Ma said when she was a girl the place had red carpets and a polar bear that stood by the front desk. She said her daddy would take her there on her birthday. They would dine in the fancy restaurant on Lobster Newberg and feel like a couple of swells.
No more. It was a ruin now. Broken gutters, black mold. Windblown garbage caught between the spikes of the rusty iron fence that surrounded the hulking ruin straddling the bluff, its armless marble angels on parapets staring down into the city with soot-streaked faces like the ghosts of murdered prostitutes.