Peeing At The Waldorf

250px-Waldorf_Astoria_exteriorThe world knows how much I love a good hotel, but it’s more than just to blow a wad in its overpriced bar.

It’s the whole package, from the majesty of its architecture, to the history that beckons.

I was making my way to an appointment when the Waldorf Astoria on 50th and Park Avenue, came into view. It’s a favorite of mine for many reasons.

They have Cole Porter’s piano, a tribute, after being a long time resident dying in 1954. images-1 The Bull and Bear Bar, like the Carlyle’s Bemelmans, gleams in all its male mahogany prowess.

There’s an underground railroad, Track 61, though no longer in use FDR rode in on, with a Pullman elevator to take him to his rooms…a testament to a certain way of life long gone.

Whenever I stroll through the immense lobby now filled with tourists in jeans and sneakers, I can still see what it was like when you never dared enter an establishment so grand unless you were dressed in your very best.

Porters pushing trunks lined the lobby, not squeaky suitcases on wheels.

Patrons were known as guests rather than tourists, many just embarking from ocean liners with names like Astor and Vanderbilt since they were the first builders of the finest hotels: The Astoria Hotel, The St. Regis, the original Waldorf on 33th Street and Fifth where the Empire State Building now stands.

Nothing slipshod, untidy or hit-or-miss in those days. A fine hotel was a haven for the well-heeled who happily paid to be catered to the hilt.

As I came bounding down Park I do what I always do whenever I pass by…I go in…climb the little staircase to poke my head into the ladies room met by a pretty woman in a crisp starched uniform. We smile, knowing she’s there to assist like in the old days, even though no one tips anymore oblivious to the forgotten custom.

The commodes are interred in little rosewood rooms, door secured, a pretty scent wafting with three-ply paper towels brandishing the Waldorf crest.

I emerge refreshed from my few private moments, putting some coins in the woman’s tiny  basket receiving smiles in return.

After smoothing my hair and adding a little gloss I think, how I’ve just rubbed elbows with another era I so wish remained.   images



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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14 Responses to Peeing At The Waldorf

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    And now so many wish for the good old days of the 1950s. I wonder what the next nostalgic time period will be; the 1970s with their theme of peace and love?


  2. I had the pleasure of staying at The Willard in DC. History was oozing through the walls, and while there I decided I could live very happily in the restroom.


  3. Elle Knowles says:

    I could have very well been happy in that time period myself! I remember when T and K were small they distained strange restrooms, refusing to enter, when we traveled. Maybe I wasn’t traveling in the right circles? 😉


  4. Love those upscale bathrooms! They are even clean! How often can you find a clean room to pee in?


  5. I think I’d feel too uncultured even to use the bathroom there. 🙂 I do love visiting all these places through your eyes though, Susannah.


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