Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #96

96 Dorothy ParkerDorothy Parker (1893 – 1967)

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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1 Comment

  1. Wonderful choice! By the way, Ms Parker’s “ode to the Martini” that you slipped in to the worthy tribute now appears on the back of the bottle holding a Brooklyn distilled and bottled gin named for Dorothy Parker. One of her other great pieces of theater criticism landed on Katherine Hepburn – Ms Parker said her performance …”ran the gamut of emotions from A to B”. I just discovered another priceless Parker quip – when she heard that legendary performer Fanny Brice got a “nose job” Ms Parker commented: “She cut off her nose to spite her race”

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