#indie30 day 24: Terrible Accommodations

Today’s prompt: Tell us a story set around the worst accommodations in which you’ve stayed.

I laughed SO hard when I read this. Why? Because what you are about to read my friends is a true story. I couldn’t make this up if I tried!

Two Girls in a Harlem Hotel

Picture if you will, two girls, still a little wet behind the ears, in their twenties embarking upon a new career path. They arrive in New York City on one of the hottest days of the summer and make their way to the hotel the client booked on their behalves. It’s located in Harlem, just a stone’s throw away from Columbia (with a u /wink) University where their meeting is taking place the next day.

“Surely this is a mistake,” Heather says. To which Linz replies, “Let’s check.”

They make their way inside to be greeted by an animated front desk clerk who does declare they are indeed guests for the night. Oh. And in the same room. Apparently the client needed to save some money.

Apprehensively they arrive to the room and open the front door. Blood and vomit stains on the tile floor in the kitchenette glare at them as they enter the threshold. Heather and Linz take a look at each other and nod knowingly. “We have to switch rooms.”

Downstairs, animated clerk loudly apologizes and issues a key to a “better” room. Heather and Linz inspect, then barricade themselves in their new abode, locking the door and moving a chair in front of it. Outside the room, they hear yelling. A lot of yelling. Heather got to work with her handy Clorox wipes (yes I even carried them back then).

Very little sleep happened that night. It was noisy and there seemed to be some people down the hall who were very unhappy with each other. At some point, a “lost” man began banging on the door. Heather called down to the front desk and spoke with a new, not so animated clerk who was also not so helpful. The girls yelled in unison, “You have the wrong room!” The knocking stopped.

In the morning, they took their respective showers and Linz began to blow-dry her hair. That’s when the electricity went out, never to go back on.

Thank goodness they both brought pony tail holders!

With wet hair, and wet suit collars, Heather and Linz decided it was time to leave.

“Next time we stay at The Penninsula.”


The meeting was a success, but Heather and Linz left Harlem grateful never to see those clients again.
Some words: I do not remember which hotel this was. I know Harlem has been known to have a bad reputation, and in no way do I mean to disparage the neighborhood. I hear it is actually a cool place to hang out. The reference is only meant to give context. Years later I know now that we should have moved hotels because we felt our safety (and sanitation) was compromised. I encourage others to do the same if they encounter this type of situation. I can laugh now, but at the time it was exhausting!