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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mr. Savage Goes to (Eastern) Washington

posted by on November 8 at 5:25 AM


Over the weekend, Dan Savage got on a plane and checked into the Spokane hotel where fallen Republican lawmaker Richard Curtis stayed two weekends ago. Richard Curtis? Maybe this will jog your memory: nylon rope, $1,000-dollar bareback sex, women’s lingerie, an alleged gay prostitute, doctor’s toys, money left under a flower pot on the Washington Street Bridge—but anyway! The hotel. What’s the hotel like?

The lobby, my God, the lobby.

“Everlasting Love,” an early disco hit, is booming over the sound system. The walls and floors of the L-shaped room are covered in beige and tan marble. Faux-Victorian chandeliers dangle from the ceiling. Huge bronze elephant heads with gleaming brass tusks top every column, stained-glass panels with giraffe motifs enclose the bar area, and overstuffed chairs and banquettes are upholstered in black-and-tan leopard-print velvet. It looks like all the furniture has been upholstered with Siegfried and Roy’s old thongs.

There’s some trouble getting the room I requested—968. When I made the reservation yesterday, I was told that my room request was no problem. But today, the room is “off-line,” the receptionist informs me. A pair of stained-glass tigers stares down at me from the wall behind her. The receptionist is blond and perky, and she doesn’t seem to suspect anything. She sets about trying to get the room back online for me and invites me to have a drink in the hotel bar—where the waiter is wearing a zebra-striped apron—while she works on the problem. When I return to the reception desk 15 minutes later, a noticeably cooler receptionist informs me that the room I wanted will be off-line for the “duration of my stay,” which is only one night…

What Mr. Savage discovers about Mr. Curtis hasn’t been written about anywhere else. Continue reading it here.

ALSO IN THIS WEEK’S PRINT EDITION: Charles Mudede on what the Central District has to do with Proust (the author of a book Mudede mentions in town this week); Erica C. Barnett on what could make the Metro system a whole lot better; an interview with Dave Eggers and John Roderick; a bunch of intrepid reporting about happy hours (including the best first sentence Lindy West has ever written: “When I’m at a bar in the early evening, I generally have three things on my mind: gin, fried foods, and flirting with bartenders (also, I will accept nachos)”; and Dear Science on whether there’s a scientific way to tell if your girlfriend’s faking her orgasms.

Plus loads of other stuff.

Good morning!

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Dan Savage:

"Curtis's heterosexuality—if he is heterosexual—doesn't excuse his antigay voting record, of course. If anything, his willingness to vote against gay people while indulging in inarguably gay sex acts—whatever was going on in his head—is less defensible in light of his potential autogynephilia. Even if Curtis's attraction to men was a kink, a means by which he was able to indulge his fantasies about being a woman himself, having sex with men should have sensitized him to the issues faced by men who are capable of loving other men, not just using them.

"But it casts Curtis's actions, and his early statements, in a different light. It certainly explains the cross-dressing, which is out of character for a gay man. It also might explain why Curtis didn't go to the nearby gay bar, opting instead for a far-off adult bookstore patronized by straight and "straight" guys. Yes, Curtis is a victim of the very homophobia that his votes worked to sustain, but he was not, as Murray says, one of the jerks."

Posted by chicagogaydude | November 8, 2007 4:59 AM

Just sayin' it's 4:58 am now and your post is dated 5:25 am, so go ahead and give yourself credit for that extra early start on the day (or did the paper just get to bed extra late?).

Posted by clock check | November 8, 2007 5:01 AM

When the prostitute did the porn "Damon Blows America #3" did he get paid $1000.00 to do that? I mean that movie is produced by a studio that does nearly ALL Bareback videos.

Just wondering.

Posted by Just Me | November 8, 2007 6:20 AM

"As for Worthy's lauded sense of taste, well, it appears to have been fatally struck by an automobile as it attempted to cross the street."

Now THAT was funny. Very Parker-esque. Thanks for starting my day with a good laugh.

I've been meaning to go over to Spokane and check out the Davenport for quite a while now. Thanks for clarifying the difference between the real hotel and "the tower"

Posted by catalina vel-duray | November 8, 2007 6:33 AM

The not-gay theory is kind of, you know, Byzantine, isn't it?

Also, does everybody have to start calling him Mr. Savage now?

Posted by elenchos | November 8, 2007 7:36 AM

A few things:

The Davenport: Awesome
The Davenport Tower: Ugly box with tacky interior

Irv's and The Merc are also gay bars in Spokane and they're not nearly as depressing as Demsey's.

Posted by gillsans | November 8, 2007 8:31 AM

use Abe Twist more...

Posted by come again | November 8, 2007 8:50 AM

The Davenport also has a nice restaurant -- not quite as nice as it thinks it is, but in the old-school hotel style. You could take your grandmother there, but you'd also get a decent meal -- something that's pretty difficult in Spokane above the diner level (I love diners, but they don't encompass my world).

Posted by Fnarf | November 8, 2007 9:56 AM

catalina: The Fox theater is re-opening soon. It should be sweet. You can make it part of your Spokane architectural tour. Maybe Mudede will be willing to guide...

Posted by gillsans | November 8, 2007 9:58 AM

"River Park Square seems to have removed what little foot traffic there was in downtown Spokane from the streets. I pass a dozen or more shuttered storefronts on my way to the mall."


Posted by chermo | November 8, 2007 11:21 AM

Could have been readable story by Savage had he done any original reporting, not merely show up late at the crime scene...The whole piece is just rehash from other newspapers.

Posted by Bet | November 8, 2007 2:55 PM

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