Saturday, January 30, 2016

There Were Feral Cats in The Basements of The Shoreham Hotel

There used to be feral cats in the basements of the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
They were put there long ago to control the mice and rat population.
 I have no idea if they are still there or not.
 D.C. has lots of rats. Both the 2 and four legged kind.
When I went to work at the Shoreham in 1977 it was reported in the Ear Gossip section of the old Washington Star that a guy working in the Steward's Dept. was shooting the cats with an air rifle.
So the SPCA came and put in cages to catch the cats but it did not work.

I used to see and hear the cats in the basements. They would crawl around on the heating ducts to stay warm. If you were not careful they would jump down from the pipes and pull your hair.

I found a group of kittens one night mewling behind a large freezer. I took one home for my children thinking it would be domesticated by the time it grew up.
It did not work. The kitty would crawl in the beds of our children at night and pull their hair.

I had to get rid of that cat and get a tame one.

Click on the Label hotel detective in the Labels Box below to read many more stories about hotels and my work as a hotel detective.

The Theatre, Large Hotels, Cruise Ships And Downton Abbey Have Some Things In Common

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

The above two pictures are of The Shoreham Hotel. 2500 Calvert Street N.W. Washington, D.C.

When I went to work at The Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. the first thing I noticed was that it has four sub basements. 1000 rooms(counting the suites)upstairs and 4 basements below the grand Lobby.

While the rich and wealthy wined and dined upstairs the servants toiled below.
I first knew about this type of thing from Eugene O'Neill's play THE HAIRY APE. In that play a greasy fireman from the boiler room of a rich cruise ship finds his way up to first class and causes an uproar.

So I wasn't surprised to encounter the lower depths in the four sub basements at the Shoreham Hotel.
I have written other stories on this blog about my hotel experiences and the Shoreham Hotel.
Click on the name Shoreham Hotel in the Labels box below to read my other stories about this luxury hotel.

The whole upstairs downstairs routine lives on today in large hotels and cruise ships.
The workers now have a Union(but that is slowly disappearing as more hotels in DC open up non union)
and are better paid but the work and working conditions are still stuck in the 1920s.
Every time I watch Downton Abbey I am struck by the class distinctions and how very little has changed
from then until now. Everyone has a place and everyone knows their place.
The Shoreham Hotel is a beautiful hotel upstairs. Down below in those four sub basements it is not so pretty.
There is a good bit of theatre going on as well. What the patrons see and experience is very different from what goes on behind the scenes.
Someone wrote once that hotels have a lot to hide. It is not so much they are hiding anything it is just all out of sight and sound.
I remember once seeing a couple entering the grand lobby of the Shoreham Hotel and the man exclaimed, "Now this is more like it". It is a very elegant lobby and a fine entrance to this historic hotel built in 1929.
Standards are not what they were back in 1929 because now the Shoreham is a large convention hotel. It is more like a cattle stampede getting 10,000 people in and out of the place on a busy weekend.
Still they try to put on a good show.

Praying On The Job.... Another In My Hotel Stories

 Click on the picture to enlarge them.

Samy worked as a parking attendant at the hotel where I worked. Samy was from Ethiopia. When he first came to this country he lived in Spokane Washington. He said everyone there smiled at him and he could not figure out why. Well everyone in Spokane is white and they had never see an Ethiopian before. Plus they are just naturally friendly.

We ran the parking garage at the hotel where I worked and I would relieve the attendant so he could go each lunch.
I had already relieved Samy and he had already eaten lunch so he should be on duty I thought.

I got a call that no one was in the garage booth. I said to myself that can't be true I just took care of Samy so he had a break.

I went out to the front of the hotel to the garage booth. I could see no one was inside.
Cars were backed up waiting to pay to get out. Someone had to be there to open the gate when they paid.

I walked up to the booth. I looked in. Sami was down on the floor praying.
He had unrolled his mat for his prayers. He was down on all fours.

I asked him to get up and told him there were people waiting to get out.

Praise Allah he did.

Click on the label Hotel Detective in the labels box below to read many more of my stories of working as a Hotel Detective at the Shoreham Hotel and the International Inn which later changed its name to The Washington Plaza.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Tuba Skinny - "Nigel's Dream"

Tuba Skinny - "When the Saints Go Marching In"

A New Orleans Police Office sits in on drums.
This is the first time in  6 years I have heard Tuba Skinny play when The Saints Go Marching In.
At Preservation Hall you have to pay extra to get their band to play "Saints".
That is because it is requested so often. Good Show TS.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Tally Ho! Calls Out Outnumbered On Fox TV As Akin To Strippers on Bourbon Street In New Orleans

Fox TV has a show called Outnumbered. It is Four Women in Short Dresses and high heels discussing the issues of the day with one man.
The women wear colorful dresses with skirts way up on their thighs. And they wear very high high heels.
The impression I get is of a group of 4 strippers on Bourbon Street in New Orleans taking a coffee break discussing current events with the first man they see sitting at the counter.
  Since this show comes on at noon Monday Through Friday Few People have ever seen it.
Here are some pictures of the ladies and their dress code.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them. That is a lady only called Kennedy. With her black horn rim glasses she looks like a hot librarian.
Here they are discussing a serious issue. I like their views on current issues. I just don't see why they have to dress like that. How about a casual Friday look or maybe some blue jeans now and then.
But please no pantsuits.  I like the dresses too but why do they have to pull them halfway up way pass their knees?

Sex appeal sells on tv. If you don't believe it ask Roger Ailes. He is the mastermind behind Fox TV.

Roger Ailes is a Svengali.

Fox News is not journalism. It is not even infotainment. Fox News is straight show business.

Fox TV is owned by Rupert Murdoch. He probably tells Roger Ailes what to do and what not to do.

Tuba Skinny - "Crow Jane" 4/10/15 @d.b.a.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Snowmageddon 2010 And Now Another One On The Way Jan.22, 2016..... Feb10_blizzard7.MOV 2010

This and all the ones below are from 2010 in Arlington, Va.
Now we have another monster storm on the way. Another Snowmageddon. 2016. Rachel Lefebure Stewart made these videos.







Wednesday, January 20, 2016

RULES Restaurant in London Featured On Downton Abbey
Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

This place was featured in a scene on Downton Abbey last Sunday night. It was on Downton Abbey as least twice before. This is the oldest restaurant in London.
Our son took us there in the year 2000. I remember the marquee out front that says Private Dining Rooms.
I remember all the red decor.
We sat next to some Japanese men. One of them was having blood pudding so I ordered it to give it a try.
I did not like it.
Check out their website in the link above the first picture and take a look at their menu. It has some interesting dishes.
Game birds and unusual wild game.

Tuba Skinny - "Deep Henderson"

Monday, January 11, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Louis Armstrong Barney Bigard 1955 - Colgate Comedy Show - 4 items

The Colgate Comedy Hour Feb. 20, 1955 From New Orleans.
174 5-18 2/20/1955 Host: Gordon MacRae
Guests: Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee, Gene Sheldon, The New Orleans Jazz Saints, street dancers Skeets and Pete, Carmen Dragon and his Orchestra
Note: This episode originated from the French Quarter in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Locations seen are the Court of the Two Sisters, Absinthe House, the Court of the Maison de Ville, Antoine's restaurant, and a parade down Bourbon Street

My high school band marched in a Mardi Gras Parade on Feb. 20,1955. After the parade they let us loose in the French Quarter. I was 14 years old at the time. I think I had been there once before a year or two earlier with my parents. I remember being greatly impressed with Bourbon Street when I was around 13 years old. The large posters of the strippers certainly caught my attention. Some of them were Blaze Starr,Redi Flame,Tempest Storm, and Candy Barr.
On Feb.20,1955 as I walked in the French Quarter I wandered into The Court of Two Sisters. I and a few band members were told we could not stay as they were setting up for a TV show. I remember seeing large cables for the cameras running across the floors. Years later I figured out it was a broadcast of The Colgate Comedy Hour. Too bad we didn't get to stick around and see the show.(See the above list of performers).
Incidentally there is a brick wall on one side of The Court Of Two Sisters. On the other side of that brick wall is the back patio of the famous bar Pat O'Brien's which has its entrance on St. Peters street.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Snowy Owls Have BIG EYES!

Click on the picture to enlarge it.
Jeepers Creepers Where Did You Get Those Peepers?

Where did those blue eyes come from?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Thanks For The Memories. This Time Two Years Ago...... January 2014 On Sanibel Island Florida

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Above is Rachel Stewart at West Wind on Sanibel Island. She asked me to take her picture.
Rachel and Joe on the beach at Sanibel Island Florida. Jan. 2014. Must have been warm that day. Much of the time it was cold that year in January.

Sanibel Island sunset.
Back home in Arlington. December 2013.

 Back on Sanibel Island Jan. 2014.
On the beach. Sanibel.


Recent Photos Of Tuba Skinny At The Umbria Jazz Festival In Orvieto Italy 2016

Click on these pictures to enlarge them.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Tuba Skinny - Orvieto 29 dicembre 2013

This fine video is from 2 years ago. Tuba Skinny is back in Orvieto Italy at the Umbria Jazz festival at this very moment. I am patiently waiting for someone over there to post a current 2016 video of the band in action(with Erika)live from the Umbria Jazz Festival 2016.