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Linda-Marie Singer is The Live Wire

Linda-Marie Singer - Click to Enlarge Strutting Into Peacock Alley
with Billy Crystal
Click to Enlarge By Linda-Marie Singer

Click on the thumbnail images to display an enlargement.

"Please. I couldn't have another tart," came the remark from an elegantly dressed patron seated next to me. She was referring, of course, to the array of dainty yet delectable desserts waiting to be noticed at The Waldorf-Astoria's Peacock Alley. "Should I have one more?" she asked her dapper companion as she cradled the china dish. His smile said she should, and that was the last I saw of the frothy lemon meringue patisserie.

Peacock Alley - Billy Crystal
Strutting into Peacock Alley with Billy Crystal
One table over and I heard a familiar refrain: "May I have your autograph?" Billy Crystal was enjoying some fluffy eggs with Belgian waffles when he was handed a piece of paper and a pencil. The actor smiled and shook the child's hand which prompted his parents to chime in with, "That's my boy!"

But it's Sunday after all and that signals brunch for even the stars at the acclaimed Peacock Alley. Located in the lobby of The Waldorf-Astoria, the grandest hotel in New York City, Peacock Alley struts with perfection. Imposing yet surprisingly intimate, diners can inhale the rich aroma of the tantalizing food while they tip their glasses and drink in the glamour.

There's a $50 price tag to such indulgence, but aren't you worth it? So is the bill of fare with copious amounts of everything you've imagined of a brunch extraordinare. From buttery French croissants to healthy
MUFFINS.jpg (31713 bytes)
Peacock Alley's buttery selections
portions of fresh fruit, honeyed rice pudding, and lavish Eggs Benedict, everything has a Benedictine-like effect on your senses. What's more, patrons are never bothered by waiters hinting that you hurry, or by onlookers waiting to take your place.
Credit the philosophy of millionaire William Waldorf Astor who, back in 1893, dreamed of a one of a kind opulent establishment that would tingle his guests. Originally located at 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue, in 1931 the current site was moved to span 81,000-square feet between Park and Lexington Avenues and 49th and 50th Streets. Peacock Alley
Studying the desserts at Peacock Alley

No wonder at the time of its opening, it was the biggest hotel in the world, and the first skyscraper hotel soaring forty-two floors above mid-town Manhattan. Perhaps even more astonishing was the Art Deco décor that has not been replicated with any charm or authenticity by today's nouveau hotelier.

Maybe that's just the point. No one can clone this property with its 119 suites and 123 guestrooms (no two are decorated alike) or "the hotel within a hotel." I'm referring, of course, to The Waldorf Towers that occupies the 27th to the 42nd floors of the landmark building. If walls could talk or sing, you'd hear from kings and queens, business tycoons, Hollywood stars, and U.S. presidents who have stayed there. The guest list of permanent residents includes President Hoover, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Frank Sinatra, and of course Cole Porter who penned many famous melodies in his Waldorf Tower suite.

For sentimentalists, Porter's Steinway grand piano is in The Cocktail Terrace and plunked nightly. Still, it will always be the composer's one-liner that added to the charm of the popular venue. "You're a Waldorf Salad" he wrote, and today only the Waldorf can say that.

Information on"

The Waldorf-Astoria
39 East 51st Street
New York, NY 10022

Phone: 212-355-3000 or 800-WALDORF or 800-HILTONS
Fax: 421-8103

For Peacock Alley reservations:

Phone:  212-872-4845

Weekend specials begin at $189

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Linda-Marie Singer "The LIVEWIRE" for Travel Watch. Former President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and created the national writers conference, "The Days of Wine & Proses." She is a travel and entertainment reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area. (More about this writer.)

Email: lindamari@aol.com - Web: http://www.i.am/lindamarie  

 

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