Widgets A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care: New York Archives

New York Archives

Remember our regrets about A Space Place Storage, which responded so badly to a break-in and had none of the basics you would expect from a storage place (such as working door locks)? Well, it seems that while we may have removed all of our things, and received a refund of our initial payment from this awful storage company, they felt no need to stop charging us a monthly fee.

Nor did they reply to an email asking them to refund us two months' worth of "fees" put on our card. When I called this morning, the woman on the other end of the line (a) insisted that we call her on the non-toll free number, (b) "couldn't remember" the email she had sent us confirming the refund, and (c) suggested that we call her back at the end of the day. Given that international phone calls are expensive and Skype difficult, and their behavior so shifty in the first place, I asked for all future communication to be in writing.

That's one problem with long-term travel. You can leave your home behind, but certain aspects of it (such as fly-by-night businesses) will follow you.

I've been meaning to write this up for a while, as it's a story from before we set off on the road. Pallavi took the lead in finding us inexpensive storage outside Manhattan, and had a number of good locations picked out. At the same time, I was selling some of our possessions on Craigslist and came across an ad for $99 climate-controlled storage. The ads are still up there, for this firm, and if you're thinking of storage in the New York area, I can't recommend against this company highly enough. [1]

The Charles Inn

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A brief thought on our hotel last night, The Charles Inn. This "Art Gallery Hotel" wasn't my cup of tea, but certain travelers might like it. The rooms are spartan (although our room had a surprisingly spacious and strangely-designed tub), the hallways appear to have last seen new wallpaper in the Reagan years, and the "complimentary wireless" does not reach our room. That said, it had an atmosphere unlike any hotel I've ever seen. The staff are helpful but remarkably informal, and as the hotel is surrounded by various bars and nightclubs, by 10pm the lobby assumes a bohemian aspect. Predominantly young patrons lounge on couches surrounded by paintings from local artists, making the entryway feel closer even to a dorm than a hostel. Although seemingly safe and above-board, the Charles Inn conjures a sense of seediness, and walking up from the bar through the dilapidated hallways you would be forgiven for thinking of a Mickey Spillane novel.

As I said, not to my taste, but some travelers on a budget might like it.

Spent an evening at Please Don't Tell. I don't think it's replaced Death & Co. in my heart, but it does have bacon- and tobacco-infused drinks.

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