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Posts Tagged ‘Amy Tan room’

I had meant to include this story in yesterday’s post about our brunch at the bayside home of Steve and John.  I was so distracted by the garden and the bay and the brunch that I forgot to add it!

Sylvia Beach Hotel

Last month, Steve and John went to the Sylvia Beach Hotel, my favourite place in the world.  They stayed there while attending a show featuring Pink Martini with guest singer Storm Large, and when they returned, I received this email from them, and I have permission to share it with you:

Our eternal gratitude for emoting so heavily in the Tangly Cottage bog about the Sylvia Beach Hotel.    We stayed in the Amy Tan on Tuesday night and had more than a wonderful experience.

Amy Tan

Amy Tan room

 As you know, we were drawn for a special package that gave us access to super seats at the Pink Martini concert.   We sat in the third row, center.

a publicity photo of Pink Martini with Storm Large

a publicity photo of Pink Martini with Storm Large

 After we had checked in, we overheard the front desk person extending good wishes to a departing woman.   I assumed right away that it was most likely the lead singer, Storm Large, who was scheduled in China Forbes’ place for this pair of concerts and three others in December in Raleigh.   We had heard about her before and assumed that she’d be good if she was deemed a worthy replacement by Thomas Lauderdale, the other founder.    So I asked if she was Storm, which she acknowledged, and we were able to wish her a good concert as well as she headed out the door.    The front desk person told us she always stays there.

south wall of SBH lobby

south wall of SBH lobby

 Well, she was magnificent.    Spectacular voice and stage presence–amazing sinuous body and ballet-like use of her body, despite her being a rather tall, large-framed woman.   She was amazing.    The concert was sensational, a predictable outcome for Pink Martini.

 The magic moment came the next morning, over breakfast.   We joined a couple of women we had met the night before at dinner, among a wonderful group of people around the community table–delightful start for the evening.    Goody then joined me and John and these women, and soon after, Storm appeared in very Portland grunge style–pajama pants, torn t-shirt, casual sweater, no makeup.    What a difference from her so-glamorous presentation on stage the night before.  

 Storm proceeded to share a lot of her life story, which was because she and Goody went back for years, all the way to Los Angeles, and were old friends.    Very interesting conversation to say  the least!     We felt so fortunate to have been up a little late that morning.

breakfast buffet at the Sylvia Beach

breakfast buffet at the Sylvia Beach

breakfast

 Anyway, we loved it all.   Bathroom was a little tiny, naturally, and the  bed was a bit cramped for us.   But we wouldn’t have had it any other way.    

 I have to say we had little time to read journals, although we did spend a little time on the third floor, pondering one of the many huge jigsaw puzzles that were spread out on tables.     We had nice tea up there and coffee the next morning before doing breakfast downstairs.   Wow…wonderful time.

 So thanks again for the prompt to experience the Sylvia for ourselves.    Couldn’t have been better.

Amy Tan

Amy Tan room

Amy Tan room

Amy Tan room

img_5849

 

I recommended the more spacious Herman Melville room for their next visit, where they could enjoy the view from these two chairs:

Herman Melville room reading nook with lighthouse view

Herman Melville room reading nook with lighthouse view

I was simply thrilled that they had had such a perfectly magical time at a place that I love so much.  How wonderful to get to chat with Goody Cable.  I have only been fortunate enough to cross paths with her once at her hotel. And to have breakfast with a relaxed Storm Large….in jammies!  It’s cool to know that she dresses casual in her offstage time.  I could not have imagined a better Sylvia Beach Hotel experience.  We also believe that Storm and Goody had interesting company in Steve and John.

Steve and John told us a little more about the experience yesterday, including the tale of Goody being up late in the third floor library trying to find just one more piece to add to the ongoing jigsaw puzzle.

looking down from the library attic at the SBH

looking down from the library attic at the SBH

Sometimes, there's a puzzle laid out on a table in the library attic.

Sometimes, there’s a puzzle laid out on a table in the library attic.

On this table in the SBH, a jigsaw puzzle is often in progress

On this table just off  the SBH library, a jigsaw puzzle is often in progress

I’m looking forward to returning to the SBH around the time of my 60th birthday in March.  Till then, I know that daily, magic happens there.

Painted in Waterlogue

Here is a link to one of several videos featuring Storm Large with Pink Martini.

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as we arrive and park

as we arrive and park

front entry...like coming home

front entry…like coming home

in the little garden

in the little entry garden

We took a peek in the room we would have the second night, and Shelley was asnooze on the bed.

Colette room

Colette room

Colette room

Shelley would be barred from the room the next morning because Carol has developed a cat allergy.  Sad for all, because Carol loves cats and Shelley is particularly nice.

She is a delight.

She is a delight.

Down the second floor hall, we checked into our Emily Dickinson room.  My choice of rooms to stay in with a friend had recently expanded when I learned that several rooms without twin or trundle or daybeds do have room for rollaway beds.

Emily’s room

Emily's room

Emily’s room

Emily's room

window

view to the north

view to the north

view to the east

view to the east

The shadow of the SBH is cast over April’s at Nye Beach, where we had dinner the first evening.  We had had every intention of going, on my friend Nancy’s recommendation, to Local Ocean down on the bayfront but already we could not find the desire to go further from the hotel than just across the street.

The next morning Carol left the room very early to read in the third floor library.  It must have been six AM, after a night of insomnia.  (I slept fine, lucky me.)  She kindly let Shelley in and after sitting on my back for awhile, the sweet cat curled up at the bottom of the bed and slept with me till 8:30.

Shelley

my little friend

my little friend

************************

During our stay, we explored some rooms old and new.  (Over the last couple of years, some of the rooms have been redone with new authors.  This causes some of the regulars worry about what happened to the room journals of the retired rooms, but more on room journals later.)  The unoccupied rooms are left with doors ajar so that they can be appreciated by other guests.

Jane Austen

Jane

Jane Austen

Jane's room is said by many to have the best chair of all the rooms.

Jane’s room is said by many to have the best chair of all the rooms, with a view toward the north.

view from Jane's chair

view from Jane’s chair

J.K. Rowling

I and other guests persist in calling this the Harry Potter room.

JK

potter

desk

potions

I have more photos of this room in an entry about last year’s visit.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitz

F Scott

Tanqueray

I read a stack of journals from this room and found that they were particularly bawdy.

Across the hall from F Scott’s room is:

Moon and Sixpence

Moon and Sixpence

This used to be a dorm.  I think it might have been redone as a room for the owner of the hotel when she visits.  The other dorm may still be in operation as Ken Kesey’s Cuckoo’s Nest but I am terribly confused and never saw the door open so did not find out.

Jules Verne

The former Robert Louis Stevenson room has become Jules Verne.  I thought it might appeal to steampunks and indeed found evidence that it is so, both in the room and in the giftshop (where I will take you in my next entry).   It is a dark room but we are told it will get more lighting soon.

the door to Jules Verne

the door to Jules Verne

Carol in the Verne room

Carol in the Verne room

Verne

Verne

spacious bathroom

spacious bathroom

on the ceiling

on the ceiling

dark and mysterious

dark and mysterious

I knew it!

I knew it!

I long to stay in this room because I was fortunate to find, in the fourth floor library, the journals from the old Robert L Stevenson room.  A common theme is how the pipes rush with water (from the showers and flushing toilets of other rooms) that sounds like a waterfall.  Back in 91 or so someone suggested it would make a great “20.000 Leagues Under the Sea” room.

prophetic journal entry

prophetic journal entry

I think that the water sounds would soothe and amuse me.  The room also has an outside deck and entrance and is big enough for a rollaway bed so, next time…

Amy Tan

I took some photos of the then brand new Amy Tan room on my last visit, and here are a few more.

Amy Tan

Amy Tan

Tan

Tan

Tan

Colette

On Thursday morning, because Chez Colette had been empty the night before, we were able to check in early and spent a few hours reading in the Colette room before repairing to the library for more reading.  First, Carol napped.  When she awoke we both agreed to not leave the hotel.  Our plans to go to the bayfront seemed distant and unappealing compared to the quiet peace of the SBH.  It was very much the right decision.

Colette

Colette

by the north window

by the north window

At breakfast we had met a woman named Kelly Paige who is writing a book about the authors of the hotel.  She has stayed in each room on the author’s birthday and had just completed her mission in the Shakespeare room.  Each room received a birthday present and the crystal cat (and a triangular vase with the letter C on it) were Colette’s.

colette

mantle

mantle

Colette

over the daybed

over the daybed

Colette spent much of her later life ill and writing on a bed she called “The Red Raft”.  While it is now covered with a white bedspread, you can see in the photo of two cats above (and in some that I took in 2008) that it used to be red.

Colette

The Colette room has a little deck but it was too cold to sit out there.

the deck

the deck

Thursday night sunset from the "red raft"

Thursday night sunset from the “red raft”

When I awoke Friday morning at 6:30 AM, the ocean view from the window by the daybed was obscured by fog.

6:30 AM

6:30 AM

By 7:50 AM the waves could again be seen.

beach with Sylvia Beach shadow

beach with Sylvia Beach shadow

Because we were checking out, Carol let Shelley into the room and she resumed her favourite spot on the big bed.

Shelley

She looks very much like my cat Mary.

Next…tomorrow? :  The library and the gift shop and the lobby….and the stairs.

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