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JFK at the Carlyle

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JFK's NYC diggs at the Carlyle - a subject that not many people have done anything on.

JFKCountercoup2: The Carlyle - JFK's NYC Digs

The Carlyle

The Famous Come and Go

By Pat Herman

NEW YORK CITY, Feb. 4. (UPI) – President Kennedy has chose as the New York City “White House” a hotel so exclusive that it allows ex-President Truman and Indian Premier Jawahrlal Nehru go unnoticed as Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones.

It is a White House in the sky and set with the grandeur of Paris on an avenue in New York City lined with art galleries and fashionable shops. Thirty-five stories above the street from his duplex apartment in the Hotel Carlyle the President can watch the sun rise or set. He can see west to New Jersey, east to the United Nations building and south almost to the tip of Manhattan Island.

At night, he can see the delicate blue lights which gently illuminate the small trees in front of the hotel. In the direction of Fifth Avenue, just a block away, are the twinkling lights of Central Park and, a bit north, the façade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art spotlighted as dramatically as the Louvre.

The view is as exciting as any seen in Paris’ Place De La Concorde or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

They say at the hotel that only “the privileged” have stayed in suite 35B. It is reckoned that its rent for the average citizen would run close to $40,000 a year.

The presence of Mr. Truman, Nehru, Frances ex-Premier Pierre Mendes-France and the cream of international society is taken as an everyday occurrence by the guests of the 500 room hotel. Their composure is a natural part of the elegant 18th Century décor.

They have seen maharajahs come and business tycoons go. They blinked not an eye when Harry Truman was presented with a birthday cake complete with candles two years ago in the middle of the lobby after an early morning walk.

But the residence of Mr. Kennedy, younger, more glamorous and President of the United States, has excited the usually undemonstrative guests and raised the blood pressure of the hotel staff from manager down to bellhop.

“We’ve had Mr. Truman here but never the hoopla surrounding Mr. Kennedy’s visits,” said on secretary.

The hotel staff led by French-born Robert Huyot, who managed the Waldorf Astoria Towers when Mr. Kennedy’s father stayed there, is happy to have the President as a once-in-awhile guest. But Mr. Huyot noted a few of the details which made Mr. Kennedy’s presence more complicated than that of any other head of state:

-Cheering mobs of youths anxious for a glimpse of their political hero crowd the sidewalks outside the grey-white stone building.

-Whenever Mr. Kennedy arrives 30 direct telephone lines go into operation to accommodate the press.

-Every morsel of food that is sent up to the presidential suite is personally tasted by Carlyle Chef Ernest Didler, formally of the Hotel Crillon in Paris. This is for security reasons, although the chef said he considered the chore “a pleasure.”

-The Secret Service has scrutinized the hotel’s guest list and investigated every member of the staff apt to deal directly with the presidential party. Every piece of fruit or bouquet of flowers sent into the beige-carpeted suite is inspected.

Fortunately, Mr. Kennedy himself himself is easy to please.

Hotel President Robert Dowling and Mr. Huyot said that “he liked the suite the way it was” and that “he let this be known to us when he heard that we were planning extensive changes.”

Mrs. Kennedy, who stayed in the suite with her husband several times during the campaign, concurred. So the only alteration after Mr. Kennedy informed the hotel that he wanted to make the suite his New York presidential home was the hanging of several new paintings. These included several originals by Murillo, Degas, Pissarro and American painter Mary Cassatt.

Upstairs are two bedrooms. Mr. Kennedy uses the larger one, furnished and upholstered completely in beige. A Murillo hangs over the bed. There are two telephones on the bed table and a side switch for the bed lamp to facilitate reading. All chairs are covered in cream colored French brocade.

Between the bedrooms is a golden walled glass-enclosed breakfast room facing due east. When weather permits the breakfast room opens onto a spacious terrace. This runs the perimeter of the suite, encircling the entire tower except on the north side.

The entire Kennedy suite is carpeted in soft beige. The walls match. Furniture is all of the Louis XV period. A commode in the downstairs hall is an original. The living room is dominated by a plate glass window which almost spans its length.

The room faces west. The orange upholstery of the chairs is as golden as the setting sun dipping behind the giant skyscrapers. Mr. Kennedy favors the straight-backed open-armed chairs to the easier ones when he is not using the sofa. It is covered in olive-green velvet and sits behind a scene of London painted by Camille Pissarro.

A portable television set stands unobtrusively in the far corner. There is one private telephone in the room. The small den between living room and dining room has two. One belongs to the hotel. The other is a direct line into the suite. The den has a generous sized desk but Mr. Kennedy prefers to use the sofa when he works.

From “The Kennedy Detail” by Gerald Blaine (p. 25)

“Sandy Garelick was the senior police officer who headed up the New York City Bureau of Special Services and Investigations (BOSSI) squad and was the point man for setting up additional security for the president’s frequent visits to the city. He had handpicked his squad and the team was great to work with. Professionally they were among the best in the country. Garelick, however, had a strong personality that would present a real challenge for the Secret Service advance agents. Garelick didn’t seem to realize that the boarders of the United States extend beyond New York City, and he wanted to know what the president would be doing every minute he was in BOSSI territory. Garelick thrived on the attention the publicized presidential visits brought to his unit and proudly utilized the thirty thousand New York Police Department officers to endure the president’s security. The conflicts came during the off-the-record visits like this one when President Kennedy wanted to slip into the city as quietly as possible, with no fanfare. There had been enough clashes in the past three years that you could almost see President Kennedy cringe the minute he saw Sandy Garelick.”

“Somehow ATSAIC Art Godfrey had found a way to compromise with Garelick, though, and thus he was almost always given the advance assignments to New York. None of the other agents knew for sure if Godfrey really got along with Garelick, or if he was just smart enough to realize that an advance assignment to New York meant an extended stay at the Carlyle Hotel.”

“The burgers at the Carlyle’s Bemelmans Bar were as famous as the fanciful murals that decorated the walls of the renowned New York landmark,….”

“The president’s brother Senator Ted Kennedy was in town, staying at their sister’s house on Fifth Avenue, and the president wanted to pay a quick visit.”


In “The Assassination Chain” – Bert Sugar and Sybil Leek wrote about the JFK assassination as seen from a post-Watergate perspective, after the mob connections had come out. In this book they mention that one day, while dining at the Carlyle Hotel, they recognized John Rosselli and Judith Cambell Extner at a nearby table. At some point, Extner leaves the table and doesn’t return for quite some time. They imply that Extner was visiting JFK at his 35th floor suite.


From “The Once and Future King” – (p.513)

There was a knight from Hungry called Sir Urre, who had received wounds in a tournament several years before. He had been fighting with a man called Sir Alphagus, whom he had killed after getting these wounds – three of them on the head, four on the body and on the left hand. The mother of the dead Alphagus had been a Spanish witch, and she had put an enchantment on Sir Urre of Hungry, so that none of his wounds could ever heal up. All the time they were to go on bleeding, turn about, until the best knight in the best knight in the world had tended them and salved them with his hands.

Sir Urre of Hungry had long been carried from country to country – perhaps it was a sort of hemophilia – searching for the best knight who would be able to help. At last he had braved the channel to reach this foreign, northern land, Everybody had told him, everywhere, that his only chance was Lancelot, and in the end he had come to seek.

The court was at Carlisle at the time,

Continued at: JFKCountercoup2: The Carlyle - JFK's NYC Digs

Edited by William Kelly
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Guest Tom Scully

Robert Morrow has posted in this thread. His post is waiting approval. IMO, it will be a long wait.

Robert, I agree, you could go on for many pages about your theme of choice. Include some evidence with your accusations of a quality higher than what can be read in the memoirs of a Rockefeller connected, or other conflicted source, discredited author, or politcal enemy or gossip monger, and I will approve your post.

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