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Unraveling the Glamour: A Travel Guide to “Feud: Capote vs The Swans” Iconic NYC Locations

Travel Tips | Blue Monroe | March 13, 2024

Truman Capote relaxing on the sofa at his historic brownstone in Brooklyn Heights, capturing the essence of his literary lifestyle

The curtain’s closing on “Feud: Capote vs The Swans” tonight. As we tie up those fabulous plot lines and say our tearful goodbyes, we thought, why stop at watching? Darling, it’s time to live the drama. So, step into the glamorous shoes of Truman Capote and his swanky Swans as we explore the iconic New York City spots that have hosted the crème de la crème of high society. So, buckle up, buttercup, because we’re about to take you on the Truman Capote NYC tour that’ll make your Instagram followers green with envy – oh, and maybe teach you a thing or two about literary history (but mostly the envy part).

Literary Haunts

Remember when writing was glamorous? Neither do we, but Truman sure did! Explore these amazing spots and who knows, you may just feel a connection to Truman and his fellow LGBTQ+ literary greats as you walk in their footsteps.

Interior shot of patrons seated on barstools at the historic White Horse Tavern, a renowned literary haunt on the Truman Capote NYC tour

White Horse Tavern

The White Horse Tavern in New York has been around since the 1880s, chilling on 567 Hudson Street. It’s got a bit of fame for being the spot where Welsh poet Dylan Thomas partied a bit too hard. Some famous queers hung out there too, including Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac and James Baldwin — who plays Capote’s bestie in episode 5 “Feud: Capote vs The Swans” but in reality, there wasn’t much love lost between them.

Exterior shot of the iconic New York Public Library, a literary landmark featured on the Truman Capote NYC tour

New York Public Library

Head over to the New York Public Library where Truman Capote’s papers, including his extensive research notes and manuscript drafts of his groundbreaking novel, In Cold Blood, are held. It’s located in the lovely Beaux-Arts building on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, flanked by two iconic marble lions. Take a selfie with Patience and Fortitude before heading inside for some literary inspiration.

Nerd alert: The research collection at NYPL is packed with amazing finds. There’s 30,000 linear feet of archives under Bryant Park that include Timothy Leary’s death mask (yep, the guy who thought LSD could cure homosexuality), Jack Kerouac’s glasses, and even a draft of the Declaration of Independence. How cool is that?

The Swans’ Social Scene

Penthouses and parties so lush, they’d make Gatsby green with envy. The Swans didn’t just swim — they soared, darling.

Interior shot of the elegant bar at The St. Regis in New York City, embodying luxury and sophistication

The St. Regis Hotel

The St. Regis is where one of the leading ladies, Babe Paley, had an apartment designed by Billy Baldwin transformed into a haven of Louis XVI treasures. Across from the hotel’s entrance sat the now-shuttered La Côte Basque, the go-to spot for New York City’s ladies who lunched. The buzz around La Côte Basque hit its peak in 1975 with Capote’s short story of the same name published in Esquire. This first installment of his planned Answered Prayers, made waves in New York society, causing The Swans to freeze him out and kickstart his downward spiral.

Mural by Ludwig Bemelmans at Bemelmans Bar in The Carlyle Hotel, New York, painted in 1947, depicting Central Park in the summer

The Carlyle Hotel

Another fancy hotel that popped up in “Feud: Capote vs The Swans” is none other than The Carlyle. This posh Upper East Side spot was a top pick for Lee Radziwill, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s sister, and Swan who didn’t have Truman’s back in episode 6 “Feud: Capote vs The Swans” when Gore Vidal sued him for $1 million because according to Lee, “It’s just two fags fighting.” So, what’s the scoop on The Carlyle? Well, it’s got its iconic Café Carlyle where you can groove to live tunes from talented folks while enjoying a martini (just like Truman).

From Page to Screen

Grab your popcorn and strap on those stilettos because this part of the ultimate Truman Capote NYC tour is where every filming location is as star-studded as the Met Gala — but with more believable drama.

Truman Capote and Lee Radziwill dancing at the iconic 1966 Black and White ball, a legendary social event in New York City's history

The Plaza Hotel

This historic landmark has been a staple in New York City since 1907 and has hosted some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Truman Capote himself. Truman hosted his famous 1966 Black and White Ball in honor of Katharine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, in the Plaza’s Grand Ballroom. Series creator Ryan Murphy really brought this ball to life in episode 3 of “Feud: Capote vs The Swans.” And unlike the other scenes shot in a studio, this one was filmed right at the Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom in Manhattan.

LGBTQ+ workers group from Tiffany & Co. participating in the NYC Pride parade, celebrating diversity and inclusion

Tiffany & Co.

The iconic jewelry store featured prominently in many episodes of “Feud: Capote vs The Swans.” Babe Paley was known for her impeccable style and love for all things sparkly, making her a regular at this Fifth Avenue institution. But this luxury jewelry store at 727 5th Avenue in New York City holds a special place in Capote’s heart as it was the setting for his beloved novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. So whether you’re looking for a piece of jewelry fit for a queen or just want to experience some old Hollywood glamour, a trip to Tiffany & Co. is definitely worth it. And let’s be real, who hasn’t dreamed of being Holly Golightly for a day?

Capote’s Neighborhood

New York City has more neighborhoods than a Truman Capote novel has chapters, and each one is worth a peek. Explore these two on your Truman Capote NYC tour.

Exterior shot of Truman Capote's historic residence in Brooklyn Heights, a highlight on the Truman Capote NYC tour

Brooklyn Heights

The charming, tree-lined neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights was the ideal backdrop for Capote to unleash his creativity and dive into his writing. In the basement of a pale yellow Greek revival townhouse, he penned his two most renowned works: Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. Constructed in 1939, featuring a wine cellar, a roomy porch, and a garden, the building that served as his abode felt more like a grand Southern estate than a typical Brooklyn brownstone. Given his Louisiana roots, Capote must have felt right at home during his residency there from 1955 to 1965.

Fun fact: The 1987 rom-com “Moonstruck” with Cher and Nicolas Cage is set in this neighborhood. And RuPaul’s Drag Race runner-up Brooke Lynn Hytes got her name from here too.

Exterior shot of The Stonewall Inn, iconic LGBTQ+ landmark in New York City's Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village

As an openly gay man living in New York City in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, Capote must have felt right at home in Greenwich Village. This is the ultimate hotspot for the LGBTQ+ community. He was known to often frequent Julius’, which by the way, is New York’s OG gay bar. In episode 5 of “Feud: Capote vs The Swans,” we see Truman Capote and James Baldwin hitting up the “Library” (what they refer to as a famed gay bar in Manhattan) — hint: it’s probably The Stonewall Inn, just a stone’s throw away from Julius’. Fast forward to today, you can still catch those bohemian vibes in Greenwich Village and toast to Capote’s legacy by sipping a drink at one of his old haunts.

Embark on Your Capote NYC Tour

And there you have it — a whirlwind tour of Truman Capote’s NYC! Through “Feud: Capote vs the Swans” and the haunts of the man himself, we discover a New York that’s as vibrant and colorful as a pride parade. Now, it’s your turn to explore, darling. So, grab your furs and pearls, enter a world of flowing cocktails and scorching gossip. The fashion is iconic.

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And let’s be honest, that’s pretty darn gay.

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