I’m probably robbing you of the opportunity to imagine the places of The Key, but they’re real! Consider these posts as the ignition that starts the movie version of the book … in your head.

The Kimberly Hotel is where the story begins. The Key opens with Rachel Vaughn awakening with a start, her bed shaking for no apparent reason until she discovers it’s her own racing heart pounding so hard, it’s actually moving the King sized bed.

Back in 1990, I stayed at The Kimberly for several weeks after I was sent to New York on a Tour of Duty. Many of the scenes in The Key are based on things that actually happened!

Can you imagine Rachel wearing these shoes walking from The Kimberly to Zabar’s, not to mention kicking Dennis the Menace in the head on the way there? I can’t, but I bet she would have tried. Good thing she chose to wear her Aerosoles that day.

Yes, I used to wear shoes like this.

Don’t judge me.

Rachel’s first morning begins with a walk through Central Park on her way to a meeting at Zabar’s. This is where she meets one of many “helpers” who turn up again and again as the story unfolds.

With all the traveling I did, it was hard to get much time for leisurely strolls, but I’ll never forget one wonderful night of Shakespeare in the Park. It was The Taming of the Shrew with Morgan Freeman and Tracy Ullman. Magnificent!


Zabar’s is where Rachel met Grayson for the first time, along with a few other interesting characters. I used to walk down to Zabar’s most every Thursday night (when I was in the country) and buy my main entree before picking up some greens at the produce market, personal items at the drug store, and picking up a video from the movie rental store.

And yes, there was always a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in the bag.

Rachel wouldn’t be the woman she is without the angels. And yes, I’ve run into a couple myself.

More on that another time.