UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE CLOSED! THE WINNERS ARE
MARLA B & AUTUMN TREPANI
The first time I met Laurie, aka L.A., Chandlar was at the Toronto Bouchercon. She and I were on a panel that had decided to act out scenes from each other’s books. It was a lot of fun, terrifying, and a bonding experience for us all. Since then I’ve loved following Laurie’s publication path. Her series is so much fun, and takes place during a really interesting time. But let her tell you more about that.
Enjoying 1930s New York City Today
by L.A. Chandlar
The more the city changes, the more it stays the same. Despite towering sky scrapers going up in every direction, there are so many side streets where if you swapped out the cars and fashion, it could be any era.
I love that about big cities, but specifically New York. In The Art Deco Mystery Series, I bring in many real places that were around in the late 1930s and are still here today. I love to write things that help you experience an era, a place, perhaps get to witness events that we can only hear about in a bland textbook. Today, I’m going to show you some of my favorite places in my books that you can you still go to today. Thanks for joining me!
The first is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, built in 1872. I have many scenes that take place there in all three books. I love the soaring main entrance and on Fridays and Saturdays the museum is open late. They have a live classical band playing on the second floor rotunda looking down on the entrance where they also happen to have a wine bar. I give a tour of the locations in my book and then a little talk on the colorful and interesting 1930 America Today mural by Thomas Hart Benton.
In The Pearl Dagger, a favorite scene happens at Ophelia Lounge. In the 1920s, it was a women-only lounge, but later in the thirties, they opened it up for men. Lane takes Finn there one night after a sleuthing engagement at the El Morocco. The place was refurbished recently and gives you quite a taste of Art Deco charm. It’s at the top of the Beekman Building on First Avenue at 49th and offers three-sixty views around the city, a gorgeous bar, and divine velvet settees and vintage cocktails.
In all three books, Bryant Park is a favorite place. I took some artistic liberty to make it an amalgam of today and 1930s. If you’re in the mood for Thanksgiving and Christmas, book 2 The Gold Pawn takes place during that season and features Bryant Park’s Winter Village full of little shops, eateries, ice skating, a large Christmas tree and my favorite: Southwest Grill at the west side of the park. It’s an outdoor restaurant –even in winter—with fire pits placed around where you can roast marshmallows and chestnuts under the stars.
If you really want to feel like you’re going back in time, you can visit the place where I held my book launch party. The speakeasy called UES is on Second Avenue between 88th and 89th streets. The outside is a diminutive and functional ice cream shop. “Storage” is the speakeasy behind the walls. And it’s gorgeous. They have vintage cocktails and an incredibly artful interior with brick arches, booths, and loads of romance. With Sinatra playing in the background, it feels as if you’ve slipped back in time to another world.
To celebrate being on the Wickeds and that The Pearl Dagger just won Suspense Magazine’s highest honor of Crimson Scribe, the best book of 2019, I’m going to have a big giveaway! Enter by commenting on the blog and sharing on your Facebook. For each comment and each share, you’re entered to win (be sure to tag me -L.A. Chandlar- on Facebook). I’ll have TWO winners who will get a copy of The Pearl Dagger, fun swag including a silver dagger necklace, and Lane’s favorite chocolates.
Comment on the article or here are a couple of questions for you: Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do or see in New York? If you could go back in time to visit any era, what would it be?
Good luck and thanks for joining us!
Bio: L.A. Chandlar is the National Best-selling author of the Art Deco Mystery Series with Kensington Publishing. Book 3, The Pearl Dagger, is the winner of Suspense Magazine’s Crimson Scribe Award, best book of 2019. Laurie speaks for a variety of audiences including a women’s group with the United Nations.
I love art deco and the 20s and 30s with the drinks and hint of crime. Your book looks to be terrific! Shared.
Thanks, Gloria! It’s such a fantastic era, isn’t it?? Thanks for connecting! ❤️
Your series sounds great, Laurie! As for NYC, I would love to just walk around and look at all the sights. I think it would be amazing to see all the famous buildings and places I’ve only seen in movies and on TV.
Marla, it really is so fun! Some streets are so modern, but others are untouched. This is such a great season, too, coming up ❤️. Thanks for commenting!
Hi again, Marla! You are one of my winners! Friend me on FaceBook and send me a DM with your mailing address so I can send out your package! (Or send an email to Laurie@LAChandlar.com) Congrats!!
Congratulations on the big win for the book!
The only thing I really would ever want to do in New York is attend Thrillerfest some day. Otherwise, being a Boston sports fan, I have an incredibly irrational but pleasingly well earned disdain for all things New York. HA!
I’m not sure that I would want to ever go back in time. I doubt it would be as full of high adventure like The Doctor’s travels in the TARDIS. I suppose if forced to choose something it would be less to experience a specific time but rather give me answers. I’d go back to the Kennedy assassination so I could learn the absolute truth for myself.
Jay😂😂 I get it. ThrillerFest IS great! I’m the new Debut Author Chair, too, so lmk if I can ever help you w questions on TFest. And YES re answers in history. Did you read Stephen King’s 11/22/63? It’s on the Kennedy assassination. I love learning about history and when it turns on a dime.
Laurie, welcome back to the blog and congrats on the Supense mag honor! (Don’t enter me in the contest.) How does the Depression affect your characters? Will Erte ever make a appearance?
Thanks, Edith! Erte would be a GREAT cameo!!!! Aunt Evelyn needs to be friends with him and Lane needs to wear a fashion item of his. ❤️ You know, I have my characters deal w the Depression in ways that my family did. I took stories of my grandpa raising bees for honey and sharing w the neighborhood and gave those ideas to Mr. Kirkland and little things like the way ladies would run out of stockings and sometimes use pancake makeup on their legs and run a line of eyeliner up the back of their calves to look like stockings… And Lane is the aide to Mayor La Guardia and she feels deeply about the citizens and their suffering. She loves her job for that reason: to get to make a difference and invest in people. La Guardia really cared for his people and listened to petitioners every single day and then did something about their problems. I loved that about him.
I’ve always dreamed of going to the Met Gala and see upfront all the celebrities, gowns and be a part of all the excitement. I’d also love to go a street fair in Central Park, browse and shop with the street vendors. You are a terrific author and I love reading your books. Thank you for the opportunity.
Thanks so much, Jeanne! YES Central Park is divine and street fairs are so fun. There’s something so lively and fun about the creativity and the shared experience. ❤️
I’d like to go back to the 30’s, since my father worked in New York then, and it would be interesting to see what he saw. My husband loves the city so maybe sometime we will have to make a trip there and see the places you’ve talked about!
I have always wanted to look at the windows decorated at Christmas time in NY..If I could go back in time it would be in the 1800’s.
Brenda- the windows are so fun!!! So creative to see every year. And YES the 1800s have a lot of fascination to me, too.
Oh my gosh, Kitty!!! Lmk any stories you might remember about your father working in nyc in the thirties! I’d love that! I have a lot of real life characters and history in my books – you’ll live getting a feel for a little of what your father’s life might’ve been like then. So fun!
Kitty – my first reply went under Brenda’s below FYI 😉😂
I was last in New York as a freshman in high school. My daughter LOVES New York and it’s probably her favorite city. I have fond memories of a Swiss chocolatier off Rockefeller Square. I wonder if it’s still there.
Pittsburgh has a speakeasy downtown. I’ve never been there, but I want to go. Maybe during the holiday season.
Hi Liz! I think that chocolatier is still there! There is also a FAB chocolate restaurant near Union Square called Max Brenners. Oh. My. Gosh. 😍😂 Totally go check out that speak easy – lmk how it is. There’s something so fun about getting a taste of going back in time, you know?
Deco is my favorite historical time period. I’d love to travel back every now and then to go to a speakeasy(& hope I didn’t get arrested!) love your books. Thanks (& sharing.)
Thank you!!!! And it IS so fun to take those little-taste-of-an-era moments to enjoy at a speakeasy 🥂❤️.
Congrats on the Suspense Magazine Award, Laurie! That is so cool. Since I already have all of your books, I don’t need to be included in the contest. 🙂
My wife and I have visited New York only once and would love to go back. I think I’d love to spend time in Central Park in the summer, and take in another Broadway show, and spend some time in Harlem, and…well, I think you get the idea.
Thanks, Jim!!! Yeah Central Park is so beautiful in the summer especially. Next time I’ll take you two on a tour! 😉
I love to read and look at 1930s New York both nonfiction and historical fiction. Seemed like a magical time
Same here, Denise! Another favorite series of mine you ahold check out is the Speakeasy mystery series by Susanna Calkins (Murder knocks Twice) SO fun!!! ❤️
I’ve always wanted to visit Sardi’s in New York, and see as many Broadway shows as possible. I would also love to travel back to the 1940’s. So much great music! I did share this on Facebook but it didn’t let me tag you. Congratulations on the new release!
Thanks. autumn!!! YES re the music!!! I feel the same – I put a lot of it in my books. And dancing ❤️.
Hi again, Autumn! You are one of my winners! Friend me on FaceBook and send me a DM with your mailing address so I can send out your package! (Or send an email to Laurie@LAChandlar.com) Congrats!!
I’d go back to the 1940s so I could meet my grandfathers
That’s so sweet, Sandy!!❤️
I’d love to visit NYC and see a Broadway show, or poke around Greenwich Village. As for an era I’d like to go back to? I think the Roaring Twenties would have been interesting.
I’d love to visit NYC and take in a Broadway show, maybe poke around Greenwich Village. As for an era I’d like time travel to? The Roaring Twenties would be an interesting time.
YES:-). Broadway shows are so special! Greenwich village is timeless. Good choice 😉
I want to see the Statue of Liberty, but first Ellis Island.
They’re SO interesting!!! I went last year again on the most brilliantly blue day – the sun shining like crazy. Such a neat memory. It’s an amazing feeling to walk around Ellis Island and dream of all those footsteps before you…❤️
Congrats on the win!
Welcome to the Wickeds, Laurie! My father’s mother’s family were interior decorators in NYC. My grandparents danced at a party given by Stanford White for the Prince of Wales in the 1920s. But by the 1930s they had fallen on hardish times and my grandmother was working as a millinery buyer at Saks. I still remember the heavy, beaded flapper-style dresses and feathered fans that were stored in a trunk in their basement.
I love these eras and love NYC, so I am off to buy your books.
Oh my gosh!!! We need to chat about your mother! ❤️ Thanks so much for having me today, Barbara!
I really love the Art Noveau era so much. Your book sounds wonderful; you are a new author to me. I will be on the lookout for your books. Congratulations on your successful win!!!
Nancy- I love Art Nouveau too! It’s so fun walking around the city and without warning, come across art that moves you. It’s so fun. I always hope my books let us readers experience the era, the Art, the music…like we get a chance to be an eyewitness ❤️. Hope you enjoy!
Congratulations on ” The Pearl Dagger” winning the Crimson Scribe honor!
We have been in New York, but just a quick drive through. I would love to go back some time and spend some time there exploring the history and beauty of the state. I think it’s wonderful that art, beauty of architecture and places can survive the weathers of time and humanity.
If I could go back in time, I’d love to explore the latter part of the 1800’s and the early part of the 1900’s. I think it would be fascinating to see some of the things and places that my grands and great-grands talked about. It always amazes me how the women of that generation got it all done with none of our modern day conveniences where as woman of today with all the assistance of electricity and gadgets can’t get done as much at times. It would be fun to get a glimpse of life back then and to remember the simple pleasures of conversation in person or letter writing again. A time when man’s word was gospel and fellow man watched out for his neighbor. Then maybe we could bring some of the values back with us and utilize them more in our every day lives.
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Thank you so much, Kay! Yes, it’s be so fun to experience it. One of my characters really loves gadgets (Mr. Kirkland) so it’s been fun researching vacuum cleaners and washing machines for him to tinker with😍. Have you read Time and Again by Jack Finney? 1880s and it’s a time traveler so it’s someone with our own sense of time which makes it like we’re going back, too. Highly recommend! ❤️
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The last time I spent any real time in NYC was in the late 60s and early 70s. I’m not a big fan or the Big Apple, but I think it would be fascinating to go back to the 1880s-1930s. Each period had so much going on. I would love to visit Harlem in it’s heyday, go to a speakeasy, be a flapper, meet Erte, and oh so many other things. I love Art Deco buildings so, bring it on, Laurie!
Thanks Ginny!!! I love all that too!! In fact, I have some scenes at The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem that are SO fun – that fashion and music…such a ball. Yeah, NYC in the 60s/70s didn’t have the charm that I feel started to get rekindled and refurbished in the 1980s. In fact, I just wrote an article for the National Gallery of Victoria (for January) on NYC in the 1980s/1990s. I’ll have it on my website when it’s published – you might really enjoy seeing the city’s comeback. ❤️❤️❤️
Thanks for visiting today Laurie!
I lived in NYC for a few years and loved it! My favorite era is the Art Deco movement. The Chrysler Building in NY is an example of it.
Love it!!!! Book 4 (not sure when it’ll come out) is about the Chrysler Building and the Cloud Club – it’s famous business club on the upper floors. I love that building – so Lane, my protagonist, has a heart for it, too. She even recalls watching it and the Empire State Building going up (each only took about ONE YEAR to be built start to finish!!). Thanks for connecting!! ❤️
Hi Laurie. #LAChandlar Would love to win #The Pearl Dagger as I do not have that book, yet!! Love your books & you are such a talented writer but also you have choosen just the best era & location to write about. It is almost like you are there right in the middle of the action. Congratulations on your award. All the Best,Your friend from PA #Giveaway #ArtDeco
I would really have liked to visit NYC during the Gilded Age. I would like to see Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Central Park. Shared on Facebook.
Sounds like a great book and I love the cover! I will be sharing on my FB timeline. Thanks for the chance.
I looove the 1930’s and 40’s. My house is filled with furniture from that Era. It was the golden age of Movies…I always think of William Powell… I grew up in a small town which still had a left over from speakeasy days…booth’s you could go in and shut the curtain and bring in your brown bag of booze in a dry era…and the clothes were just gorgeous…if I could go back and visit any Era I would be in Palm Beach in the 1930’s the stories were either glorious or devastating…I have been to NYC but all the things you have talked about might merit another trip.
Hi Laurie! This series is amazing and at the top of my favorite reads this year. I can’t wait for the next book that you publish!
I would love to go to the Met. I’ve only been as far as the gift shop (long story) and would really love to see the rest of it! As for the era I’d like to go back to…I think the 1940s. My parents were in their 40s when I made my appearance in the world and would love to go back to that time period when they were younger and fell in love.
oh my I would absolutely love to win a copy of this book
I would like to go back to both the Art Nouveau era and Art Deco era. Paris in the 1920’s for the literary community there was so exciting.
I meant to say that Paris and New York City in the 1920s was exciting. Wasn’t able to edit my comment to correct it. So, sorry.
Congratulations! I would love the experience of visiting New York in the 1920’s. That era was fascinating.. Paris during La belle Epoque would be exciting and exceptional.
Hoping I’ve figured out how to tag correctly (never tried it before).
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