Bad Marriage, Bad Apartment

57 W. 57th
The building is on the spot where Dorothy and Eddie’s old apartment was. The Round Tablers would drop by for drinks, and the Parkers had a chair for all.
This is a pretty important location in Dot City because it was on this street corner that Dorothy and Eddie Parker lived at their unhappiest of times. The address is 57 W. 57th Street and Sixth Avenue, right on the corner of one of the busiest streets in Midtown.

Their marriage on the rocks, the couple resided here briefly in the early 1920s before they split up for good. Dorothy used this time period to mine for many future stories and verse. She penned “An Apartment House Trilogy” for the Saturday Evening Post of Aug. 20, 1921, and it could be set in the apartment house like hers.

At the time, the Sixth Avenue subway was elevated above the streets, not underground like it is today. So it was a noisy, sooty street, the Parkers would have to shout to be heard at times. No place for a writer. At the time, the Parkers rented a flat on the top floor of a shabby, three-story red brick building at 57 W. 57th Street. Marion Meade writes in Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell is? that the building was a commercial property for artists who needed studio space, but lived elsewhere. It must have been dreary, with the train running right by it.

Also a resident in the building lived artist Neysa McMein, who became a close friend of Dottie’s and painted her portrait. The Round Tablers would come over for drinks often to her place. It was in this building that she wrote pieces for the old Life, The Saturday Evening Post and The Ladies Home Journal. Downstairs was the Swiss Alps, a restaurant that sent Dorothy’s dinners up to her, as she couldn’t even boil an egg.

Mrs. Parker was probably among the last tenants of the building. It was knocked down for the gold-gilt monster that stands in its place, erected in 1928. Today, it’s an office building. On the ground floor is a Staples office supply store and Sports Authority sporting good shop.