Tag Archives: foot traffic

Underfoot

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As hotel carpet goes, this is pretty boring.

Its pattern meets the requisite busy rule to hide foot traffic, but it’s very light. Tip a glass of red wine or kool-aid, and you’ve got a stain.

Especially if the guest doesn’t report it right away. (It’s in the guest rooms.)

Give me an intense color and some curly cues any day!

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Day Two: Lucerne, Switzerland

Today, I was in a conference room in Lucerne for eight hours.

No sunshine. No city views. No sightseeing.

Hotel des BalancesBut after dinner, I again was charmed by my hotel and the square it overlooks.

In the daylight, the front facade of the Hotel des Balances in Lucerne is awash with color, the figures and ornate border giving the building an almost candy-colored glow.

(They stand behind this sugary start by delivering a customized oval of chocolate on our pillows each night.)

When the sun sets, the hotel and the other painted buildings in the square loose their characteristic colors but not their charm. Most businesses close by seven o’clock, so there is only the sound of foot traffic on the cobblestone, and the street lights make the architecture appear more whimsical.

Lucerne Square

I took this photo from my hotel balcony, which overlooks the front entrance.

chocolate mint LucerneAnd because many of you couldn’t concentrate after you read the word ‘chocolate,’ here is that mint I mentioned.

Pretty snazzy, huh?

A leg to stand on

I fell today on a Boston city sidewalk that was under construction.

sidewalk closedBoth sides were torn up, and only one side was closed to foot traffic. So pedestrians were walking through the debris on the other side.

Of course, I was the one who tripped and fell.

In a suit.

Wearing black pants.

A member of the crew immediately rushed over to make sure I was okay. I was more concerned about the state of my pants, so she returned lickety-split with water and towels. And when she realized I had cut and bruised one leg, she insisted on driving me to my class at BU.

She was thought I would sue the city.

That didn’t even cross my mind…until she told me the crew shouldn’t have torn up both sides of the walk at the same time. And they should have closed the sidewalk that everyone was walking on (and that I fell on). And she represented the city, and the crew didn’t always listen to her rules and regulations.

I don’t know — maybe my leg hurts more than I realize!

Tokyo, Day 4: Asakusa, Shibuya, Rippongi

After eating a hearty Japanese breakfast of green salad, rice and hot tea, I took the subway to the Asakusa district, which is home to Tokyo’s oldest attraction, the Senso-ji temple.

2014-07-27 09.03.45(I picked a good day to brave the trains.  Foot traffic was fairly light, and I found the signage and announcements clear and easy to understand.

And yes, the Tokyo subway is clean and quiet, except for the occasional screaming baby.)

2014-07-27 09.46.18The temple entrance is guarded by the gods of wind and thunder at the Kaminarimon Gate.  They didn’t seem that ferocious to me, and quite open to a selfie or two.

Once inside the gate, there was shopping galore, and I had the opportunity to get my fortune  — after saying a prayer and paying a small stipend.  I ended up getting “the very best fortune.”

So that’s cool.

2014-07-27 10.01.13The main hall is a five-story pagoda.  There’s a incense cauldron in front; people were rubbing the incense on themselves for good luck or simply waving the smoke toward themselves.

I opted for the latter.

2014-07-27 10.52.43Across the river from the temple is the Asahi Beer Hall. It’s golden plume, which is supposed to be beer foam, is a Tokyo landmark (although the locals call it the ‘golden turd’). I love that.

I was excited to visit the Taiko Drum Museum, but it wasn’t at the map location, and business owners nearby hadn’t heard of it.

Seems like they would have heard a drum…nevermind.

2014-07-27 11.57.21I jumped back on the subway and took the Ginza Line to the Shibuya district.

Shibuya Crossing is as new as Asakusa is old.  There are video screens and noise and thousands of people seemingly moving at once, but the chaos has a kind of order to it.

And remember the good-looking guy I saw yesterday plastered on buildings?

He was at Shibuya, too.  Gotta figure out who he is.

 

 

2014-07-27 12.38.50Hachiko the dog was there, too — well, the statute that is.

His master died in 1925, but the dog continued to go to the station to meet him until his own death some ten years later.

The pup was very popular; it was hard to get a shot.  I don’t know whose hand that is, but he is forever immortalized here on the Egg.

Lucky tourist.

After a stop back at the hotel for the standard wash, clothing change and nap — the heat really takes it out of you — I ended the day at the Roppingi Hills, a large shopping / arts / entertainment complex in the district where I am currently staying.

2014-07-27 16.38.09I visited the Mori Art Museum, an extraordinary contemporary art museum (with an even better store).

I’m told the  observatory has amazing city views, but it was closed because of the weather.  I found that odd…until it started storming.

It was slightly less sticky afterwards, so it was worth it.

I’m resting my feet and back until tomorrow.  Only one more morning of adventure and then the flight home to NYC!

 

Up, please

Have you ever noticed that a hotel may have anywhere from  three to six elevators, but only one or two appears to be working?

It drives me crazy…especially at check-out when foot traffic is at its peak (and you stand there waiting).

My stay this weekend at the Swissotel in Chicago was completely different.

elevator padTheir elevator keypads do not have up or down arrows; instead, you input your room number.

A computer quickly determines which elevator car you will ride in (in this case, A through F) and indicates it in the blue field.

When that elevator’s door opens, you see your floor — and that of  other passengers — listed on the side panel.

And off you go.

During my overnight stay in Chicago, I rode the elevator several times between my room, the conference center and the lobby…and I was in at least four of the six available elevator cars.

No waiting.