Tuesday, December 13, 2011

There's No Place Like Home... Thank Goodness

By Byrne Harrison

Last week I had a unique opportunity to see a pair of ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."  Not just any pair, mind you, but the pair that were used during the close-up when Dorothy clicked her heels together and said, "There's no place like home."

The shoes are expected to sell for more than $3 million this week at auction.  Visit the website for more information about the auction (and check out some of the other items up for bid - Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion costume, Marilyn Monroe's wedding ring).

While seeing the ruby slippers was a bit of a thrill, it was only one part of an amazing afternoon.  The viewing was held in conjunction with the Hotel Plaza Athénée's afternoon tea service.  The afternoon tea, with its plates full of tiny sandwiches and tiered serving trays piled with delectable sweets, was charming. As was "The Wizard of Oz"-themed music, featuring a keyboard player and violinist performing songs from the film.  There was even a strolling magician performing sleight of hand.

The afternoon tea, held in the stylish, yet comfortable Arabelle restaurant in the hotel, was the perfect event to complement the ruby slippers display.  And that's not just the ruby-tinted champagne talking.

Dorothy was right, there is no place like home.  But considering that my home is a cramped one-bedroom in Queens, I'm more than happy to spend an afternoon enjoying the elegence of some place not at all like home.  My next trip to the Plaza Athénée will probably not involve "The Wizard of Oz" or ruby slippers, but I know it will be just as much of a treat.

About The Plaza Athénée:  One of the most well-respected hotels in the world, New York City’s Hôtel Plaza Athénée provides European grandeur with the intimacy of a boutique hotel. Located on the fashionable Upper East Side of Manhattan on a quiet tree lined street, the hotel offers a unique relaxing atmosphere surrounded by refined townhouses. One short block from Central Park and steps from Madison Avenue, the Plaza Athenee is the perfect getaway from Midtown Manhattan and a welcoming retreat after a long day of seeing the sights.

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