Saturday, November 03, 2007

How the Mighty Have Fallen

I recently saw a blog post from Gothamist detailing the demise of the famous Hotel Pennsylvania. For those of you either new to New York City or not from New York City, the Hotel Pennsylvania is one of the most extravagant hotels in a city known for extravagant hotels.

My brother, father, uncle, and both grandfathers found steady employment within Manhattan's hospitality industry, and although none of them were ever lucky enough to work at the Hotel Pennsylvania, I grew up hearing how grand and high-class this famous hotel was.

The Hotel Pennsylvania's glamorous history, however, has become just that as law suits from guests being bitten by bed bugs have forged a new reputation for the 88-year old hotel. Check out this lead (of what should've been the lead!) from the New York Observer:

ONCE A GLAMOROUS DESTINATION where jazz standouts Count Basie and Duke Ellington performed in the grand ballroom—a place immortalized (along with its phone number) by the Glenn Miller tune “Pennsylvania 6-5000”—the 1,700-room hotel has since devolved into a cheap, decrepit tourist trap more commonly associated with reported bedbug attacks than big-band nostalgia.
The company who owns the Hotel Pennsylvania is preparing to tear down the historic hotel and replace it with a skyscraper. Obviously the pending law suits and the hotel's tarnished reputation have proved to be too much to merit the continued existence of the hotel. Some preservationists are trying to make the City declare the hotel a landmark, which would outlaw its demolition, but I think this movement is too little, too late.

I stated back in April 2006 and to two reporters who interviewed me that this bed bug problem, and the city's unwillingness to adequately address the epidemic would ultimately affect the hospitality and real estate industries, which are huge in New York City. The City Council has chosen to do nothing aside from token gestures about this problem and now this city is losing one of its most historic venues.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I was in denial until today, despite all of the bites I saw on my children and myself. Somehow, the complete lack of bites on my husband was "proof" that we didn't have bedbugs. But today... today we killed a bug. We looked online, compared him to photos and looked at the big squirt of bright red blood on the tissue where he had been killed.

We have bedbugs.

I didn't buy used furniture, I didn't go stay in a hotel, I just had the poor judgement to live in NYC during this epidemic. I'm guessing we just picked them up from the close proximity of the subway or perhaps my dog brought them in on him from a walk. Obviously, we need to get rid of them.

So here I am, overwhelmed and confused and at a loss for what to do.

1) I'm 7 months pregnant
2) I have asthma and some chemical sensitivities
3) I have small children in the house
4) I have an elderly frail dog in the house
5) We aren't poor but our income is very sporadic, as my husband is a consultant and has good months and bad, and no way to predict.

I've got all sorts of massively paranoid ideas about how to handle this but they either involve wayyyyyyyy more chemicals than I can safely use, or they cost obscene amounts of money. Does anybody know a cost effective AND safe way to get rid of these ****ing horrible little vermin?????

I'm currenly between leases, so I don't want to ask the landlord to pay for anything yet. He doesn't need any more excuses to get rid of us so he can double the rent.

You can email me at aol at worfanddax if you have any brilliant advice and I'd be permanently in your debt.