Tag Archives: hotels

Don’t sit down

During the month of October, we see a lot of scary things on TV, in movies, on ads in every walk of life — all because Halloween is coming.

But with the exception of The Town that Dreaded Sundown, I don’t think I have seen anything as scary as the couch at this hotel.


Actually, the photo makes it look kinda vintage. It’s not.

It’s a HORROR.

Secret lives

Two logos —

Hilton Under Armour

Hilton and Under Armour.

Am I the only one who sees the amazing resemblance?

Does this mean that, underneath the shee-shee image the Hilton is trying to project, they are secretly wearing he-man underoos?  Or are all those burly men sporting Under Armour out in the forest secretly jonesing to spend a spa day in a quilted robe drinking cucumber water?

My vote?


Adjust your dial

They may not look like it…

mesh…but my hotel walls certainly sound like it tonight.

So. Much. Noise

They appear to be solid, but I am beginning to think they are really made of tissue.   Or mesh.  Or perhaps one of those cool beaded curtains that graced the doorways in all the 70’s era movies.

All are interesting interior design choices, but they aren’t very soundproof.  But at this point, I don’t think any of them would be any worse than my hotel room walls.

So. Much. Noise.

Italy, Day One: Yowsers

I thought I was starting my trip to Italy alone…

Turns out ‘Murphy’ came along for the ride.

My originating flight from Dallas had ‘equipment problems,’ so we had to be moved to a new plane, a new gate.  As a result, we left for London 90 minutes late.  Everyone on the flight with connections broke a sweat, including me.

We arrived this morning 10 minutes after my Milan transfer — as the Brits call it — had winged away.

I spent the next two hours in queues, but lucked into a noon flight to Milan on standby.  They even gave me a free sandwich.  I was starting to feel a bit better.

Murphy returned at the Milan Airport, where the lone ATM was out of service.  I was assured by my cabbie that he could take a credit card, so I decided to worry about getting Euros later.

Later was when he pulled up to the hotel…and realized he had left his credit card machine at home.  After I checked into the hotel, he and I spent some more quality time together, locating an ATM so I could pay the fare.

That was actually fun.  He lived in Chicago for 13 years, so he had a lot of fun stories and spoke great English.

So now I am at my plush hotel near the conference center.  It’s cool and quiet.  And all I have to worry about is falling asleep — I need to adjust to my new time zone for the next week.

Addio amici!

An American tale

Once upon a time there was an apple.

He dreamed of one day being an apple pie on a Thanskgiving Day dinner table.  Or maybe an apple cake for a very good girl or boy’s special birthday.

Heck, he would have settled for a turnover at McDonald’s — gooey, crispy goodness on the run.

But what did life have in store for this apple?


Hotel lamp at the Hilton.

Oh well, at least he was in….


Favorite places

While re-watching 500 Days of Summer recently, I found myself wondering…

What are my favorite buildings in Manhattan?

The lovesick architect Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was able to find inspiration in Los Angeles.  I live in New York City, home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world.  What speaks to me?

The Lucerne Hotel

When I was looking for my first apartment in the city back in 2006, this Upper West Side building immediately caught my eye.  The realtor had made an appointment for me at a nondescript high-rise across the street; I just wanted to talk about this beautifully ornate structure.

I soon learned it was a boutique hotel with a decidedly European influence — a French restaurant occupies the entire ground floor — and that had it just undergone a major renovation.

But at the turn-of-the-century, The Lucerne was a residence hotel.  Eugene O’Neill is one of its more storied occupants.  I’m sure it was less grand back then, but the man knew his architecture.

I wish the darn thing would go co-op now!

A haunting

A little over a week ago, I blogged about the inherent scariness of twins, citing the movie The Shining as the perfect example.

They came back to haunt me.

I was in Pittsburgh on business Friday and stayed at The Priory Hotel, a former Benedictine Monastery that is now a 25 room European-style hotel on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.  I chose it because it was within walking distance of not only my meeting but the Warhol Museum, and I hoped to pay a visit after my business was finished.

Due to travel delays, I didn’t get to my room until almost midnight.  When I went to bed, I lay down facing the room door where I saw, through the light streaming in, two feet standing outside the doorway.

I got up, crept to the door, and peered through the peephole.  No one was there, but the distorted view of the hallway — with its ancient wallpaper and crown molding — gave me an instant Shining flashback.

The twins weren’t there, but they might as well have been.

I was thoroughly spooked. All the period details of my room went from charming to creepy.  The bust on the fireplace staring at me with sightless eyes.  The heavy drapes that anyone could hide behind.  I have never longed for the generic sameness of the Hilton Garden Inn in my life.

And what was on TV when I awoke this morning?  The Shining.

Oh no — they’re following me.

Whistle while you…

I worked all day today.

I mention it because it’s Saturday, which is the weekend in most civilized cultures.  And I had to work.  And I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself.

But even as I say that, I know I’m not the only person who worked today.

How did I get to the hotel in Jersey City where my meeting was held?  A taxi, driven by a cabbie who clearly was working.

How did my client and I conduct business all day? Because the hotel manager, waiters, concierge and housekeeping staff all showed up.

Heck, you could surmise that the only reason I am able to post this blog — which is something I do each and every day — is because tech support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep it up and running.

Funny thing, though…this blog, which is my own self-imposed, daily deadline, never feels like work.  And right now, just writing it making me less irritable and tired after working all day…on a Saturday.  (I mentioned that, right?)

A friend asked me once how much I got paid for writing my blog.  I laughed at the time.

But right now, this feels like payment enough.

Celebrity sighting

I do extra work from time to time.  Walk from point A to point B in a commercial or television show.  I’m in the back, behind the main action, adding to the ambience but not the narrative.

Thursday I was an extra in a PSA for the Travel Channel.  I had the rare opportunity to showcase skills honed as a frequent flier: I walked across a hotel lobby, roller bag in hand, and checked in at the reservation desk.

You just can’t teach that.

It was an easy shoot.  The cast and crew were great, the day was short. But the moment of the afternoon — my moment — occurred when a hotel guest pulled me aside and said, “I know you, right?  You’re someone.”

Now, we had a crowd gathered rubbernecking most of the day.  The principles were only on set sporadically, so it was hard for folks to figure out what the spot was for or who the ‘stars’ were.

The Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown — the star — was standing mere feet from me, but this woman did not appear to recognize her.  I smiled.  “Trust me.  I’m no one you’ve heard of.”

She was not deterred.  “No.  You’re that comedienne…the one with the show.”

I get this about once a day. “You mean Kathy Griffin.”

“Yes.  You’re Kathy Griffin.”

“No.  But I hear that a lot.”

“You look just like her.”

And she smiled and walked over to her friends, telling them that, sadly, I was not on the ‘D List’ like they thought.

But I stood up a little straighter, and walked a bit jauntier, and checked into — in my backstory, at least — the presidential suite, my entourage at the ready.