The New York Palace hotel (aka, the former home of “Gossip Girl’s” Chuck Bass) was just sold $800 million by South Korea and Japan based-company the Lotte Group, which boasts a website unusually interested in Weimar Classicism for a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Apparently, in addition to swallowing international hotels, the Lotte group started out in 1948 as a candy and cookie manufacturer. For no clear reason, it takes its name from the heroine Charlotte (Lotte) in Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, and it calls itself “The Sweetheart of Your Mouth” which is “based on the eternal love of Charlotte that resides deep in the hearts of so many people around the world.” Ok, then.
Considering the Palace used to be owned by the “Queen of Mean” Leona Helmsley (she of the infamous “only the little people pay taxes”), who was known for allegedly abusing the hotel’s employees and firing them willy-nilly, a candy company that claims its goal is to be “appreciated by even one more person and to produce products that are loved by as many people as possible” seems like a sweeter deal. –Isabel Schwab