I have not always so widely missed the target of being in the same hotel at the same time as one of the colossi of our culture. Some years ago when I stayed at the Puente Romano Hotel in Marbella the concierge informed me I had missed Sean Connery by only a week and that Prince Charles was due the following week. ( I accept I may not have universal support for counting our future king as a cultural icon).
Apart from an event I will describe later, the closest I ever came to being in engaged company with one of my heroes while in the same location, was when I saw Vaclav Havel in El Quijote, a Spanish restaurant in Manhattan then used by the guests at the Hotel Chelsea next door. The Hotel Chelsea where for about a week I was once in residence had at one time or another been the resting pad for Arthur Miller, Dylan Thomas, Bob Dylan, Shirley Clarke, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Patti Smith, Brendan Behan, Jasper Johns and many more cultural titans. I should not forget in this Chelsea list the tragic Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious.
To be sure that we shared the ether with greatness, on our first evening we slept in the Sean Connery Room and on the second evening we slept in the Arthur Conan Doyle Room. The major disappointment of our stay for me was that Andy did not personally wait upon us at the dinner or breakfast table. Furthermore despite there being two superb tennis courts in the hotel grounds, he couldn't find time to work out with me over a couple of sets. He seems to have been too busy enjoying parenthood as well as playing in a tournament in Miami.
For all kinds of reasons my mother is a legend. More of that another time.