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Hotel where literary legends met celebrates centennial

NEW YORK (AP) -- The famed Algonquin Hotel threw itself a 100th birthday party Friday, recalling the glory days when literary legends gathered in its oak-paneled lobby to turn phrases and tip back drinks.

In the room where Dorothy Parker and her sharp-tongued writer friends held court for years, the hotel held a luncheon to kick off months of celebration events to mark the centennial.

The hotel has taken pains to preserve an opulent look that recalls its opening in 1902. Today it presents itself as a welcome island of ambience amid the chaos of midtown Manhattan.

But its true fame takes root in the 1920s, when a collection of writers gathered there for daily lunches and drinks and came to be known as the Round Table. Parker, Edna Ferber, Robert Benchley and Franklin P. Adams were regulars.

The hotel plans to hold centennial events for months, culminating in a gala in March.

'Very creative' visions for twin towers site

NEW YORK -- Seven architecture teams are putting finishing touches on innovative, distinct proposals for the World Trade Center site, the agency charged with rebuilding lower Manhattan said Friday.

The plans will be formally submitted to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. in early December and unveiled later that month. Six earlier plans for the site were widely criticized as unimaginative.

Drafts of the new proposals are "very creative, very different from one another," said Matthew Higgins, spokesman for the development agency. "We're very enthusiastic about the process."

The New York Times reported Friday that the teams' proposals include creating the tallest building in the world and constructing memorials atop buildings and underground.

Macy's balloons will make appearance at Universal

NEW YORK (AP) -- Some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade character balloons will be traveling to Universal Studios Florida after making their lofty appearances here.

For the first time in its 76-year history, Macy's is taking some of its signature helium balloons and floats to Universal Orlando, Macy's and the Universal Orlando resort announced.

Following the traditional Thanksgiving Day Parade here, the balloons will be deflated andtrucked to Orlando.

Macy's Holiday Parade will run daily for three weeks, from Dec. 13 through Jan. 5, at the Universal Studios Florida theme park. It will also feature the brigades of bands and corps of clowns that are staples of New York City's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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