Chicago Hostel

For the second time in two years, I found myself back in the Arlington House hostel on the north side of Chicago in Lincoln Park.

The hostel is in a great neighborhood and offers refuge from the cold Lake Michigan wind, but unfortunately the private rooms and common area have all the character and personality of a Wal-Mart. You check in, you pay, drop off your linen, and you get out. There wasn’t even a couch or TV to be found. The little time that I spent inside however was positive, and the sounds of people speaking German, Danish, French were music to my ears. I even nearly cried when one friendly Japanese guy fresh off the boat bowed to the guy working the front desk. I am in a severe need of other cultures here in Kentucky.

The private room reminded me of the hotel room from Apocalypse Now, minus the ceiling fan turning at 5 RPM. I even laid on the bed staring up just as Martin Sheen did and thought of myself growing softer every day that i spend away from the jungle. All that was missing was an acid trip freak-out where I punch out my mirror.

On the bright side, there are endless ethnic restaurants, noodle shops, and Irish pubs within five minutes walk of the place. And at $63 a night as opposed to $150 for a hotel, I think that I can adjust to the room size.

Being in this hostel brought back memories and reminded me of how much I miss that life. The quickly formed friendships that are doomed to a sad goodbye a few days later. The horny buzz of youth, the unlimited possibilities waiting outside the door in a new city or country. The one hairy European guy that insists on walking around the shared bathroom in the buff, rather than following the unwritten protocol of dropping your towel mid-step as you enter the shower stall.

Even the damn Germans partying in the stairwell until 04:00am the night before my interview…I miss it all!

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One Response to “Chicago Hostel”



  1. You should have seen the hairy German girl in my bathroom!

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