Saturday, December 1, 2012

Design Goes Down the Drain

Over the Thanksgiving break we went to convention in Dallas again and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the center of town. From my window I could look over a myriad of designs and beautiful buildings, and the balcony-wrapped lobby still boasted its two-story waterfall. Our rooms, however, had all been redesigned. Gone were the cozy, wooden swinging doors to the bathroom, and the oval, multicolored designs in the halls--yes the ones that always bubbled up in my camera lens in some sort of optical illusion. Instead, the rooms were stenciled in gray, and office white. The bathrooms were starkly pipes and ceramic, and the one couch looked as inviting as the bench in a traffic court waiting room. So, the automatic blinds scrolled up and down at the push of a button, and the beds were wonderfully comfortable, but the room itself was bleak. Even the standard picture over the dresser had been replaced by a colorless aerial view of the Trinity river.  Outside, down every hall and puddled in front of the elevators was a gooey-looking stream. Its scum-yellow color contrasted oddly with the gray solemnity of the surrounding carpet. 

This was the view from my window, and I loved being able to see the old courthouse with it's delightfully antiquated spires and warm bricks against the cold glass backdrop of the other buildings.

 This is the chandelier in the grand ballroom, where we held our opening sessions each day. The lights were like a thousand warm stars in a a box. They've been there every year, and I hope they don't ever try to remodel them.
 View from the balcony of the13 or 14th floor.
 The fountain and waterfall cascading down the well-lit cylinder with the convention logo superimposed in warm light.
 Glass elevators float soundlessly downward.

 A detail in the hall carpet. This was the old decor...the one they are now replacing...
With this. Can you believe it?
 Here it is again. Old carpet.

 And the new carpet. Yes. It does look like someone spilled a gallon of puke.

 The splendor of this architecture

 Is now reduced to this. I guess it keeps one looking up.

 I don't have any pictures from a room which had the older decor, but I remember it being more cozy than this.
 Bathrooms--all ceramic and steel.
 No spreads on the beds--black headboards with doodles for a design.
 Strictly utilitarian
 Striped floors.
 Couch for uncomfortably reclining while thinking of home far away...

 And more ugly floor. I know. It's hard to believe.
Ah well. That was our last convention in Dallas. I guess I'll never see how long the new carpet lasts. Somebody should have dared to criticize, I think, before they installed it on 26 floors.

I always try to take the stairs at least half of the time to offset all the large evening meals we consume at those Dallas restaurants.
This time, however, my room was twelve floors up. That's an awful lot of stairs. By the time convention was over I had climbed over a thousand....and I took the elevator most of the time. It's a wonder I didn't collapse and fall into one of these rivers.


Roshelle said...

Ooh, I agree! The carpet was horrible and the sterile room was very boring. I love clean lines, but this was over the top. I did sit on that horrid looking bench for quite a time and grade papers. Thankfully, it was much more confortable than it looked. The bed was heavenly, too. One of the only times I actually slept through the night the first night, and surprisingly, I slept pretty well the second night, also.

One of the things I noticed was the lighting was all indirect and warm. (unless you purposely turned on a lamp) Can you imagine the effect it would have had on a cozy room? We may have had trouble getting people out of their rooms and to their sessions.

aftergrace said...

It looks like you had a nice adventure.