Perfectly cloudless blue-sky days all weekend long. Chilly and windy but brilliantly sunny, almost spring. My room hung over the Charles River … the outside wall a floor-to-ceiling window which from dawn to dusk flooded the room with beautiful light and a wide view of the gray brush and bramble on the shores, the painted boat-house on the other side with sculls, canoes and kayaks lined up along the riverbank, ducks splashing around in the algae and reeds, geese veering and gliding above looking for fish, and pairs of swans floating quietly on the crests and ripples so dazzling in the wind and sunlight it seemed God might be tossing handfuls of diamonds onto the surface all day long for play. The window doesn’t open (diving into the Charles River would be too tempting, I guess, even more tempting than trying to touch a low-flying plane out the 29th floor window of the Chicago Hyatt) but I wish it did, to fill the room with that wonderful dank fishy river smell.
Fitted sheets! And crisp white duvet covers over crisp white comforters. Recently rennovated rooms, plenty of outlets, desk with ethernet cable and all kinds of ports, lots of counter space on both sides of the sink (I get both sides. Genieboy’s lonely razor, toothbrush, and deodorant go way over in the corner of one side, he can handle it. I also get the whole closet except for the far end where the ironing board hangs. I also get three dresser drawers and he gets one for his workout clothes, underwear, socks, and t-shirts.)
Great hotel staff – it’s clear Steve and Rebecca trained them well in the peculiar needs of a dance event: buffets for breakfast *and* dinner both with extended hours (breakfast till 1pm! our kinda breakfast hours).The lobby floor – with computer room, restaurant, bar and a lovely open lounge – all bathed in sunlight or starlight from two massive floor-to-ceiling glass walls overlooking the river. Starbucks in the lobby (with muffins, bagels, stuff like that) open from crack of dawn (when most of us are still dancing anyway) till 11 or midnight. Bar in the lobby open as late as Massachusetts Blue Laws will allow. Liquor store and grocery store within walking distance (almost) and a refrigerator in every room so you can eat or drink up a storm in the privacy of your room if you want. Hot-water boilers which can handle 1,000 people taking showers at the same time at weird hours throughout the day and night. Close to the airport, too, right down the Mass Pike (which you can see just beyond the river, lines of cars like busy ants sparkling along all day and night). In other words – a hotel which works in all the ways important to dancers.
Three ballrooms: the big one on the lobby floor, medium-sized Lindy room downstairs, and a third – the crazy crossover room (that word is beginning to sound dirty, isn’t it?) next to, where else? the bar. This is not a NASDE event so no routines which means it’s not heavy in allstar and advanced level dancers. Pro’s, yes, as you’ve seen in the Invitational strictly lineup, but they’re not doing routines and no routines means no floor trials/ resting up/ stressing out which means the pro’s who are there are more relaxed and able to play and maybe even spend time actually dancing for a change. Theoretically. Feels like I saw ’em in the ballroom(s) more than at some events, but who knows. Once late-nite starts it’s dark and you never know who’s where or when or what. Saturday night, maybe 3am-ish, I headed over to the “DJ Booth Corner of the Floor” (in this ballroom the DJ booth is along the far side of the same wall as the entrance doors, so “DJ Booth Corner” is downstage left) and sat there for a while watching Tatiana. Someone said “Ugh! Ugh! Wugh! The floor is impossible! It’s so crowded ugh wugh can’t move without crashing ugh!” I said “ummmm the entire whole rest of the floor is roomy and perfect. Only here in this bathroom-stall-sized-spot is it squashed. Look! See? You can go dance right there!” “Yaaaa. Noooo,” she said, “Naaaa. Think I’ll stay here.” I’m glad I’m not an event director. I would constantly be banging my head against the wall in exasperation.
Didn’t get the exact numbers but this is neither a huge nor a small comp. It’s a medium mamma-bear-sized comp. Steve says it’s exactly where they want it to be both for attendee-to-hotel ratio as well as for making the effort worthwhile business-wise (thanks gawd cause we certainly want them to keep doing it for us). He says it reached the numbers they wanted several years ago and has continued to stay exactly there. And I agree, the floor(s) and hotel feel just crowded enough to be exciting and filled with dancers everywhere but not so crowded that you can’t move and have to wait in lines at the ballroom door, elevator, bathroom, restaurant, bar – cause that’s not fun.