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Hotels : Sample NY
140 Carat Juice Dorothy Parker once said, "I love a martini; but two at the most. Three, I'm under the table; four, I'm under the host." In 2004, the Algonquin's general manager, Anthony Melchiorri, decided to o er a new item on the bar menu: the Martini on the Rock. This classic mix of Belvedere vodka and Martini&Rossi vermouth includes a diamond -- approximate price tag US$10,000! Joe Imperato is one Algonquin customer to have risen to the challenge, proposing to Melissa Beck in December 2004 with a 1.85 carat square diamond worth US$13,000. "She always wanted it to be a big event," he explained. The after-work crowd at the hotel's Blue Bar burst into applause as Beck graciously shed out the very special 'rock' in her martini with a toothpick. That there were wealthy male clients is not surprising, given the proximity of three of the city's most famous restaurants, Sherry's, Delmonico's and the Colony; and at least five of the city's most prestigious men's clubs. The Algonquin's theatrical clientele grew briskly after the Hippodrome opened in 1905, home to the leggy lasses of the Ziegfeld Follies. AN UNUSUAL CASE Frank Case, legendary Algonquin manager (1907) and owner (1927) loved the company of artistic types. As he positioned the hotel at the centre of New York's literary and theatrical life, he attracted personalities like Booth Tarkington, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr, John Barrymore and HL Mencken, who called the Algonquin "the most comfortable CHAPTER 8 The algonquin Breaking New Ground The Algonquin (1902), on West 44th between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, is one of the few great New York hotels in the Beaux Arts style to have survived with both looks and reputation reasonably intact. Designed by Goldwin Starritt, the Algonquin was particularly popular with well-to- do bachelors and actresses, a traditionally fertile social combination.