To celebrate my birthday this week, my husband and I hit Graydon Carter’s newly relaunched Monkey Bar at 60 East 54th Street. We were greated by a surprisingly friendly bouncer, who opened the door to the bar I remembered well. It was a favorite hang out of ours ten years ago when we were first dating…a convenient midtown location just blocks from both of our offices. The bar was packed and the low lighting enhanced the mystery from the moment we entered. We walked down the chic zebra skin covered stairs and onto the original dark wood flooring to the main dining room, where red leather seating and mirrored art deco pillars divide the upper and lower areas. Graydon has classic old-school brass sconces with simple beige crackled shades on the walls and whimsical monkey lamps and accessories throughout. The new Ed Sorel mural was fascinating to look at and made us feel as though we had stepped back into the era of the Stork Club with images of Fred Astaire and Duke Ellington dancing across the walls.
Cloisonne Monkey Napkin Ring Set, $176
Zebra Skin Needlepoint Rug, $1,050
Antiqued Mirrored “Elsie” Table, $1,400
Brown Monkey Chandelier, $950
Bamboo Bar Table, $650
Speaking of Graydon Carter and the Monkey Bar, I come to my good friend Duff McDonald….Duff McDonald is a New York-based journalist. A contributing editor at New York magazine, he has also written for Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Portfolio, GQ, WIRED, Time, and others. In 2004, he was the recipient of two Canadian National Magazine Awards—Best Business Story (gold) and Best Investigative Reporting (silver)—for Conrad’s Fall in National Post Business. I am pleased to report that his latest book,
Last Man Standing, his biography of Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, will be published by Simon & Schuster on October 6, 2009.