Back On Top

November 9, 2005

sign.jpgI’ve wrapped up the book proposal and am back in the saddle here at Polis. I’d like to get restarted with a fun story I did for the Times today about the old New Yorker Hotel that is about to undertake a major renovation, starting with the relighting of its historic sign. The letters on top of the building are 20 feet high and are visible from the west side of Manhattan during the day, but will be lighted later this month and visible at night for the first time since 1967. The hotel itself is just chock full of great history, collected by the building’s facilities manager Joe Kinney. One of my favorite stories is about a fully grown bellhop at the hotel named Johnny Roventini, who lived in Brooklyn and stood less than five feet tall. He became something of a minor celebrity and a spokeman for Philip Morris. If he were around today, he would have become a recuring character on Seinfeld. (Read the Johnny Roventini story here.) As part of the hotel’s renovation, it is also going to bring back the original logo design of a doorman (see below). The above photo provided by Joe Kinney.