Travelogue 2.2 - That Hotel...

I loved my recent trip to Utica, and even my stay at the Utica hotel didn't dampen my spirits. The reason I say this is because the body of a decapitated bird literally ushered my entrance into this landmark hotel. Downtown Utica at 6:30pm on a Wednesday already looks deserted in an "I Am Legend" sort of way.  So when I walk up to the entrance with bag in hand, dead bird at the steps, I felt like the shadow figure in The Exorcist poster. 

It's too close to Halloween for this crap.

The lobby of the hotel thankfully put to rest any more notions of The Exorcist because now I clearly walked into The Overlook hotel from The Shining. The Overlook -- er, I mean Utica Hotel is almost 100 years old and the lobby shows off some amazing and beautifully intricate early 20th century architectural details. Unfortunately this beauty is all negated when the lobby sports a dank, musty odor. When I notice the tiny subway tile floor I feel like I just walked into the world's largest New York City public school bathroom.

And that's what's so exasperating about this hotel: you can clearly see it's at the beginning stages of becoming unkempt and poorly maintained. That gorgeous subway tile that covers the entire lobby floor? Look closer and there are quite a few spots that need replacing, major repair or cleaning.

That headless bird was looking more and more like an omen. Seriously speaking, subtract the bird incident and the somewhat spotty customer service, and I can actually see the charm in this beautiful old hotel. I hate to say it, but even its disheveled look gives it an air of romance, but it's teetering a fine line there.  I also forget that this hotel was designed during a time when space was designed with more generous proportions, so I was pleasantly surprised to find my room was the size of my own apartment. The free hot morning breakfast was a nice touch too. 

courtesy of
I didn't take any pictures of the hotel because I felt strange walking through the lobby with my big Mark III. Besides, the main objective for the trip was my Adirondacks foliage tour with the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, not to mention the unexpected surprise of Utica's lovely train station. If you want to see the photography from those outings, check out the previous links or check out my portfolio at Shutterstock.

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