Incredible 1920s Documentary Discovered

A new video surfaced recently that’s just sensational to watch for anyone that adores the 1920s and the Algonquin Round Table era. It is called New York in the Twenties, and first aired on American TV in 1961. This has to be one of the best videos of the era. The amount of home movies found in the piece is amazing. Among the 1920s celebrities included in it are Heywood Broun, Enrico Caruso, Charlie Chaplin, Continue Reading →

1927 Heywood Broun Letter

In 1927 Heywood Broun was among the highest-paid columnists in the city. His column, “It Seems to Me” in the World ran opposite Franklin P. Adams’ “The Conning Tower” on the “Opposite Editorial” page. Broun ran afoul of World publisher Ralph Pulitzer for repeatedly writing about the Sacco-Vanzetti case. The breaking point came when Pulitzer cancelled Broun’s column and suspended him. Broun subsequently wrote to Herbert Bayard Swope, who not only was the World’s colorful Continue Reading →

Rare 1952 Radio Show From Algonquin Hotel Found

While researching my book The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide, I uncovered a lost 1952 radio show recorded inside the Algonquin Hotel, The Tex and Jinx Show. Among the guests are owner Ben Bodne, Broadway librettist Alan Jay Lerner, and screenwriter-author Anita Loos. It’s an amazing time capsule of the hotel, at a time when Harry S. Truman was in the White House, a gallon of gas cost a quarter, and the Continue Reading →

TV Interview Tapes at Algonquin Hotel

I had the pleasure to be interviewed by reporter Andrew Whitman, the anchor and senior political correspondent for RNN FiOS1. We didn’t talk politics, just the legacy of the Algonquin Round Table. It was perfect to sit at the Round Table and talk about The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide. The interview aired last night on the Regional News Network in the tri-state area on the Richard French Live show. Thanks to Continue Reading →

Don’t Forget Jane Grant When Worshiping The New Yorker

Everyone is jumping up and down to celebrate (well, the nerds I follow), about The New Yorker turning 90 today. In every story Jane Grant gets left out. In my book and on my walking tour I say what her husband, Harold Ross, said: without her there’d be no magazine today. My book lays it out. But I truly believe if he’d started the magazine with a man, like a brother or partner, it would Continue Reading →

Hell’s Kitchen Birthplace of The New Yorker, and Bathtub Gin Recipe

This is a book trailer for my new one, The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide. And since I made it about Jane Grant, Harold Ross, and Alexander Woollcott, I thought I’d post this recipe. It’s from my earlier work, Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide. It’s the recipe Jane Grant used to make her own bathtub gin. The video was made outside their former duplex, the landmark 412 West Forty-seventh Continue Reading →

New York Times Review of The Algonquin Round Table New York

I was very happy to see Sam Roberts include my new book in his Bookshelf column in the Sunday New York Times. The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide shares space with The Ramones and Weegee, both are favorites of mine. Roberts also wrote about my 2006 book, A Journey into Dorothy Parker’s New York. Of the new book, he writes: This delightful illustrated reminiscence profiles the full cast of wits who defined cosmopolitan Continue Reading →

Contributing to Cladrite Radio

I kicked in a blog post for my friends at Cladrite Radio about, guess what? Radio. The article is Radio Pioneers of the Algonquin Round Table (tied into my new book this month, The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide) and it goes over the members of the Vicious Circle who were on the air. It was nice to be able to share some information about some of my favorite people, including Franklin Continue Reading →

When Harold Ross Chastised Frank Sullivan

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letter from Harold RossLetter from Harold Ross of The New Yorker to Frank Sullivan, both were Vicious Circle members. What I find ironic is now The New Yorker will use this language regularly. He also mentions John O’Hara.

This is some of the research from my new book The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide (Lyons Press).

The Vermont Alexander Woollcott Painting

Now that my book is out, I am looking at what went right and what went wrong with The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide. Today I was in a file of letters, and I came across one that I never got a response to. In 2010, I wrote to the director of the Castleton Free Library, in Castleton, Vermont. This is not far from where Alexander Woollcott and his friends had a vacation house Continue Reading →