I have been in this hotel since April Fool’s Day, practically a month. It has been an entirely eventful month full of drama, melodrama, and laughter. I shall make melodrama the word of the day as it was contained in an email from a dear friend. Melodrama: “A melodrama is a dramatic work in which the plot, which is typically sensational and designed to appeal strongly to the emotions, takes precedence over detailed characterization. Characters are often simply drawn, and may appear stereotyped. Melodramas are typically set in the private sphere of the home, and focus on morality and family issues, love, and marriage, often with challenges from an outside source, such as a “temptress”, an aristocratic villain.” How could this be bad? It does sound rather like fun! I would like to be the temptress, if it is all the same to you? A bit old for the temptress but I seem to be able to pull of off, in real life.
But I digress. This hotel has been my cocoon, which I guess, is another word to define. Cocoon: verb
1 he cocooned her in a fluffy towel: wrap, swathe, bundle up, swaddle, sheathe, muffle, pad, cloak, enfold, envelop, surround, encase, enclose, cover, fold, wind; literary lap. ANTONYMS expose.
2 this prig was cocooned in a wealthy upper class: protect, keep safe, keep from harm, safeguard, shield, defend, shelter, screen, look after, take care of, care for, cushion, insulate, isolate, cloister.
It is the staff at the hotel that swaddle, sheathe and encase me – in the main. The housekeeping staff hug me, others joke with me, provide insight into issues of great import, joke with me, give me advice that I resist and then wholeheartedly accept. There is a level of comfort we share with one another. What does make me appreciate these surroundings even more is my prior experience being the first long term guest at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Those four months began about two years ago. It profoundly affected me in strange ways. Yesterday I was caught by total surprise. I was at the Asian Art Museum viewing the kimono exhibit which was profoundly beautiful and inspiring. But, of course, I had to go to the gift shop which was full of fascinating items. A book caught my eye – one that I had read and was made into a bad movie. I looked at the title: Rich and Crazy Asians and broke into heaving sobs. I was startled, thought I was over all of that. But apparently not, perhaps just armed myself with a protective layer while remaining in Vancouver.
This hotel experience is remarkably different on many levels. It is a small and intimate place, no cavernous cold spaces although the loo at the Trump, frequented by both men and woman was quite beautiful. I kept running into a certain individual there:
Me: We have GOT to keep meeting like this! (spoken with gales of laughter).
HeL Startle Response, never laughter.
There is no intrigue or power plays here at this hotel. Some of the staff have worked here for many years and all treat one another with respect and courtesy. It was downright vicious at the Trump, although it did take trusting, naive me a long time to see that. I was used as a weapon of destruction, I see now. The people I thought were my friends were, in fact, my nemesis and vice versa. It was rather startling to see that in retrospect. There were pockets of respect and caring but they wee pockets. Just before I left Vancouver I went back to the Trump to say goodbye and was treated warmly by the few remaining staff – most had left and gone onto other situations. But then you will never guess what happened!?!?!Someone called Security on me and I was escorted to the door by some goon.
Me: Who called you, what is your authority?
He: I cannot tell you that!
Me: What is the reason, what were you told?
He: I was told you wee banned from the hotel
Me: Did you see anything written to that effect, do you have personal knowledge?
He: No I was newly hired!
Me: You should go to law school at night the way I did and get a respectable job.
I was never banned from the Trump, NEVER. I wrote in anger to a man with great authority:
Me: I will never set foot in that hotel again, In fact I would never even walk on West Georgia between Butte and Thurlow except for the fact that my gym is there.!
I was true to my word but then greater relief set in because I quit the Equinox Gym and in my remaining days in Vancouver I never set foot on that entire street. Never looked at the Tower, it vanished from my sight, except once at the American Consulate when I was renewing my American passport.
But back to my cocoon, back to my Inn here in San Francisco. There are some similarities in the experience. I am close to the concierge here as I was at the Trump. But there is a vast difference as this concierge is loyal to me – the other proved not to be. Shame on him.
The guests at this hotel are also definitely distinguishable. Although there are occasionally rude and negative people here at this hotel they are the exception. The typical guests are families enjoying each other and San Francisco. Many musicians stay here due to the proximity of Davies and Herbst Theatre. In fact I met three musicians checking into this hotel who, after their Herbst concert, were off to Vancouver to play with the VSO. We spoke of Otto:
Me: He absolutely amazes me! I watched him one evening and saw that he plays with the orchestra, that is how he brings out the best in them. It was an amazing sight to see, having a bad leg is not so bad because I had to sit in the front row and could see everything that was going on, right up and personal.
When I walk into this hotel I am greeted with: Welcome Back! Welcome Home! I laugh and say: HONEY, I AM HOME!! I never said that at the Trump.
The pictures are of the Kimono Exhibit at the Asian Art Museum. No cameras were allowed within the exhibit but there were these beautiful images on the wall outside.