I must admit that I felt more than a little bit mischievous, the first time I decided to go into the Plaza Hotel, in New York City, in search of Eloise.
Eloise is the central character of a children’s book written by Kay Thomspson and illustrated by Hilary Knight. The initial story is set at the Plaza, where Eloise lives with her dog, turtle, and nanny.
We were not guest, in fact I have never stayed at the Plaza, but my adventures at the Waldorf – Astoria, before it closed for renovations, had given me courage, and I decided to act like I belonged. I obviously, lack Eloise’s boldness, even as an adult; but I do so love to explore, and thus figured I would risk being asked to leave the hotel.
The fact is that my courage was not needed, the Shops at the Plaza, which are located in the basement, wisely welcome you, especially if you have a few dollars to spend, on a bite to eat or a souvenir from say the Eloise shop.
Yes, it is a bit overpriced, but I nevertheless enjoy walking around the store and touching the toys. I did buy my Eloise doll, who lives on my bed, her own dog, Weenie, and her turtle, Skipperdee, twice. Skipperdee was my first purchase, at the shop, but my great-nephew saw Skipperdee and picked him over the dinosaure, I had for him, to take home; I am sure he made a good choice!
On the first floor of the hotel, there are several cases with revolving displays about Eloise, and the 1963 version of the painting of her, by Hilary Knight. The original painting of Eloise was stolen in 1960, though it was recovered, it was badly damaged, and thus the hotel asked the artist to recreate the work.
I do go back to the little shop, when I am in town and have a few minutes to explore the pretty pink world of Eloise; I keep thinking how much fun it would be to take my great-nieces for tea at the Plaza!
A photograph taken after my first visit; thrilled with my purchase,
especially the bag, which I kept, and hangs on the wall.