Monday, June 7, 2010

The Times Square Holiday Inn (Further adventures at the BEA)

So I told you the hotel experience was a whole nuther post. Well, here it is.

If you read the preceding, you know the main problem was air conditioning – as in too much of. See, down here in Texas, we can set the ol’ AC anywhere we want it. Given the cost of energy, that’s usually above 70°. But in NY, if you find 70° either too chilly or unconscionable: tough. If you try to set it above 70°, the heat comes on. I’m not kidding.

Now begs the question: how does Con Ed support the jillions of New Yorkers seeking relief from their steamy streets if the thermostat must read 70° or else? C’mon, people!

The maintenance guy found me wrapped in a blanket beating my head against the thermostat. I found the maintenance guy polite, professional, well-spoken, well-muscled, and altogether gorgeous. And he did get the AC to shut off.

At the time, I didn’t know that was the only option.

It took about 10 minutes for that hermetically sealed little room to become a stifling sweatbox. I turned it to a conservative 76° and tried to coax it to come on again. Nothing.

I called the front desk. Did I want maintenance to come back? Uh, let me think. First, I’d have to get dressed again. Second, how many trips could Adonis make without coming to the reasonable conclusion that grandma was just lookin’ for eye candy? And we were getting into the wee hours by now. So no. Just tell me what to do.

So the front desk suggested I reboot the unit. That is, unplug it from the wall, count to ten, and plug it back in. I did. It started back up. I collapsed back into bed.

It shut off.

I got up and rebooted the thing again. This time it stayed on nearly 15 minutes – long enough to discover it was belching forth heat with a vengeance.

I called the front desk. And THAT’S when I learned the 70° rule. So I hung up, rebooted yet again, and dutifully set it back to 70°. Thus, by 4:00 in the morning, I finally got to sleep.

Next morning, I stumbled down to the complimentary breakfast buffet. I was amazed to find a very Southern offering: biscuits and gravy. No one but me knew quite what to make of it. Then I spotted something I’d never seen before. Ever the adventurer, I picked up the tongs and dropped one on my paper plate. Analysis showed it to be an omelet: artificial egg folded around artificial cheese. Sort of like a taco. Very clever. And actually rather tasty, too. Thus fortified, I struck out for the BEA (Book Expo America) at the sprawling colossus known as the Javits Convention Center. See previous post.

But wait. I’m not through with the hotel yet. Killing time at 3:30 AM waiting for the airport bus, I noticed this diagram by the elevator:

What? The Holiday Inn Express is only 4 little rooms per floor? But it’s 36 floors high! How the heck does the building stay standing? I mean, try that with your grandkids’ blocks sometime!

No, it wasn’t all bad. About 6:00 that second evening, the news of SuperBowl 2012 ran through the lights on Times Square. It was fun to hear the excitement of the crowds. They even had fireworks.

Other than that, I gotta tell ya: suddenly Houston’s looking pretty good!

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