It’s the View That’s Different
Posted on October 10, 2007 Posted by John Scalzi 15 Comments
I’ve noted before that when it comes to hotels, I’m not exactly a snob. I have three requirements for a hotel: I have to feel that I won’t get jumped either inside or outside the hotel, I have to have lots of hot water and decent water pressure for a shower, and I need an Internet connection. I have those three, I’m generally pretty good.
I note this because at the moment I’m in a Holiday Inn Express in Pasadena. The room is fine, the beds and pillows are comfortable, the place has a pool so Athena can go swimming, the shower works perfectly, the TV has 100 channels of crap to choose from, and the Internet connection is both high speed and free. What differentiates this hotel from the hotel I was at the last time I was here (and when Tor, delightfully, was paying for the room)? There are a number of incidental things, but major difference is the view:
Basically, the nice hotel I was at last time I was in LA didn’t have a view that reminds one of a favela. That’s about it (and one should note, this being Pasadena, each of these favela-esque dwellings is probably worth twice what I paid for my house in Ohio). I can live with that. Mind you, I liked the hotel I was at the last time I was here; Tor, please feel free to park me there again the next time you send me to LA. When I’m on my own dime, however, this is perfectly tolerable.
And hey! Free Internet!
What I want to know is why there seems to be an inverse relationship between the rack rate and the availability of wireless. In the past few years, it sees as though the cheaper places have better wireless.
It’s kind of amusing to compare our children’s criteria for a good hotel with our own adult standards.
My teen sons: Pool? Buffet? In room game system? Vending machines? Junky gift shop? W00t!
Me: Spotless bathroom? Comfortable bed? Free wireless? Free parking? Decent breakfast? Cheap but not sleazy?
I’m getting old.
So one of my best friends has the last name ‘Favela’. Oh, am I going to have fun with that wiki-def.
Thank you for filling my ‘learn something new every day’ quota.
Oh and Elaine, I stayed at a Super 8 and surprisingly, you’re right. The hotel smelled like roasted dog hair and curry, but damn if that internet wasn’t the fastest thing since the WB Road Runner.
Ah, now that’s my Southern California….
John, if you think that’s what a favela looks like, you probably need to do a bit more travelling.
Guests in the expensive hotels are usually on expense accounts and thus don’t blink at paying $10 a day for Internet. It’s not their money.
People at the lower priced chains are on their own dime, and thus pay attention to stuff like free Internet.
I agree with the others. It’s maddening to be at a hotel that’s charging $250 a night and having to pay $10 a day for Internet service (and no wi-fi most of the time) and stay at a hotel for $60 a night and get the wi-fi for free. I mean, really, folks. I’m sure it’s because of business write-offs, but gimme a break. The Tampa airport has free wi-fi!
About 12 years ago, I spent a year traveling throughout the West (TX, NM, AZ, CA) teaching school assemblies. I spent week nights in hotels and weekends camping.
I was surprised how run down Pasadena was. I guess the whole Rose Parade image threw me off. Sort of like actually seeing Ratland in Anaheim.
When I checked into a place for two weeks while in South Central LA (Compton), the Indian owner tried to talk me out of it. “You know that there are no white people here, sir, don’t you? There is a perfectly fine Day’s Inn two stops up the highway…”
“John, if you think that’s what a favela looks like, you probably need to do a bit more travelling.”
It’s called “exaggeration for comic effect,” Ajay.
I was in Pasadena on business years ago during the Rodney King retrial. I was staying at a Holiday Inn and we had sharpshooters on the roof and police manned barricades at the intersections. It was downright surreal.
Dude, you are sooo close (or you were yesterday), it’s not even funny. If it’s the Holiday Express I think it is, you’re just down the 210 from my work.
Oh well, I do hope you’re having a great vacation. The pictures sure do look like it!
Maybe it’s not a favela but a succoth?
Bienvenido a Mexifornia!
With unrestricted immigration, soon the whole country will look like a favela.
Yo John, drop me a line, let’s get a beer this weekend! :)
My neighborhood’s a lot nicer. (Larchmont area)
Hope you contacted one of the other Science Fiction authors in greater Pasadena who could give you an insider’s VIP tour of JPL. And Caltech, such a geek capital that Heinlein had the hero of Glory Road enroll there after saving the universe(s). Say, Dr. Thomas D, McDonough. Dave Brin moved south for a bigger pad when his books sold well enough. As yours will.
Wish I’d known you were in town. But, then, I’m super busy too. See you at the next Worldcon, if not before.
Hope you got to see the first edition Chaucer, Newton, Shakespeare and stuff at the Huntington Library. Lots of great culture in Pasadena.
You were about 5 or 6 blocks from a very impressive City hall, copied from an Italian original, and recently renovated and dynamic-control quake invulnerablized for not much over $120,000,000.