The first place that I found out about in my quest to uncover New York's literary landmarks is the Algonquin Hotel.
Located on West 44th St. in Manhattan, the Algonquin is an unassuming, albeit luxurious hotel, with very little to outwardly distinguish it from the many such hotels in the neighborhood. However, what sets it apart is not any singular characteristic, but rather, the history that occurred within its walls. In 1919, a series of lunchtime meetings began in the hotel, which were called the "Algonquin Round Table." The Round Table, which later came to be known as the "Vicious Circle" for its members' biting wit, was a meeting-place for New York journalists, authors, actors and publishers, such as John Barrymore, George S. Kaufman, Alexander Woollcott and Dorothy Parker; such lunches occurred pretty much daily between 1919 and 1929. The ideas, tastes, and themes of that booming decade--one which would prove among the most culturally prolific in American history--were created and dissected in Round Table meetings. Ultimately, all of the literary greats of the Roaring Twenties, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, would spend some time at the Algonquin, exchanging "bon mots" about society, literature, and anything they saw fit. In fact, Fitzgerald had a family portrait taken in the lobby of the Algonquin near the end of his life. He could not have chosen a more appropriate place.
I am a sixteen-year-old high school student, about to enter my final year of high school, looking to improve my writing and to meet and learn from people who are trying to do the same. I have loved books--and loved writing--ever since I was quite wee, and find in Writopia the kind of warm, welcoming writers' community that I think is vital to keeping that love of words and that creativity alive and thriving.