Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Eloise from Hell

Eloise is a fictional character who lived in the "room on the tippy-top floor" of the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her Nanny, her pug dog Weenie, and her turtle Skipperdee. She was lovely. Fanny Lowenstein was not.

Fanny Lowenstein's Plaza Hotel adventure began in the wake of World War II when a number of New York's grand hotels, the Plaza included, were on the skids and decided to take on long-term tenants to insure a monthly income. Wealthy NYC businessman, Leo Lowenstein, could afford to pay market rates but grabbed a rent-controlled unit anyway. The lease transferred to his new wife, Fanny, and he died three short years later in 1961. After that Lowenstein stayed put for 35 years during which she paid a paltry $500 per month for a three room suite and was the guest from hell.

Lowenstein eventually moved out when she became convinced that her poor health was caused by toxic paint she believed was on the walls of her apartment. She died in 1992 at 85 years old.

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