Raymond Chandler Stayed Here…

Yeah so, as I was saying, I’m staying in the ahem…”Historic” Mayfair Hotel, a hundred year old place that noir author Raymond Chandler once stayed in while he was writing “I’ll Be There Waiting”. That’s inspiring I guess, even if the decor isn’t.

Once I’d checked in to the sound of a chorus of hysterical “fuck yous”, I rode the rickety elevator up to my room on the 12th floor. The ride was kinda spooky, especially because when the elevator doors opened, I was greeted by this phantom chair.

This hotel has been here for a hundred years and so it’s not inconceivable for it to be haunted. There’s something unsettling about a cramped, dusty elevator with an old swivel chair in it. I dunno. Is it just me?

On the 12th floor I walked down a long hall looking for my room and as the numbers grew closer I heard what sounded like raised voices. My first thought was “Oh shit – I’m bunking next to the ‘Fuck you girl’”. Fortunately, my room was down a little further and across the hall. As I was unlocking my door, I noticed this strange situation across the hall.

WHAT is going on here? I can see putting a rolled up towel against your door if you’re trying to block out the light or keep out smoke from a raging fire but why would someone put a rolled up towel on the outside of a door? I suspect I don’t want to know the answer to that.

Anyway, I found my room to be shabbily adequate, with two equally wrinkly, unappealing beds and no refrigerator or desk to do my writing on.

It also has an odd half-step that juts out about six inches from the wall which I didn’t see and tripped over, thus nearly launching myself head first out the window. The view isn’t particularly inspiring, being the roofs of a bunch of commercial buildings and a big pile of junk. The bathroom though, is probably the weirdest thing about the room. I opened the door and was faced with a tiny sink and vanity with the toilet kind of tucked under it. When you sit down, the counter karate-chops you in the back of the neck which could be pretty dangerous if you use the john all groggy in the middle of the night.

The next thing I noticed after the weirdly packed-together toilet and sink was that there was no shower and I tell you, my blood ran cold. I frantically thought back to when I made the reservation, trying to remember if they said there were no private showers and then I leaned a little farther around the door and there it was. This bathroom is so small, the open door completely covers the shower, essentially hiding it. In its bizarre unworkableness, it’s on par with a mid-level hotel room in Paris.

Even though I’d just arrived, I didn’t have time to rest – I had to get to the convention center and get my Microsoft press conference badge. The walk there was chock-full of interesting sights. First, this weird junk-filled store

…that featured things I wanted like these emphatic salt and pepper shakers

…and things I didnt’ want, like this Johnny Mathis 8-track tape.

I also passed an eatery frequented by aliens…

…and a dude with his head stuck in a wall.

I got my badge and on the way to grabbing some dinner saw this sign indicating the coming of a special “medieval” restaurant which made me wonder what they’d serve and if it’d be served to me by this guy.

I finished the evening off at the CPK – and here’s proof that I’m at least trying to eat healthier while I’m here rather than stuffing myself with candy bars.

Now I’m settled in, sitting on a shabby armchair with my legs propped up, trying to get some work done. It’s quieted down now but earlier there were a lot of voices in the street and a car horn somewhere honked “La Cucaracha”. I bet Raymond Chandler didn’t hear that when he was staying here.

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