Kat, Edward, Gatsby, Capote…and Kevin

IMG_0964 The Plaza Hotel is legendary.

It opened in 1907 when rooms cost $2 50 per night. Now they cost around $800. At the time it placed the largest ever single order for gold-encrusted china and boasted 1,650 crystal chandeliers.

In today’s New York it looks discretely down its nose at all these precious little lifestyle and boutique hotels, hipster upstarts serving their Stumptown coffee as if that can begin to compete with the ceiling of the Palm Court.

As a Manhattan landmark it represents the regal opulence of The Great Gatsby and not the Trumped up hubris of The Donald. It continues to be a goddess of the silver screen from its first starring role in Hitchcock’s 1959 thriller North By Northwest to parts in The Way We Were, The Great Gatsby, Almost Famous, Sex & The City, and American Hustle.

The Great Gatsby in one of The Plaza'a suites

Scene from 2013’s The Great Gatsby set in one of The Plaza’a suites

Appropriately for this time of year, it provided the backdrop to Kevin’s misadventures in Home Alone and Home Alone II. I find it impossible to feel sorry for oh-so-forgotten-about Kev when he gets to call these digs home.

26

Kevin arrives at The Plaza.

In 1966 The Plaza was the setting for Truman Capote’s lavish and fashionable Black and White Ball to celebrate the success of his novel In Cold Blood.

Mia Farrow and Frank SInatra arrive at the Black and White Ball

Mia Farrow and Frank SInatra arrive at the Black and White Ball

The Beatles stayed there while they conquered America.

It featured in several of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novels.

In fact Fitzgerald was so fond of the Plaza Hotel that Earnest Hemingway famously advised him to donate his liver to Princeton but his heart to The Plaza.

There is even a saying, “Nothing unimportant ever happens at The Plaza.”

Carrie Bradshaw outside The Plaza where she tells Mr Big of his new fiancé, "Your girl is lovely, Hubble" echoing Barbra Streisand's words in The Way We Were

Carrie Bradshaw outside The Plaza where she tells Mr Big of his new fiancé, “Your girl is lovely, Hubble” echoing Barbra Streisand’s words in The Way We Were

So, with all that in mind, how could I not feature The Plaza in my Christmas short story set in Manhattan?

In Blue and Unassuming Under a Christmas Star, I check back with my friends Kat and Edward from Silk for the Feed Dogs, self-defined luminaries of the modern age and legends in their own minds.

If there was a Black and White Ball today they’d blag a ticket and peacock about the Palm Court in the most outrageous costumes. Edward’s would undoubtedly have feathers; Kat’s, beads. Their eyes would sparkle to rival every crystal of those 1,650 chandeliers. They would be hiccuping with disbelief that they’d managed to wangle their way in as they gulped champagne form the gold encrusted china. Kat however wouldn’t be fooled into thinking her dream man was sipping a cocktail and preparing to make his move from across the room. She would be holding off to hit the downtown dive bars for any hope of an exciting Manhattan tryst. But Edward? Oh, he’d be breathlessly expecting the crowds to part and a hedge fund manager in showgirl spangles to lock eyes with him and sashay his way.

Find out what they really get up to at The Plaza in my short story, Blue and Unassuming Under a Christmas Star. No Christmas party can really start until Kat and Edward have been taken to its bosom.

Read it in PDF format here or download a free PDF copy of GIFTS here

For a print collector edition, click here or for an e-book edition here

And if you want to extend your time with them, US readers can get my novel Silk for the Feed Dogs hereand UK readers can get it here.IMG_0976

16 comments

  1. OMG! I love the inclusion of Home Alone in the Plaza~!!!

  2. It had to be done 🙂 What a lucky little temporary orphan! In fact I might change the title to Kat, Edward, Gatsby, Capote…and Kevin 🙂

  3. Oohhhh Carrie, Carrie. Love it. Looking forward to reading your story!! I will download when I’m home and cozy with tea and a blanket next to my Christmas tree. Not quite The Plaza but that’s ok, I’m more of a sweatpants gal these days anyway 😉 😉

    LOVE your style, friend. Through and through.

    XO

    • It should be enjoyed in sweatpants and under a blanket, no other way. By the twinkling of a Christmas tree will add a certain Je ne said quoi, You know what you’re doing. I hear no mention of chocolate…I just want to make sure the experience is 100%. All my writing should be topped off with chocolate. 🙂
      Your style rocks too, Allison. XO!

  4. Ah, the beauty of a historic hotel that has been around – all the stories and memories that were created in its corridors, ballroom, suites…

  5. Jackie, was that final photo of the cocktails taken at the Plaza? I dearly hope so — did you have a cocktail for for me? And were you wearing one of the sumptuous 1920’s dresses I posted about on Sunday? It was the yellow? Fabulous! You, my gorgeous girl, have the wonderfully lithe figure for the decadent, Roaring 20’s dresses.
    Sadly, they are something that do not fit well with my bottom and bust line. 😀
    XO

  6. PS. I am always fascinated by Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow’s relationship and other May-December Romances. They are interesting to watch. How much does the generation gap come up in conversation? Is it a problem or is it interesting? I know how much appears in my relationship. Hmmm~

  7. You should write about this. I’d love to know. I have an 11 year age gap between my husband and myself. A lot of talk about The Beatles and The Stones, bless 🙂
    Although I revealed to him the other day that I always imagined I’d be with someone a little older even when I was very young. My mum married a man 20 years older. They do say daughters tend to marry their fathers in a way…

  8. Reblogged this on Betimes Books and commented:
    The Plaza Hotel in NYC by Jackie Mallon

  9. Oh to be rich for only a few days a year…

  10. Or at least, to go and sip very slowly an overpriced cocktail and pretend to be…

  11. What a great post. I love your writing — always. I have fond memories of shoe shows at the Plaza growing up and accompanying the shoe men at Trader Vic’s afterwards. I haven’t been inside since it was converted to condos, but keep meaning to visit the Food Court that I’ve heard so much about recently. I just want to mention one of my favorite children’s books based on the childhood of Liza Minelli, “Eloise”. http://www.eloisewebsite.com/eloise_at_the_plaza.htm.
    http://womensfootwearinamerica.com

    • Thank you Julia for your kind words. I love that the shoe fairs were in such auspicious surroundings. Beats those custom built convention centers used nowadays for fabric fairs etc. I considered mentioning Eloise in my post but to be honest I have never read the books so I stuck with what I knew. I know they’re beloved my many but did not know however that they were based on Liza with a Z. Now I’m curious! The food court is quite spectacular…especially around Christmas if you’re in town.
      Hope your chimney’s clean for Santa’s fall! 🙂

  12. What a lovely Christmas gift! You’re so good to us. This makes me want to read the Great Gatsby again. Haven’t seen the movie yet as I’ve heard bad reviews.. Off to read your short story now.. Under my Christmas tree, wrapped in my dressing gown, while I devour a bag of Bombay mix!
    Have a wonderful Christmas Jackie =)

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