long walk to somewhere

Today i went on what should have been a short little trip that somehow ended up in a multi-hour quest ending in the above picture.

I have a buddy in from out of town who stayed with me last night but today was to check into a hotel where he’s staying for his conference. Seems simple enough. His room has been confirmed, what could go wrong?

Perhaps we were a little over confident…we didn’t look up an address, we just hopped on a bus and headed downtown. The least laid plans…so easily run astray…

Indeed we did hop on a bus. We had three pieces of information:
a) the hotel’s name – Pacific Pallisades
b)the hotel’s approximately 3 blocks from the Hyatt at Burrard and Georgia or, contradictorily, a 7 minute walk for one guy who walks quite fast.
c)it’s somewhere near stanley park.

only one of these pieces of information came from an actual reliable source but what the hey, it’s a small city…what can go wrong.

as we start walking down robson, myself carrying one of my friend’s bags and him carrying a bulging back-pack and a duffel on wheels we notice something that i’d not really noticed before. there really aren’t that many big hotel-like buildings along Robson. i guess this makes sense…they really want to maximize all those over-priced stores. the only one we can see that is obvious is the one with the big revolving restaurant on the top. that one, on the other hand, is far past 3 blocks from burrard.

but we’re troopers, we don’t think to stop and look at the papers he brought with him, or ask anyone or whatever.
instead we dodge our way down robson street. does anyone else hate robson street on a sunny busy friday? why do all those people walk so bleeding slow. well, until we get to the store called garden of eden which has a man and a woman decorated only in fig leaves acting like mannequin. but we only slowed down a litte.

and low and behold, hotels do start popping up out of nowhere around about thurlow or so. we pass quite a few in fact. not any of them the one we want but we are reassured that in spite of appearances there are quite a few hotels. we have some diversions as we go…at jervis and robson for example my buddy sees the fogg and suds and is quite taken with the notion that we have one there that he didn’t know about.

we gamely continue walking. we begin to discuss the possiblities of our information and etc.
i begin watching for a phone booth with the chance of a phone book.
about the time we reach the hotel with the rotating restaurant (sure, it might have a name. what do you want me to do, remember it?) we think that we’ve walked more than far enough for our information.

we even stop and take out his hand-out…only it just tells us Pacific Pallisades on Robson. nice.
i even pop into the above hotel to ask someone but oddly enough, there’s no one to ask.
we continue our walk…

as we pass denman street we basically give up. something in our above premises was wrong.
we consider options…either getting a cab and asking them or i come up with a better idea. i call information.

information these days is a technical marvel. after getting through the stupid voice menus which actually work, they tell me the number, which i quickly portion out for me and my buddy to remember between us like we always used to do and then tells me that it’s connecting me for no extra charge AND text messaging me the phone number.

sweet. then we find out where the hotel is – at jervis and robson. we did walk by it somehow.
as we approach we find out how we missed it. it has this small sign that looks like it was built to advertise a restaurant, small and sideways. and in addition to this it’s right beside the Fogg and Suds which had taken all our attention at the time. and it has no face on robson at all, it’s doors are halfway down the block on Jervis.

so we go in. both our feet sore…Robson’s not all that long in the scheme of things but long enough with our bags.
the hotel…has tried to provide an image of…hipness. colour swirls abound everywhere. little tidbits of…um…coolness…i guess.

a little later i find out why…ingenious really.
the hotel hasn’t been redesigned since the 70’s. the rooms…are trapped in the disco decade. but they have disguised it by added all these little hints of character that make us think that maybe it’s hip in this millenium somehow.

i include this shot of the room to give you some sort of idea…

it only begins to show you the scream of yellow and green that jumped us as we opened the door.

2 Comments so far

  1. wyn (unregistered) on March 12th, 2006 @ 10:49 am

    Must be an interesting conference to put people up in a funky hotel downtown instead of one of the old mainstream ones.
    I do that all of the remember some intersection or tidbit about somewhere I’m trying to find an invariable not find it directly. A great way to explore the city, though!


  2. Mike Hrycyk (unregistered) on March 12th, 2006 @ 11:01 am

    I’m not sure about interesting. it’s the annual general meeting of the teacher’s union.



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