The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

When You Don’t Even Have To Try, You Should Still Try …

One of the places I find most hysterical in the World is San Francisco.

Yes … the entire place.

I find it hysterical because it’s often referred to as a liberal, hippy paradise when the reality is it’s one of the most expensive, exclusive and divisive places on earth.

Of course it wasn’t always this way, but the rise of tech has seen so much money coming into the place, that not only is everything hideously expensive, but the service industry – something America was once famous for – has seemingly given up making any effort whatsoever, safe in the knowledge they’re going to get people giving them money for stuff regardless.

No where is this attitude more prevalent than the hotel industry.

Because there are so many people coming into the place – hotels are almost always full.

What that’s resulted in, is even crappy hotels charging rates plush places in LA would balk at.

Case in point, the hotel I stayed in – The Taj – cost more for 1 night than the 2 nights I stayed at the Ritz Carlton at Marina Del Rey.

Which had a water view.

And breakfast included.

What I got at the Taj, was this …

Now I used to have Taj Hotels as a client.

I know their history and the way they approach their business.

Thanks to the Silicon Valley goldrush … the Taj San Fran doesn’t embody any of them.

In fact, I would say the only thing it’s suitable for, is a Martin Parr photo assignment.

For those who don’t know the brilliant Mr P, he is a photographer who specialises in brilliantly capturing the utterly mundane … usually in Britain.

With that in mind, I’ve written him a letter, dedicated to the experience I had at the Taj SF.

Dear Martin Parr.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what – and where – your next photo project could be, may I suggest The Taj Hotel in San Fran.

Not only does it have the depressingly bland interior design qualities of 1980’s middle England that I know you love love, but it comes with the price tag of a modern of Russian Oligarch.

Even when I came back to the room at 2:30am – after a long day at the office – I was reluctant to sleep there, for fear the rundown averageness of the place would do me irreparable damage in the night.

It is a photo exhibition waiting to happen.

Possibly your finest ever.

I even have a name for the shot … Expensive Beige.

You’re welcome.


11 Comments so far
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Hate to say it, but you’re right. Tech dollars have ruined this city. Lots of problems but the mayor panders to the wealthy and doesn’t help anyone left behind.

Comment by Bazza

Fortunately the Uber IPO didn’t go so well so the property prices will only go up another 20% instead of 40%.

Comment by George

Well said Robert. As they say, it’s easier to get to the top than stay there. Some people are in for a hard wake up call.

Comment by George

San Francisco was the first U.S. city I saw homeless women and children on the street. Yikes.

Comment by Notes To Ponder

You weren’t looking hard enough.

Comment by John

The year was 1982 and I didn’t have to look very hard. In years following the blight became abundantly obvious across America. Sigh.

Comment by Notes To Ponder

Not all progress is positive.

Comment by Lee Hill

sf is the most overrated fucking city in the world.

Comment by andy@cynic

still doesnt hide the fact youre being a first world problems wanker.

Comment by andy@cynic

SF doesn’t like you much either.

Comment by Bazza

Nothing fails like success.

Comment by Paul Macfarlane

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