Did I die and go to Heaven? Not yet. But I did stay at the legendary Algonquin Hotel for several days just last week, mere moments before its most recent sale at 82 million smackeroos.
For a writer, member of the Robert Benchley Society, and a humorist, visiting the home of The Algonquin Round Table is akin to a holy event.
The Oak Room. The mural. Me. This is my pilgrimage to the altar of wit, brilliant repartee, sophisticated quips, and cherished literary history.
Barb Best "A Vicious Circle" by Natalie Ascencios
Let us not forget Matilda, the celebrity cat whose chaise longue adorns the front lobby. She has a popular book (a biography), a Facebook page, an active Twitter account, and (I suspect) a lucrative merchandising deal. Eat your heart out, Eloise and Taco Bell Chihuahua.
I had the pleasure of meeting Matilda in The Oak Room when I was luxuriating over a lengthy, late breakfast with a writer friend. She's quite sociable (Matilda, that is).
The wallpaper upstairs in the hallways is custom made from classic New Yorker cartoons. Thurber, Arno, Steig, Addams. I never thought I'd say this, but I am in love with wallpaper.
Seeking inspiration within The Algonquin?
There is a "Writer's Block" rate at The Algonquin. Simply show a manuscript or published work to qualify.
BARB BEST is a new member of the Robert Benchley Society and in the Top Ten in the RBS Humor Writing Competition.
She is also the 2010 Erma Bombeck Global Humor Winner. Her blog is Barb's Blast.