The First Guests

*Note: This illustration will eventually change, I just wanted something there to stop stalling me.

Our first guests were kind of interesting. I think we started renting the place out in January of 2017, and before pandemic times, there was not a lot of action in the winter. Most of the inquiries we were getting were people trying to haggle on price. My landlord seemed to take great offense to this. “The price is the price. I don’t go to a hotel and ask for a different price”. ‘oh, you’d probably be surprised’, I thought, but nonetheless said nothing and turned down the cheapskates.

Then we got a request from this couple. The woman wrote to me and said that she and her husband live about six blocks away and were Air BNB hosts themselves. Their place was being booked for a photoshoot and they just needed a place to hang out during the day and get some work done because during the day there would be photographers and models at their house all day, and it was far too much for them to deal with. She made a point to tell me that they would “not even use the bed”, and planned to sleep at their own place once the crew cleared out of theirs. She included a link to their place, which was listed on Air BNB. Clearly they were trying to cater to photographers and people renting as an event space, because their place looked kind of like a Victorian doll house. They had an unusual last name, which they had worked into the “name” of their place, and that word was everywhere in their place. On the wall, on their drinking glasses, painted on the side of their building to identify it. It made me wonder if that was really their last name, or if they just legally changed theirs to fit into their whole schtick.

The whole inquiry really just came across to me as them bragging about their place and how cool they were to get to host photoshoots at their place. (Later Ziggy and I would get requests like that for this place too, and he would immediately text me and say “Turn that down. Our place is NOT for commercial use. Can you imagine a bunch of people in the courtyard with extension cables and a buffet table ambling around? Hell NO!”)

But anyway, I didn’t care. I was anxious to start making some extra money and saw it as an opportunity for both good feedback, and if they were constantly being misplaced, perhaps they could be regulars at our place. Plus they weren’t even going to use the bed! I remember having an internal struggle after they left as to whether or not that meant I needed to strip the bed and wash it anyway. (The answer is Yes), but it also made me think that in their minds, the answer is no. I told her they would be our first guests and to let me know if there was anything we need to improve on.

I didn’t see them arrive or anything, because I was at work. But later that night I got a text from them saying that the internet was down. At the time, our router was located in a locked boiler room, which is only accessible from the Air BNB apartment. I had to go down there with the key to reset it…

This was at approximately 11pm. I went downstairs and knocked on the door. The guy comes to the door wearing a smoking jacket, like he is Hugh Hefner or something. He brings me inside and the first thing I notice is an overwhelming smell of sweet, floral, extremely feminine perfume. She is sitting on the couch in a little baby doll robe festooned with feathers all around the trim. She had brought candles and a couple of them were lit. They were totally nice, but we didn’t have a conversation really. I just went into the boiler room, reset the router and left. I felt somewhat uncomfortable, beings as it appeared they were reenacting some kind of boudoir fantasy or something.

They were gone the next day or so (They must have stayed for two, because we have a two night minimum). The bed did look untouched, but who knows? If I recall, they left very little garbage or anything telling behind.

They were super nice with the review, and made it seem like a great spot. In their private feedback to me, she got a little more in depth (given, in a nice way). Complaints were that the front door has a window on it that she felt should have some kind of privacy covering. (even though to see in the window you have to go down the stairs and a motion sensor light will come on). Then she said they smelled pee, and thought that the cats in the “garden” outside the window (which is actually just someone’s backyard, but I liked that she made it sound fancy by identifying it as a garden) were spraying.

Okay, reasonable criticism. The part that cracked me up though, was this: ” We wished we had known that there was no oven in the unit. We bought an expensive rack of lamb to prepare and were completely unable to do so”

I mean….who DOES that? For starters, the listing just says there are two burners, but I have since updated to make sure it specifically mentions no oven. But who in their right mind buys a rack of lamb to bring to a small efficiency apartment rented on Air BNB sight unseen? Especially when they live literally six blocks away and could have seen what they have to work with first? I didn’t feel particularly bad about spoiling their lamb dinner because they could just refrigerate it and cook it when they got home. And surely with all of their fame and notoriety for having such a magical space that they are constantly renting out, they could afford to just order pizza. Or lobster or something. I also had SERIOUS doubts that they were even telling the truth. But then again, they were so over the top I would also not be surprised at all if they really did bring over a rack of lamb for some grand feast that they were going to prepare.

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