|The magnificent Peace Hotel with its green pyramid shaped top.|
|The outside is only matched by its glorious interior . . .|
I’m not a political person, but this week we celebrated the eleventh anniversary of September 11th, and I remember that horrible day. And then the American Embassy was overrun in Libya and four people were killed, including our Ambassador in what is now being called a coordinated terrorist attack.
I thought it only fitting to focus on one place, which at least symbolically represents by its very name, what we should all be striving towards: peace.
The Peace Hotel.
Yes, that is its real name.
|This is the entrance on the Nanking Road side.|
But let me explain.
Years ago, there was a movie, a very popular cult classic called Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Reeve, a playwright, an unhappy playwright, takes a break from his writing and decides to stay at the old Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan. One day he spots a photograph of a beautiful woman (Seymour) hanging in an anteroom off the lobby and immediately falls in love with her, only to discover later that she’s an actress from the turn of the century. Undaunted, he tracks down his old college professor who believes time travel is possible. The critical element, Reeve learns, is to find a place that actually existed in the time period you want to return to and then convince your mind that you are in that new time period by surrounding yourself visually with clues from that place in time. Reeve is able to travel in time to Seymour and the story goes on from there.
|This display case captures a bygone era.|
|This is the bar/lounge area where the jazz music is played and where Bob and I sat with Chuck.|
“Just give the Peace Hotel a chance, okay?”
Yes, there are no cats allowed, but I get the feeling with this place, that even if Chuck were spotted, we’d be given a frown and then time to scoop him up and head for the door.
Everything is elegant and old world.
Of course, I’ve filled Chuck in on the history of the place. And although the kid likes being outside, a place like this with all the different smells will hopefully keep him busy for awhile. And, frankly, Bob and I get lost in the atmosphere.
We’re both movie buffs and can easily imagine all the people who sat in this room over the decades--the dresses of the women, the music that played, the dancing, the drinking. It’s almost as if you could close your eyes and then open them and see another time, another place . . .
“Chuck. Where the hell is Chuck?”
From out of nowhere, I realize that Chuck is missing. He has wandered out of the lounge. Followed his sniffing nose . . . somewhere . . . who the hell knows where.
I easily panic when it comes to the kid.
And he is like a kid.
He’ll get totally lost in the moment.
Bob and I leave our delicious drinks behind, rush to the door.
“You go that way. I’ll go this way.” There’s a hallway. He could only have gone one way or the other. “Meet back here.”
We scamper away, and I can feel my heart pounding. I won’t even allow myself to think about the impossibility of trying to find a cat lost in the Peace Hotel. Lost in Shanghai. Lost in China.
I may never see him again.
And what were my last words? Give the Peace Hotel a chance?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Chuck Gives Peace Hotel a Chance to be posted on Sunday, September 23, 2012.