
Invisible Man: A Memorial to Ralph Ellison
Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man managed to do the opposite of its title – catapulting Ellison, the grandson of slaves, to the height of visibility. Invisible Man won the National Book Award in 1953 and he used his new platform to promote the power of the written word, highlighting the importance of books as moral compass. Pay tribute to Ellison in Riverside Park, where a mighty 15-foot-high, 10-foot-wide bronze monolith, titled Invisible Man: A Memorial to Ralph Ellison, rises at 150th Street; Ellison lived right nearby. Created by artist Elizabeth Catlett, the sculpture features a carved-out silhouette of a striding man, through which you can see the park’s springtime blossoms.