2012 UPDATE: The Plaza mall was recently renovated again (and Cafe Demel is gone). I plan on writing a post about the new food court in the future.
In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the main character Holly Golightly goes to Tiffany’s when she is experiencing the “mean reds” (something akin to depression and angst). Holly – “When I get it, what does any good is to jump into a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness, the proud look. Nothing very bad could happen to you there.” Holly’s Tiffany philosophy is essentially how I feel about the Plaza Hotel. Eloise was my favorite book as a child, and I used to love going to “visit” Eloise and then stopping by F.A.O. Schwartz across the street. I was sad when I found out the Plaza was closing and undergoing renovations a few years ago.
This summer I stopped by the Plaza, and I thought the lobby looked good (though still under construction at the time), but I couldn’t find the portrait of Eloise. I asked a guard about the painting and he said in a matter-of-fact tone “Eloise has gone on vacation.”
A few days ago I stopped by the Plaza again to check out the new lower level shopping arcade, which opened this past fall. I was pleased to find that Eloise has returned to the ground floor and that the lobby still has enough glitz/gold leaf to relieve me of the “mean reds.” See below for more highlights from my visit: