E. L. Konigsburg: In the novel Amy Elizabeth Explored Bloomingdale’s, a character from Houston, Texas, named Amy Elizabeth, ventures to Bloomingdale’s with her grandmother. The book documents their adventure with colorful pictures.

Patricia Highsmith: Perhaps the encounter that inspired the writer most occurred in 1948 when she chanced across the beginnings of her landmark lesbian novel, The Price of Salt (which inspired 2015’s Carol). At 27, Highsmith was a struggling writer working the Bloomingdale’s toy counter at 504 Broadway. The lesbian Highsmith was at the time engaged to a man and working the Christmastime counter to pay for psychotherapy promising to “cure” her homosexuality. Such pursuits were not uncommon among certain intellectuals of Highsmith’s era. Her brief meeting with a woman ordering a doll for delivery so enamoured her that she would, within four years, break off her engagement, and enter into affairs with two women who would provide the basis for the novel that would garner her equal adoration within communities both homosexual and literary.

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