Magnolia House results from the owner’s 30-year role as co-author of many titles, and many editions, of The Frommer Guides, each of which included evaluations of the bed and breakfast inns of Europe. Whereas he’s still writing and publishing travel articles and celebrity exposés from the landmark’s upper floors, its “showcase rooms” now operate as a client-indulgent B&B loaded with mementos from the early days of the Frommer Guides and “The Golden Age of Travel.
Danforth Prince is a liberal, media-conscious NYC writer, editor, and president of an independent small press specializing in celebrity biographies. Danforth is the resident manager of an elaborate historic home with gardens and available space--both in my heart and in my agenda--for the housing, protection, and entertainment of temporary visitors to New York City. Whereas his office and residence are on the upper floors, AirBnB guests occupy the rather grand formal areas on the ground floor. Lower Manhattan is easily accessible via a ten-minute walk and a 22-minute (free) ferryboat ride. This is country living in the city, with lots of cultural, historic, and razzmatazz literary sideshows.
Magnolia House results from Dan's 30-year role as co-author of many titles, and many editions, of The Frommer Guides, each of which included evaluations of the bed and breakfast inns of Europe.
Edgy media associations have always been part of the Magnolia House experience. Previous guests have included Tennessee Williams (“Magnolia House reminds me of Blanche DuBois’ lost plantation, Bellereve!”), golden age film personality Joan Blondell (a close friend of celebrity biographer and co-owner, Darwin Porter), Lucille Lortel (the philanthropic but very temperamental Queen of Off-Broadway), the very outspoken Jolie Gabor (mother of the three “Bombshells from Budapest” otherwise known as Zsa Zsa, Eva, and Magda) and a host of other stars, starlettes, and demi-mondains of all descriptions and persuasions.
Conjoining this rambling old house with the hospitality trades is a logical move, considering how inter-related the memorabilia is. And after years researching and writing the world’s pre-eminent travel series, Dan is alert to the hopes, dreams, needs, and aesthetics of temporary visitors.
Magnolia Moment #1. SONGS OF CHINA In August of 2019, after architects and emissaries from China checked into Blood Moon's AirBnb—New York's historic MAGNOLIA HOUSE—Danforth Prince and Henry Song decided to make a movie about international relations and show-biz. Here's the story.
Magnolia Moment #2. THE VIKINGS, (I MEAN “THE DANES”) ARE INVADING MANHATTAN and Magnolia House re-cently accommodated a passel of them. See how its innkeeper coped with I LOVE DENMARK in dialogues with Karin Muller, Danish Nationalist, Architectural Enthusiast, and Historian.
Magnolia Moment #3. PUMPKIN, MON AMOUR: What REALLY happened at Magnolia House when Halloween, the Presi-dential Elections, and fallout from the release of Blood Moon’s radical new exposé of Donald Trump ALL COINCIDED? MEET PUMPKIN, newest member of Blood Moon’s extended family. She’s seven, she’s a star, she’s a child with special needs, and she’s MY PUMPKIN.
The home and it's guardian hosts are full of incredible stories. I can verify that the reviews left by other travelers who have so eloquently and accurately described the experience as richly unique and memorable... are true! So wonderfully not The Ritz indeed- and on that note; be sure to grab your non-standard comforts (like toiletries, lotion, shampoo, scented candles, etc..) with you—though your hosts would surely aid you in acquiring whatever you need or forgot. Danforth and Darwin will become your quick friends, always there to assist and entertain. The historic, well lived in home is situated close to Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Gardens- another gem not to miss in Staten Island.
The Magnolia house is amazing. The place is simply one of a kind and it is a visual delight full of history, art, and stories. Beyond unique- you can't help but feel transported. If you don't want the boring, basic, run of the mill Airbnb stay, this magical place is where it's at. Danforth is a gem. I will be coming back again soon.
This has to be one of the more unique and interesting places I have ever stayed at. I came here with my mom and her cousin, and we loved it. The house is beautiful and filled with interesting things from all over. But the real fun is the hosts. Dan and Darwin are two very interesting people. Great conversations and very interesting stories about movies stars of the past. I loved every minute of my stay there and recommend it to anyone that wants more to say about their time in New York than just the usual tourist sights.
This place is unique. Its an old house run buy two amazing gentlemen who are very interesting people. Darwin and Danforth are well traveled authors who go above and beyond to keep the customers happy. Both of them love sharing their stories with you. They can talk with you for hours. If you would like to be left alone then you need to make that clear as soon as you arrive or soon your would realize that couple of hours have passed and you are still talking. The house is old but spacious. You will find antique pieces everywhere in the house. Carpets are worn out in some places but not too bad. . Bathrooms are small but you get two full private baths which a big plus when travelling with a family. Bedrooms are spacious and beds are excellent. House is surrounded by lot of nature. Staten Island ferry terminal is only 15 minutes walk. The ferry is free and takes you right into Manhattan. If you are a fan of modern ultra-clean well lit chain hotel rooms with daily cleaning service then this is not the place for you. However if you do not mind staying in old historic house and love talking to the hosts then this is a great place.
This has been our best Airbnb experience! After a longer than expected drive from Detroit, Danforth was there with well needed libations on the lower veranda (our personal favorite). Funny, that's what we lovingly called our porch at an apartment we formally rented. This is A VERANDA one of three! As we sat there he gave us the Reader's Digest version of Darwin & his home and Staten Island. He actually walked us to a very nice restaurant, with drinks in hand, and made sure we were taken care of, then he left (with our empty glasses). The next morning we met, Darwin (Danforth's business partner), one of the sharpest minded Octogenarians I've ever met. As he cooked breakfast as we were treated to hear about his fasinating adventures. What's really cool was they wanted to know as much about us and listened. We fell in love with those guys. We picked Magnolia House as it was only a subway and ferry ride away for our kids in Harlem. They wanted to get away from the masses of humanity and the consistent din they make on Manhattan and we didn't want them to spend a lot of money to do so. (we stayed for 4 nights, the kids stayed with us the 2nd & 3rd nights). They LOVED it, so serene, homey & relaxing. We chose to interact with Danforth & Darwin but really only saw them at breakfast. If you choose not to, it can be easily done as the house is 4 stories and you can have the whole first floor (about 1200 sq ft) plus a veranda to yourself! However, if you choose not to interact with Danforth & Darwin you'd be missing 90% of what Magnolia House really is.
There just aren't words for how fabulous of a stay we had at Magnolia House. Danforth and Darwin are exquisite hosts. They are so welcoming, providing phenomenal conversation and a home full of fascinating artifacts from their life's travels. From the moment we arrived, Danforth was there to greet us, help us to unload the car, and aid in parking (we recommend the street behind the house and taking the stairs right next door at the church). He guided us into NYC the first night with a walk towards the ferry and information for the bus that stops directly in front of the house. Each morning, Darwin served a home cooked breakfast and great stories of his life and the books he has written along with asking us about our lives and our previous day's adventures. Our space - two bedrooms, two full baths, and two sitting rooms - was very spacious. The beds were comfortable and each bedroom had a window air conditioner which provided more than enough cooling for the space. The rooms are eclectic and fascinating. Every corner has something interesting to discover. As Danforth said, it isn't the Ritz-Carlton and for that we are glad. It is far better with so much character and charm! If we are fortunate enough to return to NYC in the future, this would definitely be where we would stay!
Presently, with the understanding that we’re committed to keeping prices reasonable within an economy where mainstream NYC Hotels are staggeringly expensive, we’re funneling reservations through AirBnb, a popular booking service that keeps payment and booking rituals simple.
This is the first in Blood Moon's "Magnolia House Series," chatty, ironic, and irreverent memoirs in which the authors (as filtered through the historic monument that sheltered them) review the icons and divas they encountered during their course of their work in travel and show-biz publishing. It's an overview of the seismic ironies associated with celebrity, fame and circumstance.
This is an "only in America" story, a sophisticated, witty overview direct from the high-octane peak of "The American Century." Loaded with gossip, some of it extracted from Blood Moon's award-winning backlist of celebrity biographies, it's about the famous or notorious players, some of them tragic, whose "talents to amuse" helped make America Great.