In a city where you can throw a stone & hit a hotel, The Carlyle remains one of Manhattan’s grandes dames, proffering old world luxury & charm, along with new world service & plumbing. Considering its position some eighty blocks north of anywhere that my friends live or hang out in New York, it’s extraordinary how often one or other of us finds ourselves in the bar for cocktails.
On my second weekend in Manhattan my parents took me there for brunch, and I was entranced not just by the extraordinary array of delicious food, but by the diverse clientele, who ranged from Upper East Side silver foxes & twenty-something preppies in pink Polo shirts to dignified African-American ladies in hats & skinny jean-clad hipsters. (It made my list of quintessential Manhattan experiences in 2007.)
There’s always something interesting going on there, I had tea with Lulu Guinness there last week, and this week’s reason to visit is this wonderful art project: the hotel has commissioned New York’s only remaining sidewalk artist Hani Shihada to recreate Picasso’s “The Dream,” in chalk on the sidewalk just outside the hotel.
It’s not a random gesture: the artwork ties in with the opening this week of The Met’s landmark Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art show, just four blocks north of the Hotel.
May I suggest a walk around the show, followed by a sidewalk viewing, before heading to The Carlyle’s iconic Bemelman’s Bar for a Martini and a look at the eponymous original murals?