A New York Minute

Sometimes you need to treat yourself to a $25 cocktail.

In New York City.

My kids and I love reading about New York. That does not mean we took them on our 10th wedding anniversary trip to the Big Apple.

But we thought about them a lot (but had fun without them.)  I had to take advantage and visit some places we had read about.

Upon arrival, after walking in the wrong direction for several blocks, we visited The New York Public Library. It was a thrill for me to see the Library Lions and visit the children’s section.

In the children's section of the NYC library, these Lego lions reign.

In the children’s section of the NYC library, these Lego lions reign.

Oh my Lawd, I also had to go visit The Plaza where Eloise lives.  (Read about her in a past blog post.)

We explored the magnificent structure and visited the Eloise gift shop where the shop attendant told me the parents are usually more excited to visit than the kids.

I found Eloise at the Plaza.

I found Eloise at the Plaza.

We then had that $25 cocktail. I sipped a pink cosmopolitan, so I could channel Sex in the City and Eloise.

Eloise lives in the tower with Nanny.

Eloise lives in the tower with Nanny.

I don’t know if Max and Calvin were that impressed that we visited the home of Eloise. They were mostly concerned with finding out what we bought them. (An Eloise highlighter and New York City bus for Calvin; a Lego Chrysler Building and Yankees hat for Max.)

I can’t wait to go back.

Here are a few of our favorite NYC books:

This is New York by Miroslav Sasek (I’ve mentioned this one a lot but we love it!)

Eloise by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight.

B is for Brooklyn by Selina Alko (Read a past blog post.)

The Wicked Big Toddlah Goes to New York by Kevin Hawkes (Read our thoughts on Toddie here.)

Statue of Liberty

Just for fun, here’s my shot of Lady Liberty.


After all, she’s only six

Max and Calvin admire Eloise.

Max and Calvin admire Eloise.

There’s a six-year-old girl my boys can’t stop talking about. I felt the same way when I discovered her in my twenties.

Kay Thompson’s Eloise (illustrated by Hilary Knight) is a known wonder and delight. If you haven’t heard of the little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, for Lord’s sake go straight to your local bookstore or library.

Written in 1955, Eloise lives and wreaks havoc at The Plaza. She cohabitates with her British Nanny, dog Weenie, turtle Skipperdee, and a visiting pigeon.

Max and Calvin can’t get over her freedom and antics. “Eloise sits on top of the car,” they tell me, jealous and concerned. She runs around The Plaza by herself. “Why is she all alone?” You never see her absent mother who “sometimes sends for her.” “Where are her parents? Why doesn’t Nanny ever give her back?” they ask. That’s a hard one to explain.

"They will be glad to get home."

“They’ll be glad when they get home.”

After reading the first Eloise book, we checked out Eloise in Moscow, Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmastime, and Eloise Takes a Bawth. Talk about hard to explain. Eloise in Moscow, written in 1959, depicts a lack of privacy, cold weather, and frowning locals.

“They’ll be glad when they get home, this place is really different,” Max gravely said.

I worry that Eloise Takes a Bawth may give them ideas. (Eloise floods The Plaza with her bawth.) The boys love this. I try to discourage them with my own cautionary tale of knocking over a diaper pail that leaked through the living room ceiling, making their Pop Pop (my Dad) go mad.

Oooo.. I absolutely love Eloise and I’m glad my boys do too.

Where to find the book and more info

You can find Eloise at most bookstores or public libraries.

Learn more on the official Eloise website.

Visit Hilary Knight’s website (He also illustrated Betty MacDonald’s Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. I love Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.)

Hilary is the subject of a great documentary “It’s Me, Hilary” produced by Lena Dunham. (Dunham sports an Eloise tattoo.)

I have the good fortune of having my own Eloise. Calvin says, “Her name is like the book!” She wrote a guest blog post for me in March. I absolutely love my Eloise too!