Sunday, August 19, 2012


Last week I stayed at the Grand Canyon Hotel in Williams, Arizona.  Built in 1891, it is allegedly the oldest functioning hotel in Arizona.  It was the only place I could find with a room to let, and I am so glad.  I love it.  John Muir stayed there many times; I wonder if he ever stayed in my room?

As I have said, I prefer historic buildings to be a little threadbare, a little dirty, a little unrenovated.  I have a very Grey Gardens aesthetic, minus the cat pee.  This place ran through the 1970s, went out of business, and sat empty for almost 40 years (a "home for pigeons," they said) before the current management bought and "renovated" it.  By renovated, they mean they fixed the sewer, water lines, some electricity, and painted.  The wood floors are still 1891, almost completely worn of finish.  They didn't refinish the floors!  They are so creaky.  The banister is chipped and worn and you can see at least 4 different paint colors on it.  The rooms are furnished with all period furniture, including antique books on the bedside for casual perusal (I did, and was offended!).

I wrote this at the time and never posted it:

I am sitting on a small, squeaky brass bed, looking at a primitive walnut dresser/vanity on which is a 19th century vanity kit complete with hair-receiver and boot button hook!  A BUTTON HOOK.  The hotel is filled with early photographic portraits, some of which have faded so much that they may not be visible in another 25 years.  Needless to say, I am much pleased.  If my next door neighbor didn't have tuberculosis (not Doc Holliday or Val Kilmer so fuck them), this would be perfect.

People hate old portraits of babies and kids.  Why?  Because they look like killer dolls?  I'm over it.

Copyright: the twenties

The only time that "bathroom down the hall" thing sucks is when you're walking through this darkened area at 4 am with your hands out in front of you thinking, now is seriously not the time for any paranormal shit, plz/thx.

When I was a child, I read a weird horror story called "The Newel Post" about a newel post that anthropomorphized at night and, I don't remember, scared people.  Every time I see any class of a banister post, I think of the story.

Peeling mirrors, I prefer them

*Button hooks were necessary in Victoriana when super tight, heavily buttoned garments were en vogue.  A woman's boot could have up to 24 tiny buttons to fasten.  The buttons were small and the material was quite stiff, so the slender hook was used to reach into the button hole, grab that button, and pull it through.  Same with gloves and some men's items.  They must be a collector favorite, because I never see them around anywhere.

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