Tag: 500 West Hotel

Room 555

This is not room 555.  It’s the cafe that is connected to the 500 West Hotel which is the Hostel/Hotel hybrid I stayed in.  I had a private room but shared bathrooms.  Very European.  When I did the shared bathroom thing at The Pod Hotel in Manhattan I was amazingly impressed with the cleanliness of the bathrooms and the rooms.  This was not my experience at 500 West.

The omelet I had at this cafe was alright but that comforting looking cup of coffee you see there is THE WORST BROWN WATER IN THE WORLD.

This is the Hallway of Doom.  One wrong direction given by the Hotel clerk and you could be wandering these halls until your reservations are forfeited.  The doors are sometimes in numerical order but will suddenly change things up and skip around until two hallways over.  This is not encouraging to the tired traveler.

This is room 555 where there was obviously a drunken pissing contest in the past.  This room is right around the corner from a bank of bathrooms so I can only imagine that a) pissing on the floor was more fun or b) the person who left this stain was just as afraid as I was to use the toilets in the middle of the night.

Other delightful features of this hotel are:

  • The tiniest television I’ve ever seen.
  • A luxuriously frail plastic chair for your convenience writing letters and such useful occupations as most travelers indulge in.
  • No air conditioning.  (Not to worry- there’s a barbie sized ceiling fan and if you stand on the bed you get almost close enough to be cooled off!)
  • Saturday nights are bustling so you needn’t worry about making too much noise yourself until after 4am when most of the party action, shouting down the hallway, constant clunking of the creaky elevator and the violent banging noises all die down to a peaceful Sunday morning style reverent quiet.
  • You don’t have to worry about getting the bathrooms too dirty because they’re so shabby you can’t really tell if they’re clean or not in the first place.

When you have a small budget you don’t have a lot of options and I will say that there are many Motels I wouldn’t have preferred to this hotel.  As bad as it sounds it was at least the clientele is not sleazy.  It’s mostly young Europeans and not prostitutes or drug addicts.

I am now in Santa Monica in a much better hotel called Seaview Hotel.  Still no air conditioning but so much more comfortable.

I’ve got more to report but right now I must prepare to go out with my sister.  I hope you all have a great night!

San Diego Travel Notes

I am writing from the land of palms and honey.  The land of perpetual mean light, wide streets, very few pedestrians.  San Diego is a city of trains.  Really long-ass trains.  So long that it cost me $3 in taxi fare to wait for one to pass.  San Diego is a city I’ve known since I was a young child.  I have never liked it.  It has always struck me as a reflection of what hell would be like for a person like me.  I still don’t like this city at all.  It’s creepy because there are so few pedestrians.  In New York it doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is there are people walking the sidewalks everywhere.  Here the streets are eerily empty.  I’ve never seen a downtown more devoid of people.

What San Diego does have, and which I appreciate, is the food.  The place to go for food is 5th Street in the gaslamp district.  Within a ten block radius there must be at least 50 restaurants of every type: Indian, Thai, pub food, fast food, Mexican, Persian, Retro American, Italian, and Irish.  There’s one place I’ve found outside of the gaslamp district that I really enjoyed.  The food is mostly pedestrian but the beer is stellar: Karl Strauss.  They brew their own beer and you can buy and fill growlers.

Some travel notes:

  • People ignore the directions and mandatory edicts of flight attendants.  I find this disturbing when it’s for everyone’s safety like “turn your electric devices off because they might interfere with the flight signals”.
  • 500 West Hotel is shabby.  There’s a stain on the carpet in my room that looks suspiciously like a male pissing contest.  My first impression was Barton Fink without the delicious antique charm but with all the sense that things happen here behind closed doors.
  • I have never seen so many uncomfortably high heels in my life.  The wedge is queen.  6″ heels are the new stocks.  Heels are everything and most women are not good at walking in them.
  • Tube top maxi-dresses are everywhere.  I have a word of advice if you want to wear this style: wear real underwear with them.  You’d think no one can see what’s going on underneath a maxi-dress but your butt will shimmer and shake and – oh wait, you wore that so we would be transfixed by your ass!  Job well done.
  • Lots of half-naked men here.
  • Lots of mostly naked women here.
  • No air conditioning in my hotel.  !!!!!!

That’s all I’ve got for now because it’s 1:30 am and I have the hiccups.

Good night!