“The little toy dog is covered with dust, But sturdy and staunch he stands”*
Did you hear about this?
According to the New York Times, F. A. O. Schwarz, the legendary toy store on Fifth Avenue, will close its doors July 15, “a victim of rising rents and ultraluxury retailing in New York City’s hottest shopping district.”
The store has been a fixture in New York for 145 years! “In 1870, Frederick August Otto Schwarz opened a toy store, Schwarz Brothers — Importers, at 765 Broadway. In 1876 he opened a second shop farther uptown. The two stores combined in a move to Union Square, and the store was renamed F. A. O. Schwarz. The store moved a number of times, and to its current location in 1986.” (NYT)
Our father was a big fan of F.A.O. Schwarz and I grew up knowing it was the toy mecca of the U.S.A. When I finally visited the store in my college years I wasn’t that impressed, but whatever. Newell was a toy person and loved Steiff animals. For years I slept with a Steiff tiger which my father bought for me when I was born. (I have no doubt that my mother rolled her eyes, knowing he had spent way more than she knew was practical.) “Tiggy” was retired when I was about 12 because he was becoming quite worn, but he always adorned my pillow.
I’m sure it is from our father that we three children inherited our attachment to toys–and stuffed animals in particular–that has plagued us our whole lives. At any rate, I find it very difficult to part with them. I will leave it to my children to figure out what to do with them.
Ah, the proverbial tip of the iceberg (which is housed in our basement). Oh good lord.
This is how my mind works.
*Little Boy Blue by Eugene Field