Come To New York And Learn About Life
September 18, 2001 9:37 PM   Subscribe

Come To New York And Learn About Life Are New Yorkers really superior? It seems so. Where else, in a supposedly fuck-you culture, would volunteers be turned away for being too numerous and too willing to help? A friend of mine returned today and was utterly transformed by the new spirit there. I urge foreigners like me not to stop visiting and can recommend a hotel tailor-made for MeFi members: the brand-new Library Hotel. My friend stayed there and can't shut up about it. Each room is classified according to the Dewey system and has a library of 60 essential books in any given field. The great, typically New York thing, is that they've apparently slashed their prices. The ultra-comfortable rooms cost $300 just a week ago. Now they have a "compassion rate" of $150 per room. Is it exploitation or solidarity? Who knows? Only traitors need keep away. (Click on "Concept" for the full megillah)
posted by MiguelCardoso (23 comments total)
this sounds like a neat hotel, but of course I'd want to extend my stay to read all the books in my room...
posted by rebeccablood at 10:01 PM on September 18, 2001

I've walked into libraries and had difficulty deciding which section to browse through first. I guess you could pick a floor that included a subject that interested you, and then meet and visit your neighbors if you were interested in another subject. I mean, suppose you are on the 11th floor reading through the philosphy/love section when you decide that you really wanted to stay on the 8th floor Literature/erotic literature section...
posted by bragadocchio at 10:17 PM on September 18, 2001

Better even, rebeccablood, would be to get a grant - my own dream - from the Ford Foundation to personally and very slowly examine and review each and every room to make sure all the books were suitable selections.
Their reward? One laudatory comment, not more than 30 words, in an appropriate MeFi thread.
This and minimally decent room service, of course. Not just the usual Eggs Benedict and Dom Perignon. It would also have to include complimentary orders from good book-shops willing to supplement the paltry sixty volumes in each room.
Otherwise, let's face it, why bother?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:26 PM on September 18, 2001


Don't minimize yourself - it's a great idea.
You're talking Major Metafilter Convention 2001 here!
Now can we all agree on what rooms?
I bag Philosophy.

You, I surmise, would rather be a free floater, that fortunate creature which soccer teams here in Europe call a "libero".
You know: drifting into any room you might fancy, looking for different literatures, proud to have been designated as the Official MeFi wanderer.
Which is all very well.
But the great question , the one that's on everyone's lips and fingertips is - isn't it always? -what room would Matt choose?

Answers on a postcard, please.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:47 PM on September 18, 2001

Living in LA two years, I wonder if there's more of a "fuck you" culture out here than in NY. NY seems to be more like "fuck you, you think you're too good for us?" whereas LA is "fuck you, I'm better than you, and I have a very important Hollywood-related cell call to make as I run roughshod all over the road in my oversized SUV (or Humvee as the case may be)"

My hometown, DC is more "fuck you, you're not connected to anyone political".

Maybe all of urban America does have a unique "fuck you" culture like skallas said.
posted by owillis at 10:52 PM on September 18, 2001

And I reserve room 741.5 (look it up) for MefiCon 2001. Miguel buys first round (Coke for me).
posted by owillis at 10:55 PM on September 18, 2001

I've often considered the Martha Washington Hotel, conveniently located on 30th between Madison and Park, as something of a home away from home. Now that they've changed the name to "Thirty Thirty" though, it's the Carlton Arms or the shelter.
posted by leo at 10:59 PM on September 18, 2001

Sponsor's note:
Despite what you may have heard from the notorious owillis there is no room 741.5.
However, the Coca-Cola Company, in association with the Haughie Foundation For The Assumption of Irish Names, in contradiction to the Howie Cop-Out of 1999, is pleased to announce that the Willis party is probably booking into the 700.005 room, dedicated to Music, on the Arts floor.
It behoves also to declare that the felicitous expression "MefiCon 2001" is copyright said Mr.Willis and that the aforementioned"Con" in no way indicates "conservative", as per this member's opinions, although they are undoubtedly right and liberal enough, but rather the practice of hotel-keepers everywhere.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:14 PM on September 18, 2001

Wow, what a gift - a post regarding NYC vs. L.A. Think we can start a spitting war? (Not that that's what owillis intended at all).

NYC equals "I hate talking about myself, but I like when you ask, just don't expect a straight answer" whereas L.A. equals "I fear you won't talk about me, so I have to do it for you, shut up and listen"

(Yes, I've lived in both towns for good long periods.)
posted by mirla at 12:27 AM on September 19, 2001

London is 'don't talk to me, you may be a nutter or, worse, from outside of London'. Have to say, the hotel sounds like an incredible piece of pretentiousness. And I can't imagine any city where people wouldn't rally round in a crisis.
posted by Summer at 3:20 AM on September 19, 2001

Even the tourists in London are rarely interested in talking to you. As a young male, I find the easiest 'strangers' to talk to in the UK are 40-60 year old women, especially in the line at the grocery store. But, as a young male, that's not such a good thing..
posted by wackybrit at 4:34 AM on September 19, 2001

Better idea: Each floor is a genre of music. Each room has 60 essential CDs.
posted by luser at 5:20 AM on September 19, 2001


It sounds like you've seen me play soccer.... There's nothing quite like playing defense, and making four or five serious attacks on your opponent's goal during a game.

As a recent newcomer to metafilter (viewing for the past month or so, and posting the last two days), I'm not familiar with all of the customs of this culture - have there been metafilter conventions before?

From the level of wit, wisdom, and humor I've seen here, I imagine that it would be an event worth attending.
posted by bragadocchio at 6:08 AM on September 19, 2001

i want the mathematics room.
posted by meep at 7:19 AM on September 19, 2001

Hurrah! A chance to hold forth, handed to me on a silver platter.

The Library is GRATE! We dropped by there recently for an impromptu "IndieLibCon 2001" (only about half the attendees were actually librarians), and they were so NICE! We had drinks in the bar (slightly underwhelming), and were then given a TOUR of the rest of the place, including a regular suite (Sci-Fi/Fantasy!!!!!!), the Poetry Garden (actually an indoor/outdoor rooftop terrace w/ stunning views), and other lounges and public areas. The entire wall behind the front desk is a huge card catalog, and a more appealing wall I've never seen.

We finished off the evening by doing a little reading between the lions at NYPL.
posted by Pyth at 7:32 AM on September 19, 2001

Booked, meep.
I assume you know the number. And take the liberty of volunteering your good self to check the MeFi bill for all of us.
(If only for Fibonacci sequences, of course).


It's true that, as several people have pointed out, New York is not alone in it's fuck-you culture. The distinctions you've all unearthed are fascinating.
I entirely agree with what mirla said about L.A. and Summer on London.
So here's my penny's worth:

Paris: Recognise my superiority or eat merde.
Rome: May I offer you dinner or eat merda.
Madrid: Show me the pesetas or eat mierda.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:42 AM on September 19, 2001

Reading between the lions, pyth, I assume you are definitely booking the Sci-Fi/Fantasy suite. This will cost you, though. Designated Librarian for the duration at least.
Will you be needing special bibliophilic messengers for carrying books to and from and fo NYPL?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:52 AM on September 19, 2001

The biggest irony of a Dewey-based New York hotel is that the NYPL does not use the Dewey Decimal System.

Because of space constraints librarians devised a different system which further classifies books by spine height, so shelf space can be maximized with no waste. The scope of their collection is amazing, as is it's scale. Bryant Park behind the library has five stories of books beneath it.

Free tours are available at 11am and 2pm daily and are rarely crowded.

I loved this city before, I love it more than ever now. I am very proud to call this place home.
posted by joemaller at 8:51 AM on September 19, 2001

The hotel's price cut isn't altruism: it's desperation.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:25 AM on September 19, 2001

Thanks, Mo Nickels, for the sobering link.
I was horrified to learn that even the Oak Room at the Plaza is thinking of closing.
But, there you are, all of us foreigners who have taken so much outta New York and publicly lament and privately grieve for what happened there, should surely put our money where our mouths are and repay your wonderful hoteliers and restaurateurs(you can tell I'm from Europe, right?)by flocking there and putting some dollars into the the economy.
I was last in Manhattan in June, stayed in the Royalton and the Hudson - Ian Schrager is one of the guys complaining in your linked article - and drank way to many whisky sours with my wife in the Oak Room.
Would it be too crass to take advantage of their desperation? Read: low prices and uncrowded places.

I'd honestly like to know, from a real New Yorker's perspective.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:54 AM on September 19, 2001

Are you guys seriously thinking of doing a MeFiCon? If so, count me in. If someone else makes a webpage for it, i'd be happy to post it to the mainpage (no self-promotion allowed). hmmm, do they serve pancakes at those complimentary continental breakfasts?
posted by rorycberger at 10:17 AM on September 19, 2001

Yes they do, rorycberger.
Thanks so much for your kind offer.
By the way, the best pancakes in the world are served at Norma's at the Parker Meridien in New York.
They only cost about $15, are loaded with cream and every kind of berry known to man and are enough for three hungry MeFi conventioneers.

I think a MefiCon in New York would be great. If everyone worked their side of the deal it could also be cheap and truly uplifting. I hereby seriously volunteer, then.

And draft bragadoccio and Master Veteran Oliver Willis to direct the proceedings.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:27 AM on September 19, 2001

if anyone is still reading this and interested in MeFiCon 2001, I just posted the idea to MetaTalk here.
posted by rorycberger at 2:00 PM on September 19, 2001

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