I read a lot as a child, and reading still remains one of my favorite pastimes. One of my go-to series as a little girl was Madeline, the charming tales of a little redhead girl in Paris written by Austrian artist and author, Ludwig Bemelmans. Nearly all of the stories started with, "In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines," and included simple parables about daily life. I was elated to find that The Carlyle's cozy Bemelmans Bar was named after my beloved childhood storyteller! Bemelman frequented The Carlyle during the ‘30s and ‘40s where he often sat enjoying a drink and sketching Madeline and her Parisian tales. In 1947, The Carlyle commissioned Bemelman to paint massive murals illustrating Central Park during its four seasons.
Today, Bemelman's four murals are his only commissioned works publicly displayed in all of New York. Restored in 2002, Bemelman Bar remains divinely dapper, featuring live music nightly, a stunning black granite bar, a 24-karat gold leaf-covered ceiling and handsome nickel-framed tabletops. Moreover, the lore of Madeline lives on. A Madeline Tea is hosted in the bar every Saturday in November and December, complete with Madeline sing-a-longs for the musically-inclined.