by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
June 7, 2003
The sprawling lobby, painted from floor to ceiling in sweeping bright colors, resembles one of those ultra-cool college dorm lobbies inaccurately depicted on television shows and in movies. Please, anybody who''s lived in a dorm knows they''re nothing like what Dwayne and Whitley had in A Different World. Off to the right of the lobby is a well-worn pool table, four Internet-ready computers ($1 for 10 minutes), an assortment of games, and a variety of flyers and newspapers to help plan your day. Couches and chairs are scattered throughout, with a snack and beverage machine off to the left, right next to three phones for calling home and telling your pals how cool your hostel is.
Off the main lobby is a TV room outfitted with couches and chairs; videos are available for checkout at the front desk. I was amazed by the number of people sitting around watching movies at night instead of checking out the city--yo man, you''re on vacation! There''s also a back patio for smoking cigs, but be advised that alcohol isn''t allowed here. No worries, just put it in a plastic cup--nobody is going to harass you.
Compounding the dorm-like feel was the getting-to-know-you banter that was commonly shared among everybody. Instead of the obligatory college question "what''s your major?," here it was "where are you from?" and "how long are you here for?" Just about everyone was cool, and this is where I met my man Liron from Israel. There were also plenty of lovely ladies, always a bonus. The flirting going on between the guys and girls kept making me think of this article in The Onion. Hehehehe . . .
My room had two bunk beds, and I claimed true one of the top bunks. The rooms are mixed sex, and everybody was polite in regards to respecting your belongings. There are private lockers in the hallway for passports, money, etc., if you don?t feel comfortable leaving something in the room. Each room is equipped with a sink, and most have mirrors. Communal bathrooms with showers are on each of the three floors, and there''s a full-service kitchen on the first floor.
For five nights I spent C$90, a total bargain.
From journal ". . .and then the clouds lifted"