Roads through Russia

Share! The story in the film Roads to Koktebel, that of a widower trekking to the Black Sea with his young son in the hope of starting a new life, seems emblematic of the Russian experience. The characters are resolute,…

Remember the Plaza?

Plaza Hotel Rose Club

The Rose Club at the Plaza Hotel provides a perfect refuge from a winter afternoon. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Plaza Hotel Rose Club ladies lounge

The ladies’ lounge at the Plaza Hotel’s Rose Club was surprisingly in disarray on a recent afternoon. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

After a carriage ride through Central Park, crossing 59th Street for a cocktail at the Plaza Hotel seemed a logical next step. There in the land of Eloise, though, the reality was not quite as perfect as my memories of the place. The Oak Bar is closed, the result of some apparent arrears in rent payments. (It should reopen in a couple of months, a concierge maintained. For now, padlocks remain on its doors. There’s a lawsuit.) The Palm Court just seemed crowded. Tea is okay in the Champagne Bar, but, really, I just wasn’t up for cocktails in the lobby.

Up to the Rose Club we went. The ambience was perfect for a wintry Saturday afternoon. Dark and paneled, the place offered refuge with nice lighting. My mistake was heading for the ladies’ lounge. Trash bins were overflowing and the place was a mess. The attendant just commented, “We’ve been busy.” Doing nothing, apparently.

I was soothed by our Irish coffees, which were perfect and overflowed with freshly whipped cream. Refrain from using the facilities, and you’ll be just fine.

© Lori Tripoli

Germany Year Zero

Share! I wasn’t sure what to think when I happened upon a memorial to victims of the war at St. Nikolai church in Hamburg, Germany. What remains of the church is basically a bell tower and a basement, some walls,…