The Herald Square Hotel is in midtown Manhattan, convenient to, well, pretty much everything in midtown. It’s a hotel – a sort of budget hotel, but unlike the Carlton Arms, it caters primarily to grown-ups, and unlike the Liberty Inn, most of the grown-ups to whom it caters aren’t there primarily to fuck.
When you arrive at the Herald Square Hotel, it’s often bustling with tourists checking in or out. The people behind the desk are clearly accustomed to hourly guests – once you announce your intention, the desk attendant, after confirming in the computer that a room is available, calls a hotel worker on the walkie-talkie and asks them to prepare a room for “SS,” or, I assume, “Short Stay.” Or “Sex Stay.” Or “Slutty Slut.”
A few moments after the call is made on the walkie-talkie, a maintenance worker arrives to collect a key to the room from the front desk. He then goes to the room while you wait, awkwardly, in the lobby. Whereas at the Liberty Inn, sex is celebrated – you wait for your room with pride (“We’re about to have crazy sex!”), here, you have the much more familiar sensation of slight shame as you wait (“Shh. Don’t look. We’re about to have sex.”).
A few minutes later, he’s back. He hands you an old-school plastic key – a sort of thick vinyl-y plastic key with holes punched in a code in it. You’re told your room number, and you proceed. You get to the room to find an otherwise budget New York hotel room, prepared for the likes of you. If there’s a clock radio, it’s been unplugged. Bed coverings have been removed from the bed, and placed in a closet. There’s nothing in the room that can be removed, no amenities save a profusion of slightly fancier towels and soaps than feels… appropriate.
When you leave, you simply hand back your plastic key under the window, and you’re gone, into the bustle of midtown.
Where both the Liberty Inn and the Carlton Arms retain the possibility of sexy, because, well, because they have character, it’s hard to feel anything other than dirty after fucking here, no matter how long you shower.