Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lost and Found
September 1950

Per usual, please contact the hotel regarding the guest and/or any information about the listed item(s).

Thank you,
Else Fosaas
Lost and Found Articles
Hotel Ticonderoga

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lost and Found
July 1947

Per usual, please contact the hotel regarding the guest and/or any information about the listed item(s).

Thank you,
Else Fosaas
Lost and Found Articles
Hotel Ticonderoga

Sunday, February 17, 2008

an excerpt from the short story, "Bloodbath" by Jim Battery

He'd never seen a driver pull over and stop the Chinatown bus to urinate before.
With all the junk he was holding, Dwight figured it must of been a trick. And, in fact, it was a dirty fucking trick; those feds had been waiting for the bus at the rest area. Dwight saw one of them duck behind a garbage bin.
"This is going to be a bloodbath," he murmured beneath his breath. His heart was pounding against the barrel of the .45 in his jacket.
He pulled the pistol out and jumped up, announcing, "I reckon the Lord don't always agree with what a man does," and he shot a hole through the back of the head of a man sitting towards the front of the coach, meaning to scare the piss out of the other passengers.
The young woman beside the sudden corpse thought she was still dreaming when she woke up and touched the blood splattered on her lap but she didn't begin screaming until she tasted it on her fingertips.
Dwight had seen her somewhere before, somewhere back in the city. A waitress? A stripper, maybe. It wasn't important. He yanked her out of the seat. She was younger than she looked, maybe 19 or 20, blonde, short skirt, cute legs in bloodstained white tights. The agents outside moved towards the bus with their guns drawn. Everyone on the bus screaming. So much goddamn screaming, Dwight thought, pushing the girl in front of him. He shoved the pistol under her chin. She began sobbing.
"Thank you, mister, thank you!" Blubbering.
The feds were shouting at Dwight to drop the gun and let go of the girl. He wondered if she wasn't the wrong kind of hostage anyhow.
"Thank you, mister! Oh my god, oh my god, oh god!"
Well, this is just the last thing I need, Dwight thought. He felt like vomiting. A trickle of blood dribbled out of his left nostril and settled at the top of his upper lip. He'd been doing all that blow.
Meanwhile, the driver was shouting in Chinese at the top of his lungs from inside the toilet. A baby was bawling somewhere. Somebody was cowering behind a seat, praying in Spanish. For a second Dwight thought he might could kill himself and everyone would be better off.
"You crazy! Now you get off bus!" the driver was howling.
Dwight pushed the girl slowly toward the door and suddenly realized why she looked familiar: her photograph was on the news the night before because she'd been kidnaped last week by the dead serial rapist whose brains were splattered all over her cute legs.
Dwight snorted a snicker abruptly in spite of himself as the squad outside closed in like a pack of tittering hyenas. You filthy pigs, he thought.
I'm a motherfucking hero. Doesn't that figure?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dr. Leo Watts

An inventor, astronomer, entomologist, amateur music ethnologist and part-time high school science teacher who returned to the city of his birth to care for his invalid mother, Dr. Watts is best known for his discovery of the dark matter planet, Nyx, between Neptune and Pluto. He also invented the lightning bulb, an electricity-free, organic compound lightbulb activated by a bioluminescent chemical reaction (its patent was purchased by the US State Department whereupon all research was confiscated.) A widower, Dr. Watts is close to his three children (two daughters and a son, scientists all) and they regularly collaborate on papers, articles and experiments together. In his spare time, he can be found cataloging the city library's collection of indigenous Central and South American tribal ceremonial music recordings.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


During an era of 'ethnic cleansing', Nataliya's parents escaped from their village in a small eastern European country which no longer officially exists and managed to safely cross the Atlantic with their children. While her parents toiled in the wage-slave industries to make ends meet, Nataliya grew up on the streets of the city, regularly singing with siblings and others in their immigrant community street festivals. When her youngest brother landed in prison for murder, Nataliya served a brief sentence for harboring a fugitive. She married and divorced within a year of graduating from high school, then decided to pursue a career as a hair stylist and began working her way through beauty college as a part-time housekeeper in the Ticonderoga. Late one night last year, she discovered Lester Davison on the subway and they fell for each other like the deuce in a house of cards. She convinced Angel to give Lester a steady gig and in no time flat, our young lovers were writing and occasionally performing together; if you're a regular, you've already witnessed Nataliya's haunting voice slinking its way around Lester's puckish piano stylings in the Troubador lounge.


Before running away to the city with a local truck driver, Maria was brought up in an isolated farming community out west with several siblings and cousins, occasionally attending bilingual classes in a tiny schoolhouse. When the truck driver left her to return to his wife, Maria found herself homeless, unemployed and alone, living 2,000 miles away from her estranged family. It was late autumn and she was five months pregnant with nothing more than a five dollar bill in her pocket when Francis hired her. He put her in a room with another housekeeper and she went to cleaning rooms and laundry the next day. Soon afterwards, Maria was introduced to a childless couple, Mark and Penny, who later agreed to adopt her baby. In Room 505 early the following year, during the city's worst snowstorm, Bonita Ray was born, and every other morning at 9 AM sharp, Penny brings the little one to visit Mama Maria at the hotel.

Monday, December 31, 2007


As the hotel's chief of security, Julius endeavors to act in the best interests of the guests and staff--whether the crisis he's dealing with is a lost child, a missing purse, or a drunken brawl. Prior to his stint with the Ticonderoga, Julius was the head of a successful security and investigations agency, from which he retired after the accidental death of his beloved canine comrade, Mojo (whom, incidentally, Julius later had stuffed and mounted.) A cousin of Francis Blum and the son of taxidermists, Julius has always been a lover of animals (living and dead) and manages a sizable collection of stuffed birds and mounted insects, not to mention several aquariums filled with various live arachnidian, reptilian, amphibious and aquatic creatures.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Ignacio came to the country in the back of a truck when he was 17 years old. The distant relatives he arrived with were all captured and deported, but Ignacio traveled further north with an accordion, performing on street corners and occasionally finding work as a day laborer in construction crews, orchards, poultry plants and restaurant kitchens on his way to the city. "Iggy" previously worked with Maria in a small restaurant--when he was slightly more literate than legal--and taught her how to play the guitar while she tutored him to read and write Spanish and English, and (with Jim Battery's help) he obtained a work visa. Today, he dreams of bringing his family safely over the border and opening his own nightclub in the city. He usually spends his evenings off playing traditional corridos with a small conjunto band in various local cantinas, taquerias and subway trains.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Francisco De Nada

A lawyer who secretly published anti-nationalist chapbooks (which inspired an unsuccessful coup against his country's puppet regime) DeNada had always been a target of suspicion for his sympathies; military police agents traced his tracts to a printer and soon afterwards, members of DeNada's family mysteriously vanished. The young revolutionary was arrested and imprisoned for the next 7 years within a secret island labor camp, during which time he composed his epic anti-imperialist manifesto/poem, "El Jaguar"; he was denied writing instruments during the incarceration and memorized the entire 5,000 verse work while toiling in the jungle. Rumors circulated that he'd been executed until a band of comrades infiltrated the island security and aided DeNada in a dramatic escape to the mainland. He spent several years hiding with rebels in the forests of Mexico and small Central American countries until a group of North American editors and publishers helped him to secure amnesty in the US, where he lives and continues writing today.


The Norwegian beauty, Else, arrived as a student in a foreign exchange program and began working as a part-time employee while studying architecture. When she decided to remain in the country and continue attending night classes at the university, the Ticonderoga offered her a full-time position and a staff residence room, which she now shares with Maria. Together, with Nataliya, they comprise the hotel's housekeeping department, but it is Else who maintains the Ticonderoga's infamous "Lost-and-Found" collection. She is quite fond of our security chief, Julius (and if he weren't so self-absorbed, he might actually return her attention.) Meanwhile, Else is the oldest child in her large family and her pangs of homesickness and family affections are occasionally salved by invitations to the cinema from Samson and Sophie.


We know that Benjamin lives in a basement apartment beneath his parents' home. He's punctual, thorough and polite. To our knowledge, nobody on staff has ever held a sustained dialogue with Benjamin for longer than two minutes, but his messages are always succinct and his penmanship is altogether astounding; occasionally he receives messages from a professional cartoonist he worked (works?) as a lettering assistant for. On his days off, he paints hand-lettered signs and windows for various small businesses in his neighborhood, and is often seen studying manuals of typography.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Hope Diaz

The famous Puerto Rican dancer and performer Hope Diaz began working professionally when she was 10 years old, matured in the public eye, and by the time she was 18, had grown weary of her schedule and the limelight. Her mentor introduced her to the Baroness, who advised the young dancer and acrobat to take a professional hiatus and to concentrate on her studies. Hope did this, competing with her university gymnastics team and appearing only once in a university theater production, where she met student filmmaker Vic Vap. 5 years later, she made her acting debut as a minor (though) recurring character in a series of critically-praised (but seldom seen) independent short films directed by then-boyfriend, Vap. She currently works with the Baroness's charity to coordinate productions with her acrobat troupe and various local dance studios.


The son of prominent second generation (and infamously sparring) American journalists and newspaper editors, Emmet recoiled from the hypocrisy and turmoil of the political media spotlight he was raised around and, after dropping out of culinary school, traveled around the continent as the roadie for a number of punk rock bands. He returned home after several years and accepted an editorial assistant position with a local newsweekly before singlehandedly trashing the main newspaper office in a fit of indignant rage over the publication's endorsement of a corrupt state senatorial candidate. Months later, an old classmate, Mary Megan, found Emmet unemployed, drunk and homeless in a local tavern and recommended him for a job with the Troubador, where he masterminds the bistro kitchen menu.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Sylvia is an ambitious and hard-working young woman of action whose dream is to return home to the Phillipines to open her own hotel. There are theories that she was spurned by love or that she escaped from a troubled marriage, but no one knows for certain because she keeps mainly to herself, though she does live in the hotel with many of the staff. She is an attractive young woman, but presents an ambiguous appearance to the world and declines any suggestion of romantic attention (although Louis has noticed Sylvia's longing glances and shyness toward the striking Else.) Sylvia usually has a smile for anyone who comes to the front desk, and while she's just doing her job, we'll mind our own business, knowing how lost the Ticonderoga would be without her.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Samson is a student living with his Uncle Herbert in the hotel while his parents are traveling abroad. He's a sharp, adventurous and talented young man who--when he's not playing soccer or basketball with friends after school--can be found attending (or making) movies with Sophie. Their vast age difference (3 years) is too great for him to "officially" consider her as anything more than a friend. However, a little "unofficial" bird has divulged to us that while Samson is quite popular with the cutest girls in his class--even Alice Strathmore, who smoked her first joint with him--he doesn't think twice about anyone besides Sophie. Meanwhile, he collects records and comic books, too, and Ignacio has been teaching him to play the guitar. Every evening before he hits the books, Samson sits down to eat dinner with his Uncle Herbert, and occasionally they attend basketball games at the local sports coliseum together.

night lines, city light #3

An early Remington Fuller Tate print, donated by the artist.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


It wouldn't be far from the truth to say that Lester Davison tumbled from the backseat of the taxicab he was born in and rolled into the alleyways of The Big Easy, learning to pick pockets and play music as he wound his way up out of the South. Finding himself here in the city, he co-founded the legendary local band, The Bold Saboteurs, and performed with them until he was kicked out (for beating a drunken heckler blind with an accordion.) After being released from jail, Lester busked around the city streets and subways before taking his current ivory-tickling job in the Troubador Lounge, where he can be found on his best behavior every Wednesday thru Sunday evening from 9 PM - close. Covers and originals.


The son of immigrants who fled Algiers amidst a tumultuous uprising, Louis left his new family home behind, determined to make his own way in the world. He has been employed by the hotel since he was 14; first, as a busboy in the Troubador, then as the Ticonderoga's bellhop. Residing in a modest east wing room with his record collection, Louis DJs on his nights off at various nightclubs and events around town. He dreams of founding his own hip-hop recording label someday (but like so many others who call the Ticonderoga home, it is always "someday" for Louis.) Full of charm, wit and enthusiasm, he rolls with the punches and nothing can keep him down. (Go get 'em, Louis!)

Monday, December 17, 2007


Sophie resides in the Ticonderoga with her parents (whom we rarely, if ever, see) and as our resident aspiring photographer, filmmaker and poet, we usually find her exploring the hotel, re-tracing the steps of her favorite writers, bicycling through underground tunnels, or roaming around forgotten corners of the city. Her best friend (and secret crush) is Samson, but she's especially fond of Remington, the Baroness and Louis, too. Her first film, "The Antidote", an experimental narrative short was recently awarded a special jury prize at the city's annual film festival. Every Thursday, Sophie convinces Emmet, the Troubador's cook, to allow her to take Wednesday's leftovers to the neighborhood homeless shelter. Need we say more?


An easygoing widowed Navy veteran, Herbert has been the Ticonderoga's doorman (and occasional driver) since Francis became the general manager. He traveled across the globe in the service and returned home to work in the city's shipyards, until a back injury forced him into early retirement. When his wife died, he grew restless and went to sea again, working as a bartender aboard an ocean cruiseliner. His daughter convinced him to come home soon afterwards, but Herbert knew that he had grown weary of traveling. After taking his current position as doorman with the Ticonderoga, he became the guardian of his nephew, Samson, who attends school nearby.


She might have been spirited away by a lover who represents an unknown future, a new experience whose spell has liberated her from the shackles of an unhappy marriage.
Then again, it is quite possible that she is truly the beloved wife of an ancient god in a tragic myth, departed from this world and cloaked beneath the blind veil of the damned, oblivious to her husband's doomed rescue attempt.
Perhaps the truth is somewhere beyond.
All we know for certain about this mistress of mystery is that she's the current occupant of Room 420.