Tag Archives: Hotel New York

A postcard from Cluj

The Hotel New York in the 1920's

The Hotel New York in the early part of the 20th Century

Thank you to my friend and colleague in Cluj, Stefi Timofte, for finding this picture for me. Of course it shows the Hotel New York (now the sad and decaying Continental) that Paddy visited with Angéla and István in the summer of 1934.

This story has been debunked in Artemis’ biography but I am not entirely convinced by the explanation in her book. Paddy says he got the details from a book in German, but the level of detail (see my story about the internal decor) implies that this book had very good photographs in colour or Paddy at least visited during one of his later visits to Romania.

For me, Paddy’s description of the romance of those days on the road, and the nighttime trysts with Angéla can never be diminished.

Related articles:

An eye for detail and the memory of the Hotel New York in Cluj

Angéla, Paddy, István and Tom in Cluj-Napoca

£1 a week – Rendezvous in Cluj

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An eye for detail and the memory of the Hotel New York in Cluj

There is often a debate about Paddy’s ability to recall so much of his journey with accuracy so long after the event and often without his precious notebooks. Benedict Allen put him to the test at the Red Ox Inn in Heidelberg and the Romanian spa resort of Baia Herculene: Paddy passed that test with flying colours.

During one of my recent trips to Cluj I was able to enter the famous Hotel New York (now the Continental) during a small exhibition as part of the Transylvanian Film Festival. Immediately I reached for my copy of Between the Woods and the Water and turned to page 144 …

“An hotel at the end of the main square, called the New York – a great meeting place in the winter season – drew my companions like a magnet. István said the barman had invented an amazing cocktail – only surpassed by the one called ‘Flying’ in the Vier Jahreszeiten bar in Munich – which would be criminal to miss. He stalked in, waved the all clear from the top of some steps, and we settled in a strategic corner while the demon-barman went mad with his shaker. There was nobody else in the bar; it was getting late and the muffled lilt of the waltz from Die Fledermaus hinted that everyone was in the dining room. We sipped with misgiving and delight among a Regency neo-Roman décor of cream and ox-blood and gilding: Corinthian capitals spread their acanthus leaves and trophies of quivers, and hunting horns, lyres and violins were caught up with festoons between the pilasters.”

… and given the costume display, this next paragraph came to life for me as Angéla tries to disguise herself with a scarf Paddy and István suggested it might be better to turn into someone else:

“King Carol, Greta Garbo, Horthy, .. Groucho Marx … Queen Marie, and Charlie Chaplin; Laurel and Hardy, perhaps; one of the two; she would have to choose, but she insisted on both.”

Related article:

Angéla, Paddy, István and Tom in Cluj-Napoca