Manhattan’s Hotel Elysée (60 East 54th Street between Madison and Park Avenues) was founded in 1926 and has been frequented by many writers and actors. American playwright Tennessee Williams died there in 1983.
The Hotel Elysée was nicknamed “Easy Lay” some time in the 1940s, possibly by American actress Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968).
Wikipedia: Hotel Elysée
The Hotel Elysée is a New York City hotel situated on 60 East 54th Street between Madison and Park Avenues. The hotel was founded in 1926 as a European-style hotel for the carriage trade by Swiss-born Max Haering.
The Monkey Bar
The Elysée is known for the Monkey Bar, a piano bar just off the lobby. Opened in the 1940s, it became known to the cognoscenti as “the place to go where jokes die,” especially off-color jokes and double-entendre songs spun by such performers as Johnny Payne (1934-1964), Marion Page (1950-1965) and Mel Martin (1945-1983). Johnny Andrews played the piano at cocktail hour for over 50 years (1936-1990).
As Time Goes By:
Memoirs of a Writer
By Howard Koch
New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
I later discovered that the Elysee was widely known in the movie colony as the “Easy-Lay,” which may or may not explain the “luck” that John was wishing me.
25 July 1993, The Times (London, UK), “Death at the Easy Lay: was it a literary murder?” by Georgie Greig, pg. ?:
Known as the Easy Lay, the Elysee hotel was a famously bohemian haunt. On the night Williams died there was evidence he had been taking a mix of cocaine, barbiturates and red wine. Nobody suspected foul play until last week, when it was revealed that Dakin Williams had asked New York police to reopen their investigation.
A Talent for Genius:
The Life and Times of Oscar Levant
By Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger
Los ANgeles, CA: Silman-James Press
Ottie, now a grown-up Princeton man, accompanied Dorothy Parker to Tallulah Bankhead’s apartment in the Elysee Hotel, known affectionately as “The Easy Lay.”
Google Groups: alt.support.attn-deficit
Hotel Elysee, or Easy Lay
seems to have written poetry obsessively all his life,
from his junior high days in St Louis
during the early 1920s to his death
at the Hotel Elysée
(or ‘Easy Lay,’ as he called it)
in New York on 24 February 1983, which he had anticipated
a few days earlier in a verse beginning,
‘Why do I want to go away?’
that mentions the actual number of the Sunshine
Suite in which he died:
yes, it’s true: when I lived in NYC, we called the Hotel Elysee the Hotel “Easy Lay”
1:03 PM - 13 Nov 2014
Library Hotel Collection
Hotel Elysée: The Tennessee Williams Years
Published: February 28th, 2018
Tallulah Bankhead lived at the Elysée with her pets that included a mynah bird, monkey and lion cub. She once threw a party in the hotel that spanned 5 days and concluded with her hailing a taxi, wearing nothing but her mink coat. Perhaps for instances such as these, the hotel earned its moniker, the “Esylée” (easy lay).
Ricki’s Blog Cabin
30 Apr 2018
THE MONKEY BAR INSIDE THE HOTEL ELYSÉE – NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Society and celebrities flocked to the hotel. Nicknamed the “easy lay” in the 1940’s, this was a place to see and be seen, with complete discretion, of course.