Haunted New York
by Laura Kusnyer, 10/26/2010
Courtesy, The Algonquin Hotel
59 W. 44th St., 212-840-6800, Midtown West, Manhattan
The roaring '20s were in full swing when Dorothy Parker and her literary contemporaries, known as the Algonquin Round Table, held court during daily lunches at the hotel's Rose Room (since renamed the Round Table Restaurant). Parker, who was revered for her pithy word turns and wicked wit, literally took her macabre sense of humor to the grave: her desired epitaph, "Excuse my dust," can be found on the plaque marking the spot where her ashes are buried, in the garden of the NAACP's headquarters in Baltimore. Some claim that since her death in 1967, Parker still has plenty to say—just not to adults. "Dorothy Parker didn't like children," says former Algonquin concierge Daniel Jutt. "Children have been known to cry when inside the Round Table Restaurant—sometimes they even run out." Perhaps these reactions have nothing to do with Parker. Still, would it come as a huge shock to learn that the woman who wrote the lines "Guns aren't lawful / Nooses give / Gas smells awful / You might as well live" gets her kicks in the afterlife by scaring little kids?