My last night in Paris (i.e., Tuesday) was spent at the tolerably seedy Hotel Bonsejour (11 rue Burq in Montmartre). Built sometime around 1900, it’s for kids and cheapskates like me. It has decent wifi, electrical outlets galore, breakfast in the morning, a dinky little shower stall, fresh-smelling sheets, toilet down the hall — a bit of a dump. But it’s the Ritz compared to the Hotel Bowery Grand (143 Bowery, five blocks south of Houston), where I crashed last night for $90 bills. It’s one thing to offer a cheap place to stay, but the Asian-American owner of this shithole adds a few insulting twists to rub your nose in the fact that you’re staying at the dinkiest little flophouse in Manhattan. A room so small (roughly 48″ x 90″) you have to side-shuffle to move around the single bed. (There’s just enough room to stack your suitcases.) Decent wifi, yes, but not a chair in the entire joint. Electrical outlets in the room but none in the lobby. It’s clean — I’ll give it that. But thumbs down on this offensively spartan establishment and an affectionate nod to the Hotel Bonsejour, which at least has a touch of old-world charm and the aroma of good coffee. And chairs.
Taken from window of my room at Hotel Bonsejour (rue Durantin and rue Burq):