Read the last installment of Orce’s hotel reviews here.
THOMPSON LES – Feb 23 to April 27 (64 days)
I check into the Thompson LES and they show me to my room on the 10th floor. Let’s get some actual “reviewing of hotels” out of the way. The staff is way more on the ball here than either the Bowery or Standard East, though Standard East people were very nice. I get to the room and it’s about twice the size of the other rooms I stayed in at a decent bit less per night. Already a win.
The room is set up railroad style – bathroom, living room, bedroom. The living room has a legit couch and desk area separated from the “bedroom” with heavy, metallic hippy-bead curtains (which can support the weight of 2 people!). The television is on a swinging arm and can face the bed or the couch (and if you crane your neck you can kinda see it from the toilet). Overhead “rain shower” and Kiehl’s shower products. They even leave chocolates on the pillow along with a card that has tomorrow’s weather. I thought the chocolates-on-the-pillow shtick had gone the way of peanuts on airplanes. Guess not.
In terms of hotel bars, obviously Bowery was the winner, with Thompson LES a close second. Standard East was all right but too touristy. Though this shouldn’t influence your decision in where to stay – you can go to whatever hotel bar you want. However the problem I noticed with having a fun hotel bar combined with living on a higher floor was that every night when I was “done drinking” I would bump into people in the elevator and either drink for another few hours in their room, mine or the bar. The funny thing is, for all the time I spent in the bar there… I barely remember what it looks like. I think they filmed some early scenes of Shame at the bar, but I couldn’t place it.
I received a call from the front desk one day informing me that “according to New York State law you cannot stay more than 30 days in the same room.” I assume this is either to prevent me from becoming a legal resident of the room and getting tenant rights (which are pretty strong in the state of NY) or related to a law against flophouses. I asked a lawyer, and he told me:
Legal principles in some states, including, I believe, NY, result in a paying guest acquiring resident or tenant status after a period of time, which gives them certain rights to continue to occupy the room and makes it more difficult to dispossess them. That’s my best guess. Also, sales and occupancy taxes don’t apply to tenants, and I believe staying in residence for at least 30 days may establish that status, complicating the hotel’s right to charge (and to pay over to the state or city) those taxes. Best I can do.
Either way I had to move a few floors down to an identical room.
One night, after spending a long time trying to open my hotel room door with my Metrocard* (it didn’t work) I spent the morning unintentionally reenacting Martin Sheen’s hotel room scene from Apocalypse Now.
Dammit, Brian, you didn’t have to go that far for us.
Now, my memory of the events responsible for my mental state is a bit hazy and, if I can reconstruct them, they might find their way into a separate essay, but, for now, assume your typical story of too much booze and too little food. I woke up to a note under my door apologizing for a fire alarm at 4:30am which I definitely slept through. Could have been a fun little “wacky news” story about a guy who burned to death while living in exile due to a flooded apartment.
Good to know.
It wasn’t though, cuz I lived. Spent a few days drying out, which was boring as shit in a hotel but necessary if I wanted to survive long enough to return to my apartment. Which I did, after about 90 days in hotels. It was fun checking out in a shitty white t-shirt and having the guy at the front desk go through a 10 page bill amounting to about $20,000.
*The keys: GOLD: The Standard East had the best keycard system. You could leave it in your wallet and then just wave your ass in the general vicinity of the doorknob and it would open. SILVER: The Thompson had a card you had to physically remove to unlock your floor on the elevator, then insert in the door and then put back. Too much confusion and very drunk-unfriendly. I prefer convenience over security. BRONZE: The Bowery had these retarded magnetic “keys” that you had to insert AND TURN (!) which also came attached to a metal weight with tassels. I think you’re meant to leave them at the front desk but that would entail carrying on a coherent mini-conversation with a front desk person on your way back in. The worst!
- Brian OcreTweet