I like old stuff. I fell in love with my apartment building because it was built in 1928, and it shows ~ it wears its age proudly. My mom freaked out when she saw the place (it needed a lot of work and I got upset and told her she had "no vision"). I put the TV in a cabinet in the nook where the Murphy Bed used to be. I didn't let my landlords "remodel" my kitchen to add Italian tile and glossy black counters; I prefer the old built-in cabinets with glass doors. My dining set and the furniture in my bedroom, I found in old shoppes and antique/vintage stores in the Mission. I refuse to buy a new car or even a gently-used car, so I recently had my car ('93) painted (for a bargain), because I know it will last me another 5 years or so ~ my sister bought it in 1992. Those Nissan Maximas will not let you down. It now looks like a brand new car. I should get it all souped-up, like Rahul.
So, when I signed up to volunteer a weekend or two for the Obama campaign in Reno, Nevada, I decided to find an old hotel or motel ~ to avoid "Your All-New Atlantis Rediscovered Casino Resort and Spa" and the "Silver Legacy Resort and Casino, featuring Ted Nugent" and the (very nice looking) "Siena Hotel Spa Casino".
Somehow, through a series of random clicks on the internet, I stumbled upon a brief mention of the Hotel El Cortez. The one and only review I found noted, "The elevator alone is an adventure by itself". I had to know more. But pages and pages of Google search results yielded nothing, except a brief description at the National Park Service, noting the hotel's historic status:
Me: [All eager and chirpy.] Hi there ~ what's your web site address?
Ervin: [All cool and calm, but super-nice.] Oh, we don't have a website.
Me: Oh. OK, if I want to reserve a room, can I just do that now, with you?
Ervin: Oh, we don't take reservations. It's first-come, first-serve.
Me: Ok. So, what are your rates?
Ervin: Well, Sunday night through Thursday, it's $27 per night, plus tax, and a $5 key deposit. But you get the key deposit back when you check out.
Me: What about a Friday night and Saturday night?
Ervin: Oh. Those rates are different. It'll be $31 a night, plus tax ~ so, about $35.
Me: Um, THAT IS GREAT! (Well, I tried not to sound too excited.) OK. Do you have rooms with two double beds?
Ervin: Oh. We don't have rooms with two beds. But the beds in the rooms are double-size.
Me: Super. OK, if I show up on a Friday night, what're the odds of my getting a room?
Ervin: Pretty good.
Me: OK, so maybe I should show up Friday afternoon instead, to play it safe, huh?
Ervin: What you can do, is call us about a week before you get here.
Me: To what?
Ervin: To see how things look.
Me: [Wondering, if they don't take reservations, how will they know what to expect?] Super. See you then!
So, I will leave work around noon, get there around 4, get the room, and then "see the sights" before I go to the campaign training.
I can't wait.
This is the only really good photo I could find, on Flickr, thanks to the talented Patrick Boury: