Friday, March 09, 2007

so close yet so far out

so close yet so far out
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo.
The old timers at the Maya Meetings stay at the Rodeway Inn, within walking distance from the UT Austin campus. My darlin' companion and I came to the party late, so we've never managed to snag a room at the Rodeway -- they're usually all booked up.

I found the Austin Motel online when I was looking for an alternate place to crash during the meetings, and I immediately fell in love with the way the website design appropriated this crazy phallic neon sign as an ever present icon that was repeated many times over in the global navigation (although I think they may have redesigned the site not too long ago -- but I'm posting by Sidekick and I'm too lazy to check). It's a perfect example of design so bad that it's good.

The motel continues the bad design theme -- a 1930s motor inn, it's been redone in true Austin-style with full size photographic wall friezes and funky random themes in which pictorial representations of tropical plants figure prominently.

It's also cheap. Half the price of the Rodeway.

Which pretty much seals the deal.

So it became our hovel of choice when we were in Austin -- or mine, at least. My sweetie found my taste for this kind of funkiness questionable at best, but the rate sold him too, so he pretty much let me do what I wanted to do. (Smart man.)

Only it seems we weren't the only ones to fall for the Austin Motel: the last couple of times I've tried for a room around this time of year it's been booked up solid with SXSWesterners, and this last time they referred us to the Hotel San Jose right across the alleyway.

The Hotel San Jose is another mid-century modern do-over -- each room is its own little bungalow, appointed in a way that would make Dwell Magazine terribly proud. The website advertises that each room has its own Eames chair (no foolin') and the door handles look a whole lot like the ones Wittgenstein designed for his sister's place.

My sweetie's complaining that the hemp soap smells like dirt, and the lime green flip-flops placed for my convenience in the bathroom could be mine if I didn't mind shilling out 20 bucks for them.

I suspect this place is a whole lot hipper than I know how to be. And it costs just about as much as the Rodeway. So we're back to square one.

But the robes are awfully comfy, anyway.

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