Blame Paris

|

In a recent review of A.K. Sandoval-Strausz' Hotels: A History, I discussed the moral panic hotels provoked in the 19th century, catering as they did to rootless transients and licentious women. I thought we were kind of over it, but the Falls Church New-Press informs me otherwise:

Parents and supporters of the St. James Catholic middle school packed the Falls Church City Council chambers at City Hall Monday night to plead to the F.C. Planning Commission that it not approve a proposed Hilton Garden Inn hotel adjacent the school in the block of W. Broad St.

Strident speakers Monday warned the Planning Commission of "the likelihood of inappropriate conduct between adults and children" due to the "transient nature" of hotel patrons. They also cited traffic congestion issues, noting that "car crashes are the number one killer of children under 14." One said that N. Oak St. would become "a mini-mixing bowl."

Concerns were expressed of "hotel rooms being used in crimes against children," and laws cited in some jurisdictions across the U.S. prohibiting registered sex offenders from living near a school.

Judy Meehan, a victim's rights advocate, said it was "disgraceful" that the City did not begin consideration of the project "with a concept of risk." The City has been "negligent," she said.

"The connection between crime and hotels is well known," Meehan said, suggesting the heightened instances of prostitution and rape "in and around hotels."

[Many thanks to reader Brian Nichols for the link.]

NEXT: Jackson's Clarion-Ledger Confronts Dr. Hayne

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. First a hotel, next thing ya know they’ll be putt’n in a pool table.

    *GASP*

    But, then…the children might play!!!!

  2. First a hotel, next thing ya know they’ll be putt’n in a pool table.

  3. The connection between crime and men is well known.Put us all in jail and everything will be fine.

  4. I think we need Elliot Spitzer’s opinion on this. After all, wuz the hotel done made him do it, right?

  5. It’s obvious; our children will never be safe until we send them to government-run boarding schools on the moon.

    And if I catch any of them cutting across the yard of my secret moonbase fortress, I’ll set the goddam dogs on ’em.

  6. That’s me, the magical time-traveling commenter.

  7. The connection between crime and hotels is well known

    I generally say something similar to this when I get my final bill at checkout.

  8. I would have to say that I think it’s obvious that there is probably some other reason some people in the community don’t want this hotel built, but they’re perfectly willing to lie and pretend that they’re afraid of crime if that’s the approach that will actually kill the project.

    Kerry thinks this is an example of a throwback to archaic anti-hotel hysteria, but I think it’s probably just run of the mill lying and deceit and disingenuousness by anti-development advocates.

  9. Fluffy, I think you discount what goes on in many frumpy middle-aged hausfraus’ heads regarding hotels/motels. They just have a nightmare of their husband taking some hot young hooker or the babysitter there for some of the sodomy they dislike to do for their husband.

    It’s absurd, but it is more widespread than you think.

  10. I suspect Fluffy’s right. The last thing you want after you remake your small town into a 24/7 colonial reenactment, is a bunch of tourists in shorts and I’m With Stupid T-shirts running around ruining the picturesque.

  11. I’m gonna agree with Fluffy. Episiarch has a point, but Falls Church ain’t the south and the Hilton ain’t the Blue Light Motel.

  12. Do these people really envision men taking school kids through the lobby and up to their rooms for a little sodomy? I feel terrible for these parents and their constant worrying. They must sit up all night listening for prowlers outside their kid’s windows.

  13. Personally, I would fear for my children(that I know of) with a drunk driving Paris Hilton on the loose.

  14. Fluffy called it. They can’t think of a good reason to oppose it, so they’re playing the “for the children” card to kill the project. It sounds much better than just standing up and shouting “NIMBY!NIMBY!”.

  15. Falls church is very anti-development, and that’s the real reason to kill the hotel. Interesting fun fact: some years ago there was an abortion clinic near the very same catholic school. You’d think they’d see a nuclear reactor as an improvement over that.

  16. Fluffy, I think you discount what goes on in many frumpy middle-aged hausfraus’ heads regarding hotels/motels. They just have a nightmare of their husband taking some hot young hooker or the babysitter there for some of the sodomy they dislike to do for their husband.

    I work full-time as a receptionist in a local inn, and while it is absurd to argue that cheating on one’s spouse would not occur absent hotels, I can tell you there is never a lack of people who want a room for only a few hours, only pay cash, live locally, and come back regularly.

    The stupidity is the “hausfrau” mentality that the hotel is to *blame* for the infidelity. But it certainly is an enabler/facilitator.

  17. “First a hotel, next thing ya know they’ll be putt’n in a pool table.”

    (1) Hotel is built
    (2) Pool table is installed
    (3) …
    (4) Man on dog

  18. Here’s something gorgeous from the comment thread on the story:

    What amazes me is the lack of forethought by our local Falls Church City Council, by allowing the building of a hotel which is surrounded by a school with children from 5 to 14 years old, which has been in existance [sic] for decades. If you have ever thought about the dangers, just go to the Starbucks on Broad St next to the Stratford Hotel and watch the number of people sitting in their cars, drinking alcohol and loitering around that block.

    Starbucks! My God, the kids are being exposed to Starbucks!

    Anybody who says I’ll change my mind about this after Kerry or I whelp out some young’uns will have the honor of being the first person ever to be kicked in the balls with my stylish new black suede boots. The toes are kind of pointy, for extra kickin’ impact.

  19. It’s obvious; our children will never be safe until we send them to government-run boarding schools on the moon.

    What about alien abduction?

  20. Lamar —

    You left out:

    (5) Profit!!!

  21. Speaking of popular culture and the degradation of America’s youths, I just this morning learned Miley Cyrus, beloved Disney teen cyborg “star” is a waste byproduct of washed up hillbilly squawker Billy Ray.

    Some people would travel back in time to strangle A. Hilter in his crib. I think that Disney guy would be a better target.

  22. What about alien abduction?

    Well, obviously, I meant our gover….

    Ooh, wait- same thing. Never mind

  23. The stupidity is the “hausfrau” mentality that the hotel is to *blame* for the infidelity.

    Please note my 11:24 post.

    Anybody who says I’ll change my mind about this after Kerry or I whelp out some young’uns will have the honor of being the first person ever to be kicked in the balls with my stylish new black suede boots.

    You’ll change your mind after you fall in love with a dashing radical communist. Women are weak that way and can’t hold on to their principles.

  24. P Brooks,

    washed up hillbilly squawker Billy Ray

    It is a damn shame. That’s two strikes, Flatwoods, KY. I suggest you don’t try for a third!

  25. Anybody who says I’ll change my mind about this after Kerry or I whelp out some young’uns…

    Well, Falls Church IS the kind of DC suburban town where yuppies go to spawn. They keep trying to make the town center nicer, but somehow the Stratford Motor Lodge survives.

  26. The boots have now been retrofitted with sharp pointy things sticking out of the front, Episiarch. Watch thyself.

  27. Jennifer, I’d be worried, but I have superior hand-eye coordination. Because I’m male.

  28. sharp pointy things sticking out of the front

    Did you go to “Q”s subterranean gadget lab to get them?

  29. I take it no “strident speakers Monday warned the Planning Commission of ‘the likelihood of inappropriate conduct between adults and children'” resulting from the presence there of a Catholic church and parochial school?

  30. Its not the hotels that cause rape and prostitution, but rather the availability of a mattress. Throw in a TV and a DVD player and you have set up conditions for antisocial masterbatory activity.

  31. SugarFree,

    During the 1992 Dem National Convention, as each state was voting they, of course, mention great things about their state. The KY vote-announcer-person (have no idea what the title is) saw fit to announce that we were the home state of Billy Ray Cyrus/Achy Breaky Heart (it was a hit at the time). Sigh.

  32. Jennifer, I’d be worried, but I have superior hand-eye coordination. Because I’m male.

    Which in turn would worry me, but I have superior cleavage. Because I’m female and in possession of a push-up bra which is a veritable marvel of modern engineering. And it is also a scientifically proven fact that the “hand-eye coordination” part of the male brain is also the part containing the “Holy shit getta loada them puppies” cleavage-appreciation gland, which evolved to ensure the continuation of the species by converting intelligence into testosterone.

    You don’t have a chance.

  33. That’s two strikes, Flatwoods, KY.

    Destiny Hope (aka Miley) was born in L.A.

    However, their notable people section on wikipedia mentions:

    Lynndie England, participant in the Abu Graib prison torture scandal

  34. I have superior cleavage.

    Suddenly, the earlier “sharp pointy things sticking out of the front” comment takes on an entirely new meaning.

  35. I’ve been supplementing my income these days by engraving diamonds for money.

  36. And it is also a scientifically proven fact that the “hand-eye coordination” part of the male brain is also the part containing the “Holy shit getta loada them puppies” cleavage-appreciation gland

    Hmm. This could be a problem. I will have to bring my superior male intelligence and logic to bear on this issue. It will require much study of breasts of course.

  37. It will require much study of breasts of course.

    In this case, I believe the hands-on experimental approach will be more reveling than the theoretical model.

  38. I believe the hands-on experimental approach will be more reveling than the theoretical model.

    A good example of R.C.’z Law, by which the typo is superior to the intended, um, usage.

  39. Well, Falls Church IS the kind of DC suburban town where yuppies go to spawn. They keep trying to make the town center nicer, but somehow the Stratford Motor Lodge survives.

    Worse yet, it’s run by Middle Eastern types who speak in suspiciously Non-English languages at the little cafe there. And that’s not even to mention Bedo’s Leather store, or Anthony’s Restaurant right across the street where addicts and alcoholics from the nearby 12-Step Unity Club congregate after meetings, or the CD Cellar and nearby used book store where Falls Church youth loiter perusing Heavy Metal and other Satan-inspired music and soft-porn Asian comix you gotta read from right to left.

    Come to think of it, Falls Church is a hotbed of degradation, sin and corruption. Best bet is simply to raze the entire town and salt the smoking ashes with radioactive waste.

  40. robc,

    I hadn’t heard that about the convention. [shudder]

    anyway…

    Any woman who goes… “I don’t see what the big deal about breasts are.” is always invited by me to whip ’em out.

  41. First a hotel, next thing ya know they’ll be putt’n in a pool table.

    I was in the army for 6 years. To call me unpatriotic is a sham!

  42. The city fathers of Falls Church have also managed to avert the horrors that arise from left-turn lanes and adequately paved main streets.

    The only reason I go there is CD Cellar.

  43. I’m gone for an hour and I come back to threading about breasts? Hmmmmm . . . I’m seeing a pattern . . . for the good of all I’ll leave this post for another hour.

  44. Is it legal to have a town named “Church”? That must alienate any non-Christians living there. President Obama will change the name to “Falls Mosque”. White Children will be sodomized in the hotel as planned.

  45. NS,

    Hoping we’ll move on to cooters?

  46. Fluffy is correct. NIMBY. For cryin’ out loud it’s a proposed Hilton Garden Inn. I’m certain that if the church/school had bid more for the property, they’d own it. If the city council shoots this down they’re fools.

  47. Jennifer, the whelping of my young ‘un didn’t turn me into a hotel-hating harpie, and I doubt anyone need worry about you or Kerry.

    Still, those boots are handy. Keep ’em on and well-filed.

    Sadly, in spite of my endowment, I can’t think of a good booby comment. I am waiting for someone with a death wish to make an off-color comment about creating those diamonds prior to engraving them. It’s bound to happen, right?

    *sits back and waits*

  48. I’m gone for an hour and I come back to threading about breasts?

    Lessee–opposition to a respectable hotel based on community paranoia that exposure to Teh Hotels will result in Teh Children being pplunged into Teh Degradation, same way they currently are in the Starbucks parking lot? Obviously, any thread discussing such a story will have to focus on some form of boob; which would you prefer?

  49. I am waiting for someone with a death wish to make an off-color comment about creating those diamonds prior to engraving them.

    Create diamonds? Don’t you women just con a guy into buying them for you instead? Two months salary?!?!? Two months?!?!?

  50. Epi, yes, that’s the route I prefer – contrary to the prognostications of my middle school adversaries.

    I don’t know what this two months crap is all about, though. If all you pay is two months’ salary, you obviously aren’t very serious.

    *tosses hair*

  51. Fluffy called it. They can’t think of a good reason to oppose it, so they’re playing the “for the children” card to kill the project. It sounds much better than just standing up and shouting “NIMBY!NIMBY!”.

    Or shouting NAMBLA! NAMBLA!

  52. Epi, I think Bronwyn’s trying to use her “endowments” on you.

    She’ll change her mind after she has another kid. (First one didn’t take, apparently.)

  53. They just have a nightmare of their husband taking some hot young hooker or the babysitter there for some of the sodomy they dislike to do for their husband.

    It’s absurd, but it is more widespread than you think.

    What’s more widespread — the hausfraus imagining the hooker / babysitter sodomy, or the hooker / babysitter sodomy actually occuring?

    Oh, and link?

  54. The worse thing about being married is the ever-declining amount of sodomy.

  55. NutraSweet, the bun’s already in the oven, so we won’t have to wait long to see if you’re right.

    I anticipate, however, that the problem won’t so much be changing my mind as outright losing it!

  56. Won’t somebody PUH-LEEZE think of Teh Children?

  57. My work wife just had a kid and I’m anxiously watching her for signs of “The Change.” I have a video she made to herself when she found out she was pregnant that I’m supposed to show her if anything goes wrong. Other than some babytalk around the office, she’s doing OK.

  58. Best bet is simply to raze the entire town and salt the smoking ashes with radioactive waste.

    Having grown up in the area, I can honestly say the idea fills me a morbid glee.

  59. With, dammit, with. My morbid glee is already full.

  60. Speaking of popular culture and the degradation of America’s youths, I just this morning learned Miley Cyrus, beloved Disney teen cyborg “star” is a waste byproduct of washed up hillbilly squawker Billy Ray.

    Mmmm, I don’t need no performance enhancing drugs to love me some Miley Cyrus! I’ve got a little youth degradation for her right here, baby!

  61. If all you pay is two months’ salary, you obviously aren’t very serious.

    Wouldn’t you rather have something with better resale value, like a Honda, for when you hawk it for your liposuction after the divorce?

  62. You have a point. Gold, then. Let’s go with gold.

    I won’t need liposuction, although after nursing all my spawn, I’ll probably need a boob lift.

    And there we have it! My contribution to the boobies line of the thread. Hm. Wish it’d been better than that.

  63. after nursing all my spawn, I’ll probably need a boob lift.

    And there we have it! My contribution to the boobies line of the thread. Hm. Wish it’d been better than that.

    Me too… talk about killing the mood! I just hope Jennifer can rescue this thread from the wrong turn it has taken…

  64. We can usually count on Jennifer to rescue us.

  65. Uh–“The rubes and noobs post boobage on teh tubez?”

    Stupid failed My Fair Lady reference attempts. Sorry, guys, I got nothin’.

  66. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  67. Man, I must be losing my touch. No humor-impaired readers have gotten pissed at me for sexism. I’ll have to be more vicious next time.

  68. My work wife . . .

    ?

  69. My morbid glee is already full.

    That’s good, because if you were wanting to get your morbid glee hole filled, I’d have to tell you to get a room.

    But not in Falls Church.

  70. Epi, it seems as though they’re just not here today. Take heart, they’ll come back. They always come back.

  71. The proffered reasons for opposing the hotel don’t make sense. This is a Hilton Garden Inn, fairly popular with business travelers. Hardly a demographic one should be afraid of. The traffic argument is BS, hotels aren’t Wal-Marts, they don’t have huge vehicle traffic in and out all day.

  72. The rubes and noobs post boobage on teh tubez?

    I think she’s got tits!

  73. That’s good, because if you were wanting to get your morbid glee hole filled, I’d have to tell you to get a room.

    But not in Falls Church.

    I’m pretty sure that even Falls Church has places where you could get your morbid glee hole filled, if the m4m section of Craigslist for Northern Virginia is any indication.

    Caution: link is NSFW.

  74. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    I’m sorry. This has never happened to me before. I don’t know what went wrong. It’s definitely not you. Must’ve been the pressure … (light dawns) my God, now I know what guys mean when they’re talking about performance anxiety!

    Awesome. In addition to cleavage, I now possess insight into the workings of the male psyche.

    Soon the world will be mine.

  75. Jennifer: I’ve been supplementing my income these days by engraving diamonds for money.

    Que?

  76. It’s good that you don’t get it, Clueless. It shows your parents raised you right, so you don’t have the sort of degenerate knowledge possessed by people who live in towns with Starbucks and Hilton hotels and other horrible, horrible businesses.

  77. There may be an error in my last post. What is the plural of “Starbucks”: Starbuckses? Starbii?

  78. What is the plural of “Starbucks”: Starbuckses? Starbii?

    Dirk Benedict, and hot psycho blonde chick.

  79. R C Dean,

    Work spouse

    It all started when I realized that on some fundamental level I would never make her happy, but I would pathetically continue to try to. Just like most marriages.

  80. ok, fine…but I really wish you would explain the diamond reference anyhow.

    Is it the Spitzer Emperor’s Club hooker rating thing? Why engraving? Who the heck engraves diamonds anyhow?

  81. From where do these very weird people come?

    According to the news article, if the building was 10 feet shorter, no permit would have been required nor would any hearings have been held.
    So all these folks worrying about the “evils” of hotels in general (presumably except for when they themselves stay in one) are supposed to be talking about whether to permit the building to be that tall. The developer will just build it a bit shorter if they do not get the waiver.

  82. Who the heck engraves diamonds anyhow?

    1000$ and hour hookers.

  83. I served six years in the military, Does that make me patriotic? How many years did Cheney serve?

  84. 1000$ an hour hooker | April 28, 2008, 6:19pm | #
    I served six years in the military, Does that make me patriotic? How many years did Cheney serve?

    Six years in the military at 1000$ an hour… wow! Must have been a Pentagon contractor huh?

    No that doesn’t make you patriotic, just makes you rich. You can be both.

    Cheney, heck, he’s still serving.. the country I mean – and at more than a grand an hour too I bet.

    *note* anybody else notice thread leakage re six years/patriotic/Cheney quote…?

    Wonder what that means..?

    And how is meaning even defined these days, with faith or reason?

    And… oh never mind.

  85. Clueless – I believe the idea comes from “nipples hard enough to cut diamonds”

  86. “Starbucks! My God, the kids are being exposed to Starbucks!”

    The quote was from someone expressing concern in these terms:

    “If you have ever thought about the dangers, just go to the Starbucks on Broad St next to the Stratford Hotel and watch the number of people sitting in their cars, drinking alcohol and loitering around that block.”

    So, it’s not the Starbucks, it’s people sitting in their cars, drinking alcohol and loitering.

    I don’t live in Falls Church, so I have no idea how valid the parents’ concerns are. I appreciate the helpfulness of the linked article in telling me that the parents were “strident.” Journalistic objectivity is vastly overrated, anyway.

    Perhaps the parental concerns in Falls Church are misconceived, as many people who don’t have children going to school across the street from the proposed location will be happy to inform them – in the proper condescending tone, of course, and not without the usual cracks about “hausfraus,” and “teh children.” People who don’t have a direct personal stake in the controversy are gifted with lofty impartiality and superior wisdom, so they can say with certitude what the parents should or should not worry about. And I, for one, welcome our cosmotarian overlords.

  87. I must say, though, that only one commenter made any jokes about the parents coming from a *Catholic* school, even though the entire story, from the standpoint of your average H&R commenter, was one giant set-up to a Catholic child-abuse joke. Maybe that particular meme is getting played out>

  88. But your Catholic Avenger schtick never gets old, right?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.