…From the of The Art Deco Traveller. Photos – copyright of JeevesNew York is a city of contrasts, whether it is a shopping trip, a family break or theatre pilgrimage – needless to say, it has it all!
This is also the case when it comes to Art Deco. You are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to visiting monuments, buildings, cinemas, restaurants and bars. This is because Art Deco is not just a style, it is an era and New York in particular picked up on all the elements of this fascinating period.
My top tips are to plan your destinations to visit before you go, otherwise you end up wasting valuable time on the metro going back and forth and easily getting sidetracked. First you must visit the Chrysler building with its fascinating steel eagle gargoyles and the ever changing glint of the metal work. Affectionately known as the ‘Jewel of New York’, it was completed in 1930.
Next is the Empire State Building that was completed in 1931, built during the great depression. It was known as the ‘empty state building’ due to the lack of occupation, as businesses could not afford to expand or relocate to new premises during this low time in American history.
For all round entertainment, the Rockefeller Centre must be on your tick list; it hosts an array of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. The Radio City Music Hall has a theatre seating over 6,000 with a gargantuan proscenium where you can see the Rockettes dance group who were formed in 1925 in Missouri. They have been performing in these glamorous and sumptuous surroundings since 1932 and it is a real trip down memory lane back to the glitzy jazz age.
A valuable source of information is The Art Deco Society of New York (ADSNY) who will point you in the right direction. They offer and run some amazing events for any Art Deco lover and you can even coincide your trip with their special events. I hope this has whetted your appetite to find the other hidden deco treasures that the Big Apple has to offer.
Now a little nearer to home, I would like to share a little of that sultry café noir atmosphere which you can find at the unassuming Swing Bar in Hope Street, Glasgow. This venue captures that prohibition feeling whilst providing top rate entertainment.
When in London, head for the Green Bar at the Hotel Café Royal inspired by the Café Royal cocktail book of 1937. Guests and contemporary Londoners alike enjoy this vibrant destination. Alternatively visit the O.W.B (short for Oscar Wilde Bar), which although not art deco in style, is outrageously opulent and sumptuous and was frequented by those ‘bright young things’ of the 1920s and 30s.
Enjoy your Art Deco travels… Genista Davidson.