Illustration by Hilary Knight, courtesy of Simon and Schuster
Remember the story of Herbert J. Sukenik, the famous Central Park West “hermit holdout?” Developers paid the rent-controlled curmudgeon $17 million and gave him a free massive pad overlooking the park in a legendary buyout. His female counterpart might be one Fannie Lowenstein, whom none other than Donald Trump is said to have ended up bestowing a sprawling suite in the venerable Plaza Hotel at 1 Central Park South, complete with a Steinway grand piano and maid service. For zero dollars a month. For life. Here’s how the story of the woman the hotel staff referred to as “the Eloise from Hell” became yet another Manhattan rent regulation legend, as told by Vice.