Thursday, September 20, 2012

Champagne Dreams, Beer Budget

One of my Palm Springs treats is:  first morning there, grab the free copies of Homes for Sale and head for breakfast.  I peruse them while waiting for our food.  It always interests me to see which former movie star's house is for sale and for how much.  Frank Sinatra's mountain home was listed a couple of years ago for $2.5 million which I thought was dirt cheap. 

Some time ago, I came across an ad for a six-unit motel for $1.5 million and I thought, "How totally cool!  All of the snowbirds would come to see us and we'd have a room for them!"  (Right now the only vacant space in our house is the daybed in the office which is hardly palatial.)  My dream continued -- "Everyone would have their own parking space and they could hole up in their room, if they wanted to, or be sociable around the pool!  Maybe put in a fire pit, too ..."   But best of all, when they left, their space could be cleaned and the door locked.  Belongings in our house seem to drift, almost like the driftwood in the ocean.

With the thought of building my own motel if Richie ever wins a substantial lottery sum, I went to the library and checked out a book assembled by the Architectural Record people.
In it there are extensive chapters on Motor Hotels, Architecture for Eating and Drinking and it's all as cute as it can be.  The book was printed in 1953! 

Motor Hotels got the most space because in the post- WW2 years, more people had spendable income and they bought cars, determined to see America or at least Grandma across the state. 

In 1953, as a point of interest, this lavishly illustrated book cost our library $9.75!

Prefabrication or not?  Noise control, air conditionng (swamp coolers were recommended.)  Restaurants in this book were limited to the drive-thrus and walk-ins, Googie-style.  The department store "tea room" got prominent mention as did the ballrooms with "private banquet rooms" off of it. 

Freshly informed, I'm just waiting for Richie to win champagne big.  He would enjoy being The Host of his own hotel.

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