Today is Dorothy Parker’s birthday. Born on August 22, 1893 in Long Branch, New Jersey, she grew up to become one of the great American wits of the 20th century. A member of the famed Algonquin Round Table, this quintessential New Yorker was a poet, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and champion of civil rights (she also loved dogs). The woman who once said “I'd like to have money. And I'd like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that's too adorable, I'd rather have money” is one of my favourite writers and a role model.
To celebrate her birthday, I went on a walking tour of her Upper West Side haunts led by Kevin Fitzpatrick, author of multiple books of Mrs. Parker and the Round Table. During the tour we stopped at 310 W 80th Street, where she lived as a teenager, and sang “Happy Birthday” and enjoyed a specially made birthday cake by Dandy Dillinger. It was a great way to spend her birthday.
So raise a glass wherever you are and say, “Happy Birthday, Mrs. Parker!”