In The Last Magician, Esta is tasked with traveling into the past to help steal a magical book and keep it from being destroyed. Esta lives in the modern day, but the book she’s stealing is in 1902. When she arrives, New York City is way different than her version of it — for one thing, the Empire State Building doesn’t even exist yet.
But there’s a lot about New York in 1902 that would be familiar to Esta. There’s tons of old buildings in the city, places that haven’t really changed since they went up. In honor of Esta’s trip and our Summer in New York Promotion, I’ve created a list of some of my favorite places that you can visit today — and that Esta can visit while she’s stuck in 1902 trying to save the fate of the Mageus. Check out our extended excerpt of The Last Magician on Riveted until August 14th, and then head on out to the streets of New York to see the world like Esta might have seen it 95 years ago.
The Flatiron Building
This iconic structure was completed in 1902, meaning that when Esta arrives in New York it’s probably the talk of the town. Located on 5th Avenue, this triangle-shaped structure was named as such due to its resemblance to a home iron and was considered a groundbreaking and innovative skyscraper.
Located on Central Park West, the Dakota is a residential building that was originally completed in 1884. It’s been home to a ton of famous people — including Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Rosie O’Donnell. Of course, it’s most famous resident was John Lennon, who was tragically shot outside the hotel in 1980.
The current City Hall, located in City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan has existed since 1812. You can visit the current mayor, Bill DeBlasio there — and Esta could have visited the mayor in 1902, Seth Low!
Grand Central Station
Opened in 1871, Grand Central Station is an iconic New York Building. With 44 train platforms, it’s still the largest train station in the world. But there’s more to do there than just head somewhere else — the beautiful interiors in the main hall draw many a spectator, as do the food and shops located throughout the terminal.
The Hotel Chelsea
The Hotel Chelsea is famed for its beautiful red-brick façade, but also for the numerous famous people who’ve lived there. Mark Twain, Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac (who wrote On the Road while there!) Simone deBeauvoir, Stanley Kubrick, Ethan Hawke, Jane Fonda, Nico, Patti Smith, Jim Morrison, Cher, and Madonna are only some of the people who’ve stayed there!
Carnegie Hall is one of the most famous concert venues in the world. Located in Midtown Manhattan on Seventh Avenue, it’s nestled just two blocks south of Central Park. Both you and Esta could go for a stroll in the park before heading to one of the Hall’s auditoriums to catch a fantastic performance.
When Esta arrived in 1902, she might have heard buzz about the Algonquin, which opened that year. While it wasn’t a residential hotel like the Chelsea, the Algonquin is famous for hosting the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers and literary critics who met daily at lunch for nearly ten years.