Welcome to day 27 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.
“I used to dream of a week-long beach vacation with white sand under my toes… right now, I’d settle for 48 hours at a Motel 6 with some Lysol and a UV lamp.” — Ingrid Weir
I was lucky enough to spend several days at a motel almost on the beach, with almost white sand ̶u̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶e̶s̶ under my shoes.
The Sand Dollar Inn on Pine Point Beach in Scarborough, Maine, is one of those motels with an impermanent and insignificant name, or at least part of the name (sand). Even sand dollars don’t last long on the beach: they’re either washed back to sea, picked up after dying on the beach, or picked up and killed by someone who doesn’t know how to tell a live sand dollar from a dead one. (I tried to explain this once to a woman who was picking up live sand dollar after live sand dollar off a beach; she didn’t give a damn. Yes, I’m bitter.)
Anyhoo …. The Sand Dollar Inn is sweet. I mean, look at this kitchenette, with its painted pink cabinet and drawer pulls, two-burner stovetop, King mini-fridge, plastic drying rack, Country Living dishtowel:
It’s a block from the beach, with a porch you can eat on. (Well, on a table on the porch.)
Pretty comfy inside, too.
And it attracts rainbows (view from parking lot adjoining back porch).
We stayed in mid-June, when it was a little more than $100 per night. A block from the beach!
And the beach is 4 miles long!
You can walk all the way to Old Orchard Beach, which we did.
If you’re inclined, you can walk on the Eastern Trail, or kayak in the marsh:
Or just hang out on the beach.
We used to live 2 blocks from this beach, way back in the winter of 1994. I love a winter beach walk.
This is what it looks like in December on the beach:
It really is impermanent, ephemeral.