Intercontinental Earth Hour

Welcome to day 13 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  (More about heterotopias and liminal spaces.)  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.


Earth Hour in 2016 was on Saturday, 19 March, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time around the world.

Earth Hour — which I had never heard of before 2016 — is a worldwide annual event begun in 2007 and organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF — until 1986, it was called the World Wildlife Fund), encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to “turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour … as a symbol of commitment to the planet.” (There’s an Earth Hour FAQ but most of the links don’t work.)

As it turned out, I (with my spouse) was at the Boston Intercontinental Hotel during that hour in 2016, and they were observing it, serving us a trio of fruit & veggie juices and some lovely snacks in the rather dimly lit but spacious lobby. I don’t know why I didn’t get photos of that event — probably took them with my phone, then accidentally wiped them — but I did get photos of the Boston ICH, really much too highfalutin for us (and too pricey, at $250-300 per night), though very perfectly located next to South Station (and Amtrak).

The hour in the lobby was odd, a sort of social hour in an essentially anonymous space. I’m not sure whether the dim lighting made it better or worse.


From the outside:



In the public spaces:

front entrance and concierge desk
Rum Bar and restaurant (also a wedding planning office)
lobby with comfy seats we enjoyed sitting in


In our room, there was a weird sort of rice-paper screen sliding divider between the room and the bathroom, with its gigantic (and completely neglected by us) tub.

bed and chaise with view into bathroom through open screen
bed and view into bathroom through open screen (and my reflection)
bed and closed screen to bathroom
giant bathroom tub with view into bedroom through open screen
mirrors, sink in bathroom
shower and robe, bathroom
bed, chaise lounge, chair
I imagine we were the only ones in the hotel watching Spongebob (though not during Earth Hour, of course). And when I say we, I mean he. Nice TV, though.
ice bucket, glasses, coffee maker
the desk with a plant, window, and the information about participating in Earth Hour
minibar, which we never touched … who doesn’t bring their own seltzer, soda, wine, and snackage? Oh, wait, Glenlivet?


I should add that this is the place where I took the stairs down instead of the elevator, probably to get ice on another floor or just to see what was what, and then could not get back onto my floor. The door was locked, not only to my floor but every floor. I had to walk all the way down and exit outside, ending up in an area that was a sort of work zone, and from there found my way back around to the front of the hotel, only to find it wasn’t actually the front of the hotel at all but instead the automatic door into some privately owned condos adjoining the hotel. All this exercise and adventure for only $275/night!

But it’s next door to the Amtrak station!


Note the pyramid (the T — metro — entrance):

I always wish the hotels were like they are in movies and TV shows, where if you’re in Paris, right outside your window is the Eiffel Tower. In Egypt, the pyramids are right there. In the movies, every hotel has a monument right outside your window. My hotel rooms overlook the garbage dumpster in the back alley. — Gilbert Gottfried

With the Boston ICH, you can have pyramids and, if you take the stairs, the dumpster.


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