Essays and rock & roll. Looking and listening. Nostalgia versus skepticism.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
The Lifespan of a Motel
A Hampton Inn is going up in DeKalb. It's interesting to watch the skeleton gain muscle and heft as the weeks pass, lay down roots, as it were. Soon the doors will be open and families will stagger through the lobby at the end of long trips. Like a church that's yet to be blessed, this lodging-to-be has yet to be anointed with the fresh scent of a Eau De Hotel Room. At what point does that occur? At the opposite end of town, a hotel has vanished. I forget its name, Sunshine or Meadow something. It was in operation for years, then empty for a while, and then, virtually overnight, razed. I was surprised to learn that there are no basements in hotels, at least in inexpensive hotels, as this one was. All that's left now is pavement and weeds, and a forlorn sign hoping for a sale. In Rockford, I came across an abandoned hotel, or motel, or apartment—it's hard to tell what it was, it's so bleached and lifeless now. Broken windows, boarded-up doors, busted lamps, trees leaning in toward hallways and stairwells—all the decrepit ghotsiness I love and childishly romanticize.
Three hotels, three generations of strange and friendly ghosts, coming, going, and in the middle of vanishing.