The lady who stayed at New York’s famed Plaza Hotel for a mere $500 a month, for 35 years


Once upon a time, there lived a woman in the plush comforts of The Plaza in New York. Grumpy, little nag she was, and earned the title ‘Eloise from Hell’. While her reputation was not attractive, her accommodation at this fancy address, for 35 years of her life, was mighty attractive. One might say, they would want to fit into her shoes in the snap of a finger. Not so that the entire establishment could loathe you, but because you would have the best suite in the entire city, looking out into the beautiful landscapes of Central Park. And she lived in this fine suite for just $500 a day.

Fannie Lowenstein is making news, posthumously, as The Plaza’s attorney from 1977-2004, Gary Lyman, quoted her as an ‘eccentric character’, giving her the login ID to hell. She was known to be rude, not just to staff but also the management. Fannie moved in with her husband Leo Lowenstein in 1958. Three years later he died, but she didn’t plan to withdraw in grief. She stayed back on until close to her death in 1992, when she relocated to Park Lane for a full rate until she passed away in April 1992, at the age of 85. This deal happened during a time when many hotels in the city ‘decided to take on long-term tenants to insure a monthly income’.

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While at The Plaza she constantly complained and barking orders. She walked as if ‘she owned the place’. When Donald Trump bought the place, he upgraded her to the three-room suite which included a Steinway piano and the envious Central Park view. He had some minted business intention behind this move, it is rumoured. She got away with this because she went by the rule book to the T. According to the law which applied then, she was entitled to the same services that she got when they first took the unit under rent control. Which meant that the hotel had to swallow pride and listen to her whine about ‘defective carpet’ and ‘high dusting’ in her room. Her presence still lurks in the corridors of the hotel which uses ‘fannie’ to describe a situation that goes wrong.

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[ Via : Jezebel ]