Proprietary Communities

The Outsider Art of Community

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Budget Travel has published a great slideshow of some of the world's weirdest hotels, including a suite made from a refurbished 727, a lodge that lets you sleep in lion cages, and this odd structure in Vietnam:

Budget Travel

Elsewhere in Reason: Kerry Howley celebrates the emancipatory power of the American hotel.

Elsewhere not in Reason: Spencer MacCallum analyzes hotels as private mini-societies.

[Via bOING bOING.]

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  1. Sticking this here, well, because this post is sort of about hacks and well, the one I have is worth sharing.

    For ProL, Epi, Sug and the other Alton Brown army members:

    Alton Brown: Safe and Scary Kitchen Hacks

    /threadjack

  2. Sick of this “the democratic art of the people” bullshit.

  3. Thanks, JW.

    I’ve done the fruit/dry ice trick and I’ve made my own liquid smoke. And in the summer I use my grill to stir fry.

    What I have done is adapt his idea for seared tuna for beef. When I make steaks, I cook them directly over the charcoal starter without dumping it out. It’s the best way at home to make black and blue steaks.

    Just don’t put the grate over the flames too early. I have cast iron core porcelain grates and they got hot enough to burn a steak in under a minute the first time I tried.

  4. Yeah, I tried to do tuna over my regular, but VERY hot, charcoal grill once and it just turned out…well…mushy crap. I suspect the tuna was previously frozen, even though it didn’t say that. The lack of available wasabi powder anywhere didn’t help.

    My house is not terribly conducive to Alton-like experimenting; far too chaotic with the family endlessly churning around. Maybe if I could just legally and safely sedate the wife….

    I look forward to the day when I can actually try some of these things.

  5. Strangely, I never tried the tuna. I really only like it raw.

    My wife doesn’t really care insomuch as it’s my responsibility to clean the kitchen. I do have a tendency to save the large cooking projects for when she is out of town, especially things she doesn’t like to eat. January cassoulet has become a tradition among my co-workers.

  6. Sweet’n’Low, do you cook awesome, elaborate meals for fun and relaxation? ‘Cause that’s how i roll. I spent two days making bisteeya a few weeks ago just so we could have it around the house, and it kicked my mouth in the ass for like four days.

  7. do you cook awesome, elaborate meals for fun and relaxation?

    Yes and I make things that are much easier to buy, like chili powder, gardenia, and chimichurri. They are better, of course, but no cheaper in a time sense. But I put chimichurri on everything. I made an Argentinian pizza with it as the sauce and chorizo and seared skirt steak toppings. Argentinian Parmesan and provolone for the cheese. And then cooked it on the grill.

    Did you use pigeon?

  8. Hey, I didn’t know he had a new book coming out. Excellent.

    If you’re not using straight lye, liquid nitrogen, and a variety of inflammables, you’re missing out on the kitchen experience.

    I think my favorite Good Eats has to be the one where he makes the smoker out of a cardboard box. One of my favorites, anyway.

  9. Is it just me or does that place look like Tim the Enchanter’s hat?

  10. Staying in a Keebler Elf tree with spiderweb windows would make for a MUCH cooler vacation experience than the usual boxes-stacked-upon-boxes that are American and Canadian hotels.

    Also: the hotel I stayed in a couple weeks ago had nothing but those damnable fluorescent twisty-bulbs in the rooms. When I returned home, I added another $40 worth to my incandescent-lightbulb stockpile. My plan is that once it becomes illegal to buy said bulbs in America, I should have a 50-year supply which ought to last me until I drop dead. When I do finally give up the ghost, please toss my corpse into the Washington DC water supply so that with any luck my rotting body will sicken the Congressidiots who passed the stupid law that forced me to convert my closet space into incandescent storage. Where the HELL am I going to keep my coats once I take them out of winter storage in a couple months?

    I have no idea where I’m going with this. I don’t even care any more.

  11. My plan is that once it becomes illegal to buy said bulbs in America, I should have a 50-year supply which ought to last me until I drop dead.

    LOL, thanks Jennifer. BTW, Nose Tar recently completed his move to the south in preparation for his upcoming fall wedding.

  12. I’m pretty sure that’s Link’s house from the Wii Zelda.

  13. My plan is that once it becomes illegal to buy said bulbs in America, I should have a 50-year supply which ought to last me until I drop dead.

    Or you can fund a multi-million dollar criminal empire by selling them to your fellow enviro-criminals. Just a thought.

  14. BTW, Nose Tar recently completed his move to the south in preparation for his upcoming fall wedding.

    Glad to hear that! I’ve not heard from him in awhile; I’m so happy for him, I’d even be willing to part with some of my precious incandescents for a wedding present.

    I’m not kidding about the lightbulbs, either. My apartment looks like the home of a survivalist who thinks a stockpile of 60-watt bulbs is necessary to live through the apocalypse.

    I just realized my stockpile does NOT include any lava-lamp bulbs. I’ll have to go shopping this weekend.

  15. Or you can fund a multi-million dollar criminal empire by selling them to your fellow enviro-criminals. Just a thought.

    Like I’d be dumb enough to admit any such thing here.

  16. NoStar has been keeping a fairly low profile. I don’t hear much from him either…. now and again. I suppose if I didn’t detest phones so much I could give him a call.

  17. I’m pretty sure that’s Link’s house from the Wii Zelda.

    Now you’re forcing me to link this, damnit.

    I’m also officially in lust with Felicia Day now.

  18. That house is was where Pufnstuf had his foam rubber orgies…

  19. Did you use pigeon?

    No, they turned out to be surprisingly hard to catch. I just used chicken. I did use some real Spanish saffron purchased at Trader Joe’s for cheap, though.

  20. It is simply wrong that Florida–particularly Tampa–is denied a Trader Joe’s.

  21. I real cook would grow his own crocuses and harvest the saffron thread by thread.

    /food asshole

  22. And grow his own truffles.

  23. SF, PL, someday i will have some land and i will do those things. I will be Lord of the Food Assholes, and you will all bow before my holistic culinary completism BWA HA HA.

  24. I imagine the deed on that house is made out to one “Mr. Cthulhu Baggins”.

  25. I cook a couple of pounds of hamburger and chicken on Sunday. It usually lasts until the next Sunday. If I want flavor I burn it a little. For the exciting meals I cook some beef in a crockpot with veggies.

    On topic. There’s a huge hammock that can easily be rigged up in a tree canopy. (not a portaledge) They are pretty comfortable even for a giant like myself. Kinda neat taking a nap at 60 feet in a tree, especially with a breeze.

  26. Coolest hotel I’ve ever been to.
    http://www.ariauamazontowers.com/index.htm

    Right over the Rio Negro (a few miles from the Amazon). You have to lock your doors or the monkeys will get in and trash the rooms and steal the shiny things. Worth every dollar.

  27. You better have some serious acreage if you plan to grow Crocus sativus to produce saffron on any large scale. For home use, you could probably get away with a big greenhouse.

    I used to think that truffles couldn’t be cultivated, but that’s not true. Despite all you see on TV about some French guy and his pig/dog (either or, not some freaky hybrid) seeking out the wild truffle, small-scale cultivation of truffles is a fact. What’s sad is that truffles used to be cultivated on a large scale and were relatively cheap.

  28. Try growing cilantro. I am the opposite of a green thumb, but that shit is hard to grow; it’s like the anti-mint.

  29. Cilantro? Old ladies with bad hats can grow cilantro. Saffron, truffles, cilantro. You used to contribute value here, now you’re nothing to me. NOTHING!

  30. do you cook awesome, elaborate meals for fun and relaxation?

    For fun and relaxation, I eat awesome, elaborate meals.

  31. What you should’ve suggested, of course, was that you were going to grow your own olives for olive oil.

    Two things that are danged easy to grow are (1) most peppers and (2) basil. This is a good thing. Tomatoes are also easy to grow, but they can be tricky when it comes to fending off pests.

    My brother has gotten into the box/grid gardening business in a big way. There’s something great about walking into your backyard and picking your own salad.

  32. I told you I am the opposite of a green thumb. I can make any plant die, just by looking at it.

  33. My mother that as well. I call it “The Black Thumb.”

    (Yes, yes RACIST!)

  34. Dude, that’s like some sort of super power. Granted, it’s only useful in the superhero context if intelligent and malevolent plants attack, but, until that time, you could make some money out of destroying certain crops. Or offering your “protection” services.

  35. Oh, i’d definitely go the greenhouse route. I ain’t trying to hand-pick through 10 acres of crocuses to get eight ounces of threads.

    As much as i hate to defend Epi’s failures, cilantro’s been giving me a surprising amount of grief too. Just when my Thai basil finally recovered from an early-summer onslaught of bugs and i was ready to make some green curry, the previously-healthy cilantro was like FUCK THIS and lost all its leaves. So disappointing.

  36. Granted, it’s only useful in the superhero context if intelligent and malevolent plants attack

    Dude, Triffids.

  37. The only thing that disappointed me this year was my pimonton. It made two peppers and now just sits there.

  38. For fun and relaxation, I eat awesome, elaborate meals.

    Made this insalata caprese salad with tomatoes and basil from the garden this weekend. Damn tasty.

    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Salad/InsalataCaprese.htm

  39. (stares at NutraSweet)

    Is it working?

  40. The happy combination of tomatoes and basil are almost proof of divine providence in and of themselves.

  41. “The happy combination of tomatoes and basil are almost proof of divine providence in and of themselves.”

    No doubt. Quick question. The recipe called for capers, which I bought. But the jars are so skinny. How is one supposed to get them out? Is there a special capers in a skinny jar removal tool?

  42. Is there a special capers in a skinny jar removal tool?

    Yes, it’s called a fork.

  43. The happy combination of tomatoes and basil are almost proof of divine providence in and of themselves.

    When you add beer and sex to the account, you have the reasons i’m a theist.

  44. If I grow anything it’s going to be marketable to hippies, college students, and olympic gold medalists.

  45. Capers are very nice. You can use a wee little fork or spoon, or just dump them out and take what you want.

  46. Oh, and Insalata Caprese Salad is very nice, too.

  47. Noboby has yet mentioned bacon, so I will do it.

    To paraphrase Ben Franklin, bacon is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

    But I’m not growing my own.

  48. But I’m not growing my own.

    I’m gonna. When i get my Gourmetopia up and running, i’ll need to have pigs around anyway to locate the truffles. Suck at finding truffles? Sorry, pig, but you can still contribute!

  49. Capers. I usually get them out with one of those plunger-type olive grabbers. But then, I am a kitchen gadget freak.

  50. Bacon. I haven’t decided if this will be the fall I make a cold-smoker to make my own bacon. I have an idea of what to make, but I’ll have to see how sick I am all fall.

  51. That’s nothing, Sweet’n’Low. Warty uses the barb on the end of his pencildick. Yet another reason no one ever wants to go to his house.

  52. Unitaskers? I’m not inviting you over the next time Alton shows up to visit.

  53. Unitaskers?

    Bah. It picks up olives, capers, cherries, pickles, and once, in a pinch, a fork I dropped between the counter and the fridge.

  54. I’d respect you if it were one of those little grabby tools, picked up at a hardware store. Tsk, tsk.

  55. “Yes, it’s called a fork.”

    Nope. This jar was skinnier than a fork.

  56. Gunboat Diplomacy,

    Use the other end.

  57. “Oh, and Insalata Caprese Salad is very nice, too.”

    There was a little left over. Tasted even better the next day.

  58. “Use the other end.”

    Brilliant!

    (fires six shots off the starboard bow)

  59. Seattle’s Progressive Board of Architectural Uniformity would never approve of such shenanigans.

  60. Do they have jurisdiction over forks? If so, I’d better warn Episiarch to be careful when liberating capers from jars.

  61. You have to lock your doors or the monkeys will get in and trash the rooms and steal the shiny things

    Man, that is so fucking racist.

  62. Do they have jurisdiction over forks? If so, I’d better warn Episiarch to be careful when liberating capers from jars.

    Bah, it was an idea the Seattle Elite were pushing because they were becoming concerned over how some of the new housing was looking. I’m not sure if it ever came or will come to fruition. As you’d guess, it was supported the by usual progressive suspects who didn’t like how the evil housing designers were building homes– and felt a more ‘democratic’ approach was needed (read: some citizen board of ‘experts’ who would review every design to be submitted by builders getting a permit). And, as one would expect, the irony was completely lost on these advocates of the scheme that Seattle (and other cities like it) get its character from free-thinking creative people who build quirky, interesting designs unfettered by a regulatory board. But of course, now it’s about ‘preserving’ a status-quo to be driven through central planning. We’re unique and quirky, damnit, and you will be too if you want your building permit! Here’s a punch-list of things you will put in your design so that it remains unique and quirky. Please resubmit and await approval. 3 month turnaround. Look how progressive and free we are!

  63. Found it.

    Snippets:

    Seattle’s fortress-style town homes need to go, neighbors say, and Mayor Greg Nickels agrees.

    Under a plan announced Tuesday, city planners would review the design of all new town-home developments. If the City Council approves the change, developers say it would devastate the town-home industry and wipe out a wide swath of affordable homes.

    […]

    The proposed changes come as Seattle continues to struggle with a lack of affordable housing for median-wage earners. The review process now takes six to nine months. The city hopes to shorten the additional wait time to one or two months, which would add some cost to development.

    […]

    Bowing to complaints about ugly buildings invading neighborhoods, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels proposed Tuesday that city planners review all designs for new townhouses.

    […]

    The changes would help future development fit in better with neighborhoods, provide ecological benefits and encourage more affordable housing, Nickels said.

    The proposed townhouse design standards would force builders to provide more windows, wider driveways, entrances that face the street and lower fences along sidewalks.

    Mayor Nickels was defeated in the primary recently. However, with my luck, it’s probably because Seattle residents felt he didn’t go far enough.

    A quote I came up with the other day:

    When marching in the streets to depose a tyrant, the person next to you may be marching because the tyrant didn’t go far enough. –Paul

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