November 2017
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Magic Table at Café Edison, A Place That Matters

The Magic Table at Café Edison, in the Edison Hotel, 228 W. 47th St., Midtown, Manhattan, nominated by Tom Klem.

Since 1942, magicians and their friends have been gathering around “The Table” in Times Square to share secrets and schmooze. The site of the Society of American Magician’s Magic Table has changed occasionally over time, but for the last three decades it has lodged in the coffee shop at the Edison Hotel.

One of the initial draws for the magicians was Times Square itself. In the 1940s and ’50s, the area was dotted with shops selling paraphernalia of the trade and stages demanding their services. Another draw was the camaraderie. For decades the late Mike Bornstein (known on the vaudeville circuit as Kolma the Magical Mandarin) hosted the table, attracting fellow magicians and fans with his knowledge of the business and repertory of card tricks. Today, midtown’s magic landscape has become sparser, but you can still find the legendary Tannen’s at 45 W. 34th St. and the newer Fantasma at 421 7th Ave.

You can also still find the Magic Table going strong. Table host and S.A.M. Board Chairman Tom Klem welcomes you to join the table on Fridays from 12:30 to 2pm.