Suspended places

Lonny Palihouse

There is something to what Sophia Coppola says, about hotels being transitory dwellings like a bridge between places whether in mind or in location. It showed sharp and luminous in her film, Lost in Translation. We are neither here nor there, not in our home or in our destination but in an astral plane, traveling, suspended in reality.

A few weeks ago, I came across a charming hotel in Lonny mag and when I saw that photograph of dusky green sofa against the sunlit window, my mind soared to relish these daydreams of transitory state. Think of a solitary figure sitting there in silence with a breakfast tray or a glass of wine, with a book and paraphernalia, lost in melancholy and remote in the surroundings.

It reminded me as well of that little scene in Perfect Strangers when Michael Gambon in a sleeping robe wandered in the hotel lobby looking for eggs and met Lindsay Duncan still in her suit. The image of them in a conversation at the wee hours of the morning while eating breakfast came across as in a bubble with no sense of time. That a hotel is one place where this disregard for routine or the ticking of the clock is almost possible.

I have often thought that the momentariness, the feeling of being adrift, the motion of coming and going in a decorated, polished and unfamiliar lodging, seems like a threshold to an expectation in that within a stay something out of the ordinary may happen. I like that sort of idea.

{photo. Lonny: Guest of Honor}


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