175. The Carlyle Hotel, South Beach
atelier ying, nyc.
This historic Miami Art Deco hotel inspires the design for a post-theatre dinner service for four (here the guests are the original cast of "The Birdcage").
As a camera design it is simple. Camera on the lobby level and the structure's service areas on the upper 2 levels, following the general geometric architectural plan for Miami hotel buildings of this era.
The cast of the film relaxes not only into an imaginative Carlyle Hotel but partakes of an American retro cafeteria–styled worker's meal. The presentation kit would include: black beans and rice, fried plantains with garlic sauce, fried eggs, Guava pastries and café con leche. The enclosure has a grid-work of stilts that transforms it to a serving table for four people (economical portions only, very suitable for the fashion conscious cast of this film).
A unique feature of this camera-cum–diner trolley is that the heating system is an elaborate plastic pipe system mimicking a hotel's service area for the four suites upstairs, except that this heating system runs on cuban cafe and the "room" compartments are holding food. The four food trays fan out to a quasi-spiral formation. The hotel/camera is prepped with heated food and coffee in the central "fireplace"reservoir which has a handle that one can periodically pump to circulate the hot coffee liquid through the rooms. Before the meal is served the heating element is turned on and given the final reheating. A warm to mildly hot temperature is suitable for the tropical Florida climate (this camera is not for New York). Two other minor features are that the brownie-style viewfinder is located at the side "service" entrance to the hotel and that the cable release is hidden in the palm tree. The camera enclosure is located fully in the lobby as opening the front doors uncovers the main lens, otherwise, this is just an analog film camera of typical construction similar to a Kodak Autographic which would be used to take pictures of large numbers of people, like a class or an entire film crew. Plenty of room in this enclosure for a working humidor for strong Cuban cigars, machine-made probably.
Design, text and drawing are copyright 2014 by David Lo.