Don Draper, I know where you live!
I got all excited when I learned that Don Draper’s bachelor pad was in my neighborhood. I’ve never had a leading character from a high-quality TV drama living anywhere near me.
We’ve been told he’s located in the vicinity of Waverly Place and Sixth Avenue so I hustled over there to see if I could ferret out the exact address.
I figured Don would be on (comparatively) quiet Waverly rather than hectic, clangorous Sixth (which the city fathers once tried to get New Yorkers to call “Avenue of the Americas” and failed utterly). He has a lot of dissipating to sleep off.
I’ve always loved Waverly. It wavers all over Greenwich Village, at one point bending so sharply there appears to be an intersection of Waverly Place and Waverly Place.
I also figured Don for a large-apartment-building inmate rather than a brownstoner; he’s the kind of guy who’d need a doorman to run interference for him, make up excuses when necessary, calm down and/or misdirect jealous husbands, hysterical women brandishing guns, that sort of thing.
I found the place in about three minutes: “The Waverly,” 136 Waverly Place.
I just knew.
It had the right look. Old, discreet, fifteen floors, maybe 100 apartments, faded yellow brick façade, just off the corner, southwest side. The lobby’s dark, art-decoish, with a diamond-pattern floor that I worried might pose a danger to Don if he comes in a bit tipsy just after it’s been buffed. It’ll be slippery.
The doorman instantly confirmed my suspicion. “Don Draper?” he said, all innocence. “No, there’s nobody here by that name.” Clearly Don has tipped this fellow well.
His apartment is probably in the back and on a high floor. The further away from the street, the better. Early ‘60s rents being what they are, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got two bedrooms for a couple hundred a month.
Right next door to 136 is Hong Kong Tailor Jack, which will come in handy for emergency clothing repairs. Things do occasionally turn violent in Don’s world. People get punched in the nose. Garments are removed quite hastily and strewn carelessly about.
There’s a subway at Waverly and Sixth but I don’t see Don using it. He’s more of a taxi man.
Then there’s the Waverly Restaurant. It’s not really Don’s kind of joint, too downscale for him to ever eat in. But the place has booze. And it’s very close by. So late some night, maybe the call girl slaps him a little too hard, maybe Bert Cooper tells him he’s failed again, maybe Betty still hasn’t moved out of the damn house, maybe he’s out of gin…Don’t be surprised to see Don, collar turned up, hat brim pulled down, duck across the street for a quick one. Or several.