Rochester via Rochester

Notes from the Other Road


Hold the phones, we have a loser, we have a winner.  A rant and a rave.


After three splendid days in Rochester, Michigan strolling the picturesque Main St., perfect weather, rippling creeks, great hotel, a couple of memorable meals and a stand-up show… we boarded the plane and were whisked off to Rochester, N.Y. then deposited in front of a construction zone.  Hooray, the hotel is being renovated….a work in progress.  The lobby is make shift and no longer on the ground floor due to the rubble.  The rest of the hotel is being reworked from the top floors down and wouldn’t you know it, our rooms are in the nether region of hades.  The place is so tired and filthy you don’t want to walk in your room barefooted.  Maybe not even with socks.  I’d suggest shoes or some other prophylactic on your feet.  My carpet, a delightful potpourri of stains and stench.  Perhaps this red blotch is spilled nail polish?  Blood?  This large dark spot by the bed… an old bodily fluid mishap?  Yeah baby and a couple of cigarette burns here and there as well.  This fucking place is so dreadful that it invites a proper 1970s rock and roll trashing, except it’s already comprehensively shit and nobody’d bat an eye.  It’d probably be welcomed as prep work prior to demolition.  Ceiling panels missing, bare bulbs hanging in the hall ways.  Plywood board ramps and temporary 2 X 4 stairways.  An in-op elevator.  While searching for an ice bucket the cabinet door came off its hinges in my hand.  The water dribbling from the shower is brown.  I’ve stared down at clearer water in a public toilet at a racetrack.  What in the goddamn-blue-hell-world is all this?   Apparently, when the hotel was booked it was promised that these renovations would be completed.  They are not… a complete bollocks & balls up.  A wedding reception was taking place here Saturday night and I can only imagine what the bride and groom (not to mention whoever was paying for it) were thinking as they walked into the what can only be described as a hard hat area.  I hope the hotel comped them or at least provided those yellow hats.  This joint should not be open for business while work is going on.  Hands down the worst hotel in the world.


On a sunnier side, several of us had a spectacular dinner at Ristorante Lucano.  An unlikely looking place from the outside tucked in a small strip mall between a Chinese take-away and a barber shop.  We all glanced sideways at each other before stepping through the door and were greeted by the owners then escorted to our table in the bar as every other table in the place was already booked ’til 9 o’clock.  We feasted on pasta with homemade sausage, mushrooms, eggplant and tomatoes.. thick spaghetti tossed with fresh tomato sauce, pancetta, onions and hot pepper… beautifully prepared veal, fish, ossobuco, fresh vegetables, wine and cocktails.  Finished off with Italian coffee, toasted almond cake, 3 chocolate mouse, gelato and profiteroles.  Great food with great friends.  If you find yourself in Rochester, these people aren’t fooling around, get yourself to Ristorante Lucano and don’t be put off by the exterior.  Just be sure to by-pass a certain hotel under renovation.