Maps: I am Eloise. I am six.

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Do you remember the elevator scene in the children’s book Eloise? The spunky six-year-old guides readers through one of her daily antics in the Plaza Hotel: running up the staircases, skipping along the halls and riding up and down the elevators between the lobby and her top-floor apartment.

Illustration by Hilary Knight

Here she waves to the worried-looking elevator man, there she scares the maid, there she somersaults, and there again and again she pushes the elevator button.


For instance if I happen to be on the second floor I just press that button until it comes up and as soon as that door is open I get in and say “5th floor please” and when those doors clank shut we ride up and I get out on the 5th floor and as soon as that elevator is out of sight I skibble up those stairs to the 8th floor and then I press that button and when that same elevator comes up and as soon as that door is open I get in and say”15th floor please” and then when those doors clank shut we ride up and I get out on the 15th floor and as soon as that elevator is out of sight I skibble down to the 12th floor and press that button and when that same elevator comes up and those doors open I say “The Lobby please” and then those doors clank shut and we ride down without saying absolutely one word and then I get into the next elevator and go all the way up. (page 8)

You can read the entire Eloise in PDF form, if you would rawther rawther rawther.

Also, you can book the Eloise Suite at The Plaza Hotel, where everything is pink and white. Look for the pink door at the end of the hall. Nanny Suite is optional.

Finally, the great Eloise heist is mentioned in this article at NPR. How this is not better known, I do not know. It was stolen in 1960, and Walter Cronkite announced on national TV, ‘Eloise kidnapped!’

Here is the original painting:

This 1956 painting by Hilary Knight hung in The Plaza Hotel Lobby before it disappeared in 1960.
Hilary Knight/Copyright Kay Thompson/ The New York Historical Society

And here’s the replacement:

Hilary Knight’s replacement painting of Eloise. Not as tongue in cheek as the original.

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