Image via Warby Parker
To celebrate the opening of its new location at East 82nd Street and Lexington Avenue, the eyewear company Warby Parker has released an Upper East Side Literary Map and Tour that pairs classic New York authors, stories, and places to their physical locations.
On 88th Street and 3rd Avenue we have Elaine’s, an Italian restaurant frequented by artistic greats such as Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Simone de Beauvoir, and Leonard Bernstein. On 87th and West End Avenue one can walk by the brownstones that inspired the home of everyone’s favorite teenage detective Harriet the Spy.
On Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street, the former Barbizon Hotel (check out our vintage photos!) made the map’s list of locations. Today the building has been repurposed for condos, but between 1940-1960, illustrious guests such as Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly, and Liza Minelli could be encountered in the hotel’s banquet halls and bedrooms. On a summer evening in 1953, Sylvia Plath was seen throwing her entire wardrobe out her hotel room window during a drunken tantrum. The hotel later served as inspiration for her novel The Bell Jar. Check out our article The Landmarked Barbizon Hotel on the Upper East Side of NYC, Famous for its Glamorous Clientele for more on the fascinating history of the hotel.
No NYC literary map would be complete without reference to Holden Caulfield’s jaunts around Manhattan in J.D. Salinger’s masterpiece The Catcher in the Rye. The Plaza Hotel is also not forgotten, where Kay Thompson’s beloved children’s book character Eloise lived on the top floor.
If this map leaves you hungry for more NYC literary fun, check out 7 spots where you can drink like the Beat Generation Did, Where Children’s Stories Come Alive in New York City and our 10 Places to Remember Edgar Allan Poe.