Monday, April 4, 2016

Anything-but-news of the day, month, year: Re-envisioning a perennial urban eyesore ... with birds

Completely de-airconditioned and partially de-glassed hotel cubbyholes 
Decommissioned Day's Inn 
There is breaking news; there is daily news; there is old news; and there is the opposite of news, though the latter category lacks a proper descriptive term. Olds would seem the logical opposite of news, but wouldn't that be odd? Let's call the antonym anything-but-news, nonstories, or non-news of the year. Objects in the urban environment that just sit there, attracting no media attention at all, nor even a quirky neighborhood blogger's raised eyebrow, not to mention serious thought or discussion. But all the while they are there ... a quotidian presence. Undisturbed relics of the past that are biding their time after retirement from active use, and weather-proofing at best. A few interested parties may be speculating, but even such speculation is likely to be imperceptible; - of the wait-and-see sort of sitting on one's assets. Newsworthy? - Anything but. Not until something actually happens. Like a sale, an impending demolition, or a redevelopment plan that spawns signs on the ground, and arrival of construction crews. If it does. 
Facade of abandoned hotel at 801 Saint Joseph Parkway, Houston, Texas 77002

The former Day's Inn on the southern rim of Downtown is a textbook example. More storied hotels of times long gone have bitten the dust. (--> Ben Milam Demolition). Not this one. Which has the dubious distinction of remaining the most conspicuous eyesore on the Downtown horizon. Ghostly. With latent haunted-house potential for Halloween. With a bit of morbid imagination anyhow. Or perhaps a suitable canvas for a screening of Hitchcock's The Birds on one of its side walls. Such a theatrical repurposing might actually make for a newsworthy story, and would justify more than a blog post in the nature of a gapfiller. A gapfiller of the nothing-better-on-offer-today genre, accompanied by a few images of urban decay on the edge of the Downtown construction frenzy. 

Former Day's Inn (in sepia) with black birds (2012)
The Birds are here - Bring on Hitchcock 
Completely de-airconditioned and partially de-glassed hotel cubbyholes 
Abandoned hotel history: Heaven on Earth Inn / Days Inn / Holiday Inn
View  of desolate  30-story hotel property from Milam Street at YMCA Garage North of Jefferson Street 
Abandoned hotel history in reverse chronological order: Heaven on Earth Inn / Days Inn / Holiday Inn. Also see --> Downtown Houston Eyesores 2013 edition 
(featuring demolished and revitalized Downtown properties) 

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