Wednesday, May 17, 2006

En suite

Who uses it: Innkeepers
What it means: A bedroom with a bathroom attached. In the United States, hotel rooms are almost always en suite.
How you can use it: When booking a hotel room anywhere else in the world.

Greetings from Brookline's Longwood Inn, a hotel I would charitably describe as eccentric. It wouldn't be strange at all in Europe, where it might be called a pension, but in the United States, it's odd.

The Longwood Inn is a converted mansion. My room is on the third floor, at the top of the house, and might once have belonged to a couple of servants. No elevator, of course. It does have a bathroom, but it seems to be a converted closet; there wasn't space for a sink, so the sink's in the room. I'd asked for a double bed, but got two twin beds instead, which I don't mind.

What's weird about this place is the apparent absence of staff. I arrived a little after 6:00 yesterday evening, coming through a driving rainstorm and getting lost after taking a detour to avoid Route 1, which was flooded. A sign on the front door directed me to take the envelope with my name on it off the front table. In the envelope was a room key and a small card for me to fill out and give to the desk clerk -- when the desk clerk goes on duty at 9:00 a.m.

I had really hoped to be on the road well before 9:00 a.m. Today's leg takes me to Virginia Beach and Norfolk via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. I've never driven across the Bay Bridge-Tunnel, and I've only ridden through it once, so I feel pretty excited about that (it's a quiet life I lead...).

Joe Finder's talk and signing last night went well, though I'd have expected more people to turn up for a chance at winning a plasma-screen TV. His publishers and NEC are giving another one away tomorrow night in New York City, at the Borders on Columbus Circle. The event starts at 7:00; don't be late, because you must be present to win.

First five songs off the iPod Shuffle this morning:

“Funny How Time Slips Away,” Al Green. A classic of faded love. "I heard you told him you'd love him till the end of time/I remember that's the same thing that you told me yesterday/Ain't it funny how time slips away."

“Pulling Teeth,” Green Day. I can't believe this album ("Dookie") came out 14 years ago. Man, I'm old.

“Trouble in, Trouble Out,” Nappy Roots. Off "The Ladykillers" soundtrack. The Ladykillers is not one of the Coen brothers' best movies, but worth seeing for Tom Hanks' hilarious and over-the-top performance -- and for a really kickass gospel-rap soundtrack.

“Annie Get Your Gun,” Squeeze. And this song is more than 20 years old. Anybody got a cane?

“Walking to New Orleans,” Fats Domino. This song came out before I was born, so at least it doesn't make me feel old... but let's send good wishes to Mr. Domino, whose illness prevented him from headlining the New Orleans Jazz Festival last weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny--that happened to us in Montreal once, too. Key on the porch, card to fill out; though we did meet one employee at breakfast the following morning.
Have a lovely trip!