Monday, August 8, 2016

FAO Schwartz 5th Ave.

FAO Schwarz was founded in 1862 and over the years, became known around the world for its unique high-end toys and life-sized stuffed animals. It's most famous store on Fifth Avenue in New York City became a popular tourist destination. The store is also well known for many major movie scenes which have been filmed inside and outside the store. Its famous floor piano gained iconic status when a scene in Tom Hank's 1988 movie "Big" featured Hanks and Robert Loggia dancing "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks" on it.

Unfortunately, the store became a victim of rising rental rates and the costs of running the business in New York City's hottest shopping district. It was closed July 15, 2015, but shortly before it closed, Monet Troll was able to visit. It was a trip to remember as these pictures are some of the last taken in the store.








































LEGO Dude
LEGO Trooper



















Yes, Monet is in there.




Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Paisano Hotel

Earth Troll at the El Paisano Hotel
In October, 1929, ground was broken in Marfa, Texas for the construction of the Hotel Paisano. It was going to be "the most elegant hotel between El Paso and San Antonio." A few days later came the stock market crash which began The Great Depression. An army of workers continued the construction though and in June, 1930, the hotel opened for business.

The main customers of the Hotel Paisano during those early years were area cattle ranchers who came to Marfa to buy and sell their herds and tourists who came to West Texas for the benefits of the dry desert air. The Hotel Paisano became the social hub for the area and continued to serve this function all the way through the 1960’s.

T-shirts and other Giant memorabilia for sale
in the hotel's Giant Room.
In June, 1955, Warner Brothers came to Marfa and made the Hotel Paisano its headquarters for the filming of the soon to be classic movie Giant. Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean plus 150 other cast members and crew made the Hotel Paisano their gathering place for six weeks of the summer, dining at the hotel, socializing in the lobby and lounge, and meeting to watch dailies from a projector that director George Stevens sets up in the ballroom.

Over the next 46 years, the hotel was sold to several new owners, each of whom let the elegant building deteriorate more and more. Finally, in early 2001, the group of real estate investors in Houston who had purchased the property decided to abandon it rather than go to the expense of restoration. The building sat empty and forlorn with daylight coming through ceilings and plywood covering several doors and windows.

After the city foreclosed on the property and sold it for back taxes, the new owners began restoration in late 2001. Today, the Hotel Paisano has been completely renovated with 41 rooms for rent, including a number of original historic rooms. There is also a seasonally heated pool, 3,000 sq. ft. of retail and office space, a 3,000 sq. ft. ballroom and conference space, fitness center, a Giant memorabilia room, and a restaurant and lounge with courtyard seating.

The comfortable lobby where Elizabeth Taylor,
Rock Hudson, James Dean and
Earth Troll relaxed.
With the luxurious restoration, the Hotel El Paisano has once again become a destination in West Texas. Earth Troll visited in the summer of 2016 and he gives it 2 thumbs up for luxury in West Texas!









Patio for relaxing while listening to the
calming water fountain.