Thursday, February 18, 2010

In Search Of Great Hotels


City Of Strangers returned to Hotel 17 and those days of home and haven that had a texture now rarely found in most neighborhoods.

Several weeks ago, walking back from a job I never thought I'd excel at, I saw where I had once hoped to live.

It was called the Pioneer. It didn't look this good then.

My father bought a car when we were teenagers so he could keep his job which had been transfered to Long Island, a place people moved to but didn't work in.

Occassionally we used the car for family outings which produced as much dread as staying home. As the car would bump across Broome Street toward some portal out of Manhattan I'd stare at the Pioneer Hotel sign wondering if I could run away there. Close enough to home that I could escape to the hotel by foot but offering a promise of my own portal out of one place and into hope.

6 comments:

Goggla said...

I used to dream of living in the Plaza (or another hotel) like Eloise. The thought of being free in my own room and someone to deliver food and make my bed was just divine..

cityofstrangers said...

Hi CO. Thanks for the link. I think I remember the Pioneer though I can't place it now. How tantalizing to feel another world so physically close yet so spiritually distant.

Did you escape to the (metaphoric) hotel in the end? I went through a long period of preferring hotels, transience. Sometimes even when I had an apartment I lived out of a suitcase to emulate the feeling of being in a hotel . . .

T.

c.o. moed said...

I escaped into a 1970s version of a 1950's family show and it saved my life. I then got lucky again a couple of years later and moved into the apartment I still live in.

I've envied people who lived more physically transient than I. I was too terrified to move once I got my apartment. But I also lived in it a transient state for years not believing it was my real life - not sure where my real life was but I didn't understand it in reality for some time.

The few times I actually got to stay at a hotels or motels were for a long time the height of luxury or stepping into a tv movie.

Again, the emotional diaspora and the constant metaphysical wandering...

c.o. moed said...

Eloise was my favorite favorite series of books. I poured over those pictures for hours. Now. steeped in writer's hermitude, I just yearn for invisible little fairies to clean up after my many little meals. And suffer the Trader Joe's lines.

cityofstrangers said...

I grew up traveling around, so for a long time transience WAS permanence, and it was only in NYC that I was ever good at staying in one place - maybe because NY was/ is in constant motion. Even now, it's hard to say what is real life and what is not . . . and getting used to staying in one spot is the hard part.

I've often wondered what it would have been like to grow up here amidst all the motion and change and coming and going . . .

T.

c.o. moed said...

It was like being a dot in a photo that was blown up real big.