The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #96
In a city that Raymond Sokolov described as “devoted to the pursuit of lunch”, there can be little surprise that Dorothy Parker — poet, critic, satirist, short story writer, activist — was most famous… for having lunch. Empress of the Algonquin Round Table, Parker was fiercely loyal to the friends and colleagues with whom she lunched, trading bon mots and witty barbs through booze-filled afternoons. In those days, the offices of The New Yorker were across the street from the Algonquin and deadlines were early. Parker made a ritual of dashing off reviews like “Crude is the name of Robert Hyde’s first novel. It is also a criticism of it,” before heading across the street to sharpen her tongue with her fellow New Yorker columnists and wide circle of friends. Lunch would include a martini. Two at the very most. After three, she was under the table. After four, she was under the host.
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