You are viewing an old revision of this post, from July 22, 2006 @ 19:00:43. See below for differences between this version and the current revision.

I’m here now. Getting on the light rail and taking it to the Nicollet Mall stop was easy enough. Then I got off, looked around for my hotel, and didn’t see it. Or any useful street signs, or anything like that. Most people were walking in one direction, so I followed them; after a bit, I discovered that the street that I was walking along was, in fact, Nicollet Mall. (Until then, it hadn’t been clear to me that Nicollet Mall was, in fact a street name; maybe next time I travel to an unknown city, I should bring along a map?) And that my hotel was about 10 blocks away.

A bit depressing, really – this is a city downtown at around 7pm, yet the streets are relatively empty and the stores are closed? The one bright sign was a group of people carrying some sort of boombox, with a banner of some sort; when I got closer, it turned out that the banner read “Brains”, and as far as I could tell they were wearing some sort of zombie makeup. Pleasantly bizarre. As I got closer to the hotel, things picked up a bit, and in fact there were quite a bit of people in some areas (and restaurants with reasonably full outdoor seating). Still, I remain unimpressed – so far, downtown Mountain View wins over downtown Minneapolis hands-down. But doubtless other areas of the city are more interesting.

Aftter a bit (short blocks, yay), I made it to the hotel. Whose exterior is pretty ugly. Got to my room reasonably promptly; looked pleasant enough. Having my priorities in order, I look for the promised “high-speed internet”. No jacks apparent, so I turn on the computer: a “Hyatt” wi-fi connection appears. Yay. So I try to ssh home, which seems to take a while. While that’s going on, I open up my web browser and click on a link; up pops a screen asking me to pay ten bucks. Gee, guys, maybe you should have mentioned that aspect on your website? Or am I just naive? (Rhetorical question, I know the answer.)

On my way out, I notice something with a description of their services. And it does mention “Wireless high-speed internet service”, at $10/day, followed by “This is not your typical hotel story. This is the Hyatt Touch.” Personally, I would just as soon not have hotels touch me in that particular way. Next to it were one-liter bottles of water for four dollars; another aspect of the Hyatt Touch, I suppose. (The tap water tastes fine to me; I trust they won’t bill me for drinking that.)

I did give in and pay; adding insult to injury, the connection speeds are crap. Oh well; at least it exists. When I was in Stratford last month, the bed and breakfast didn’t have an internet connection at all. But they were a ton friendlier, and I spent a lot less than ten bucks at the local coffee shop which did have one. Which may end up being the solution I ultimately adopt here; we shall see.

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