I never wanted to be one of those guys. Those preening, particular men who have a preference for everything and tastes so specific that they are completely unadaptable. I don’t have favorite things or, I do, but I’m not so attached to them that I won’t try new things. And I certainly have never had a favorite hotel. My God, just thought of saying something like that sends shivers to my nether regions, like a cheese grater on the under side of my skin.
I hadn’t been to New York in 10 years until a year ago. And before that it had been six or seven years. I was a teenager, staying in the kind of places you stay at when you’re a teenager on a high school choir trip.
Last year brought six more trips to the City and I’ve already been back this year. And it was this last trip when I had my revelation. I wound up at the Andaz on Fifth because the Grand Hyatt was booked. That’s where I usually stay, the place where work puts me up. Andaz was close to where my meetings were and, being owned by Hyatt, I could still get my corporate rate.
It was one of those happy accidents and the moment I became one of those guys I usually hate. It didn’t hurt that when I checked in, they gave me a cup of coffee – good coffee – and showed me the library in the lobby. It didn’t hurt that my room had one of the best showers I have ever experienced – rain head in the ceiling, wand and foot bath – or that the sparse, modern design made the place feel a heck of a lot bigger than what I’m used to in the City. But the kicker, for me, was the view from the ten-foot picture window. Six stories up and staring directly at the entrance to the Main Branch of the New York Public Library – my favorite building in a city full of favorite buildings.
So, yes, I’ve caved. I’ve become one of those guys. I have a favorite hotel. A preferred hotel. The hotel that makes being away from my wife and kids a whole lot more tolerable. And the douchey feeling makes me sick, but for that view, I can deal with hating myself a little bit. Besides, it’s not like I’m all of the sudden accustomed to living in the velveteen lap of luxury. It’s just an every once in a while thing. I’m still, for the most part, the same super-adaptable man of the world I’ve always been. Except for when I’m in New York. There, I give myself a pass and allow my hardy self to wallow in that particular brand of depraved specificity I normally hate.
Look at the pictures. Tell me you don’t get it. And tell me about the places and things you give yourself a pass for coveting.