DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Algonquin

I took the above picture last spring of the Algonquin Hotel on 44th Street in New York City. These days, its rooms start at $371 a night. Dorette and I had a drink there but stayed at another hotel she found that offered a better deal.

I have many positive memories of the Algonquin, especially of it back in the old days, when its rates were low even by the standards of the time.

When a repeat customer registered, the clerk would retrieve a card from a file cabinet and you’d sign on the line below the signature you’d left the last time you were a guest.

The hotel had an interesting history.

Back in the 1920s, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Harold Ross (the editor of the nearby New Yorker magazine) and other wits would gather there and seated at a round table, exchange quips that were often published in the press.

A bellhop once told me my room was next to the one where Humphrey Bogart had romanced his future wife, Lauren Bacall.

The charm began to change when the Algonquin was sold to Japanese investors. To give them credit, the new owners refurbished the hotel in its original style and got rid of the obsolete registration system.

Then it was sold yet again, this time to the Marriott conglomerate, which thoroughly “modernized” the hotel and jacked up the room rates.


Sometimes, it’s not fun to be a nostalgic old guy.


One thought on “DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Algonquin”

  • Old Gym Rat April 1, 2017 at 1:41 am

    Not all reminisces end up with positive feelings.


Leave a Reply