Hotel 17

{Dress: Forever21 c/o Sawgrass Mills. Jumpsuit: Forever 21. Bag: Botkier c/o Bloomingdale’s Outlet at Sawgrass Mills. Shoes: Vintage. Necklace: Vintage. Hat: New York Street Market. Photographed by Franky Arriola.}

I packed motorcycle boots, leather fringe necklaces, tie-dyed shorts and distressed denim for my trip to the city, thinking I’d fit right in, so imagine my surprise when I landed in the city and noticed I was surrounded by girls donning summer dresses and hats. I was so inspired by the overly summer look—which itself embodies irony, as I’m the one from the land of eternal summer—that I decided to get in on it. I had already packed this dress, but the hat was just a street fair away. And voila: official New Yorker apparel.

My last full day in the city, I asked Franky to guide me to 17th Street (mind you I could get lost trying to find my way out of a paper bag and my whole life in New York was just one big where-the-hell-am-I experience). In my life, I have only stayed in a New York hotel room once. And once was enough. It happened waaaay back in 2000. I was vying for an intern position at Madison magazine, which required me to travel from Gainesville to the big city for an interview. The staff at the mag suggested I stay at Hotel 17, which was a cool, hipster (though this was well before the birth of that word) hotel. I said OK and booked the room. Upon arriving to the Big Apple, my first trip there—and I was all alone—I managed to find Hotel 17—remember, I lack any sense of direction. Outside, it was a vintage wonderland. So cute, so charming. The lobby was the same story. And then I met my room. Bed—check. TV—check. Bathroom—wait, where in the hell was the bathroom? In lieu of a bathroom, I got a sink in the middle of the room. When I asked the bellhop, “Um, where is the bathroom,” and he gestured near the hall, I mildly freaked out. So, down the hall I went. And there it was, a bathroom for everyone to use. Complete with community shower. No, no, no. This was like middle school gym class. This was so not going to work. I have ODC. I’m a germ-a-phobe. Cue panic attack.

The next day when I actually had to get ready for my interview and made my way down the hall to the communal bathroom and shower, I just stood there looking at it. There was no way in hell I was going to stand in a group shower in my bare feet, but I had no idea that showering here was a floor-wide affair, so what was I going to do?  I did the only think I could think of and I wore one of the two pairs of shoes I brought with me on the trip. A pair of open-toe sandals. It was the opening scene of Orange is the New Black season 1. Either wear the sandals or craft some footwear out of maxi pads. And I didn’t have any duct tape, so that was the death of those shoes.

And that was my last adventure with a New York hotel room. I’m mildly convinced all hotel rooms in the city come sans bathroom, as since then I’ve made enough friends with bathrooms exclusive to their apartments to not have an experience like this again. Thank god. Should you ever book a room at Hotel 17, which has great rates because it comes without half of the actual room’s necessities, be sure to pack your flip-flops or be prepared to MacGyver yourself a pair of shower shoes.