Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fantasy afternoon at the Plaza Hotel

I love, love, love Eloise! After quite a literary weekend with Girls Write Now and teaching two classes at Writopia, what better way to relax (literarily AND literally) than to go to the Plaza Hotel with my four year old daughter, and our two BFF's for hot chocolate? The little girls were sure to wear their pouffiest, flounciest skirts and could not refrain from showing them off to each other as we waited for the bus. . . while we were on the bus . . . when we got off the bus . . .

When a pedi-cab offers us a ride, the girls shriek with delight and my BFF and I look to each other and grin, "Why not?" (But not before BFF haggles him down to $10. That's my girl.) The four of us climb into the back on this frigid last day of January, and the driver offers us a blanket to place over our knees. The magic is starting as our cheeks get rosier and rosier and the driver pedals his bicycle down 59th street and over to Fifth Avenue.

The girls cannot contain themselves from running full force up the stairs, heedless to my STOP's! Another conversation is needed about ooh! gasp! MANNERS. They are too excited, so I remind them to dance, and not run. We walk by the Palm Court, Eloise's favorite place for tea, but it is being renovated. We walk around the hotel with the girls spinning, stopping every so often to say "Fancy!" and "Delightful!"

Neither of us grown ups have been to the Plaza since it has been renovated - indeed, with three kids apiece we have stopped dreaming of such opulence. The hotel isn't crowded, and the staff smile benignly at our girls, and direct us to the "Eloise shop", and I think, uh-oh, merchandise is the work of the devil, but I instead I refrain from saying "we're only looking" and allow myself to be swept up by their glory. We go downstairs into the most glamorous mall I have ever seen. Dummy models dressed up in exquisite wedding regalia beckon to us. (The girls decide that they will definitely be getting married at the Plaza!)

Where's the Eloise shop? OMG, it's in front of us, all delicious pink confection. There are pink lampshades on the ceiling! There is a dress-up room, a tea party room, and a large room with overstuffed pink beanbags playing an Eloise movie. AND we have it all to ourselves! This is the best kept secret in Manhattan! The girls are in heaven. Wait - I'm in heaven! And the best thing of all is that the girls ask for nothing. (It is BFF and I who can't resist buying them a little souvenir to surprise them with later - a pink Do Not Disturb sign with a picture of Eloise.)

We are finally able to tear ourselves away from the Divine Pinkness and make our way up to the Rose Club, an invitingly glam and yet comfortable place with gorgeously upholstered couches and chairs. We feel transported in time as the girls dance to Frank Sinatra amid sips of hot chocolate and bites of cookies, telling us that they want to come back when they're teenagers . . . when they have money. Huh? They'll have money when they're teenagers? This I can't wait to see . . .


  1. What fun! Next time I'm in New York :) I'll have to remember the Eloise shop. Have you heard of the "Fancy Nancy" books? I think you'd love them.

  2. Yes! Fancy Nancy books are fun too! ;) But I love, love, love all of those stories about Kay Thompson!

  3. Oh what a Joy! I am living in New York vicariously through you!! Keep the posts coming...I'm off to read this one to my own, Fabulous, flouncy skirt wearing 6 year old who is dreaming of living in "THE Big City" someday.

  4. Thanks for reading! I want to go back! Definitely worth a special trip to NYC with your 6 year old! (Eloise is 6!) I'm new to all this - do you get an alert when I've commented back?

  5. No alert, I just checked back out of curiosity tonight...and found your response, with delight! thanks. When I was a young girl I had a pen pal somewhere in New York--through a Highlights Magazine connection--blogging feels the same, just all grown up! Happy Writing to you

  6. Yay Maryann! I'm so glad that you checked . . . I am now getting alerts because down at the bottom of each post it says subscribe to email . . . does it say that on yours? LOVE the idea of blogging as modern pen palling - love it!

  7. This hotel is having and displaying fantasy for the individuals who are attached and connected with it. It is very influential and impact. The essay help are research and practically implied. It is considered and primal.


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