Seedy Hotels can Make for Great Stories!
Before one of my trips to Vancouver, I noticed a big airfare sale from Philly to Seattle- $199 roundtrip. With investigation, I figured out it was $200 cheaper to fly to Seattle, spend the night, then take the 3 hour busride to Vancouvs. Since I'd never been to Seattle, this sounded like a great idea. I immediately booked the cheapest hotel I could find that was in "downtown Seattle" at $69 a night.
Now, you must remember that every experience builds character, and to find humor in everything. This is the precise attitude Beth and I needed when we arrived at the Imperial Hotel, which I tried to google, but I think it must be gone by now. (This is an actual photo from the window of our room.) Basically, we arrived after taking the bus (no cabs for us) and walked right into The Chelsea Hotel circa 1979. The many, many people outside offered us an array of the finest pharmaceuticals. We walked in to a "lady of the evening" arguing with the manager "I told yall I'd have the rent next week!" Rent?? Next week? Luckily, I was with Beth, Beth who, like me, laughs at everything. And we laughed, and laughed. I forgot to mention the woman was wearing the cheapest pink nighty I'd ever seen, like the ones they sell at those stores called One Price $7 and the like. Anyway, we attempted to check in and were sent to our room in an ancient elevator. We unlock the door and ZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!! electricity EVERYWHERE! Instead of light fixtures, this room just had dangling exposed wires, and when I flicked the switch they made a lightshow! So we went back to the front desk, and got a different room. This one wouldn't open..so BACK to the desk...finally the manager just gave us the maid's key which opened every room. He probably figured we were the classiest and most trust worthy people to every pass over the threshold.
The room... so, you know how hotels used to have a bathroom down the hall, for the whole floor to share? Well, this hotel was probably the first to have ensuite bathrooms, and with all of the original plumbing! The sink was in the middle of the room, and probably from 1950. The toilet was next to a half wall that led to a curtainless shower, much like a school gym. I tried to take a photo of it, but it was seriously too small. Just came out all tiles. The bed linens....lets just say I slept with my hood on that night.
Downstairs there was this strange sitting room with a giant plate glass window facing the wheeling and dealing of drugs and bodies. It was like a big screen TV. Except we kept forgetting it was a 2 way mirror. Chaos vs. fishbowl. Beth and I made friends with the night manager, a dude named Alex who was about 23 and seemed "cool", but turned out to be a weirdo (SURPRISE!). He later called Beth and told her he was coming to visit her- and did! So weird.
I consider myself pretty street smart or whatever, so I was totally fine staying at a fleabag. Seattle itself was amazing, I'd love to go back. We went to the Space Needle at night, and had a pound of fries for $4 at a bar called Little Five Points. We wandered by SubPop and Sit and Spin. The hotel was right near Pike's Market, where we had breakfast in the morning. Seattlites are so friendly its unreal. So many people asked us where we were from. Also, every store sold an abundance of Hypercolor. Is it made there or something? I still don't understand.
Loved Seattle though, all 24 hours of it, and I will definitely go back.
So, in conclusion, don't be boring and take the quickest way from A to B. The kooky, the crazy, the seedy, the odd....all the things relished by those who truly taste life, by me.