Thursday, September 17, 2009

The New Yorker

My first days in this country was spent on the New Yorker Hotel back in 2005...
That is the place for my first U,S ans A people observations, conversations in English, first American food. Pretty much that is where I got my first impression of this country you know.. special place.

Now some years later, going to a show in NYC, I just found out this NYC conference is held in that same hotel. It's like closing the circle :) Love that place and the tiny diner on the first floor.

The 43-story New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Avenue, New York City) was built in 1929 and opened its doors on January 2, 1930.
Much like its contemporaries, the Empire State Building (opened in 1931) and the Chrysler Building (opened in 1930), the New Yorker is designed in the Art Deco style that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s.
For many years, the New Yorker Hotel was New York's largest hotel with 2,500 rooms. In addition to the ballrooms there were ten private dining "salons" and five restaurants employing 35 chefs. The barber shop was one of the largest in the world with 42 chairs and 20 manicurists. There were 92 telephone operators and 150 laundry staff washing as many as 350,000 pieces daily.

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s the hotel hosted a number of popular Big Bands while notable figures such as Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford and even Fidel Castro stayed here. The inventor Nikola Tesla spent the last ten years of his life in near-seclusion in Suite 3327 (where he also died), largely devoting his time to feeding pigeons while occasionally meeting dignitaries.
However, by the late 1960s, with both the passing of the Big Band era as well as the construction of more modern hotels, the hotel slowly lost profitability and closed its doors in April 1972.
Different proposals were offered for the use of the building, and in 1975 it was purchased by the Unification Church for $5,600,000. The church converted much of the building for church uses.
Under new management and following extensive renovation, the New Yorker Hotel re-opened its doors as a hotel on 1 June 1994.
The New Yorker Hotel also featured pro wrestling from the Ring of Honor promotion, featuring one of pro-wrestling's most famous matches, Kenta Kobashi (representing Pro Wrestling NOAH from Japan) facing Samoa Joe (representing Ring of Honor) in the Grand Ballroom on October 1, 2005.

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