First & J…Fridays on the Block

The former Otis Hotel, located at 110 S Madison in Spokane’s West End, has been vacant since 2007, when the low-income residents who then called the building home were evicted (often in not-so-great circumstances) to make way for a new condo development. Ultimately, that condo development failed in the recession, and ownership passed from investors to banks […]

via Otis Hotel micro-apartments in early-stage development — Spokane Rising

Back in the day this was known as the “Roach House”. I never had the pleasure of seeing the inside of one of the small apartments, but I knew the block well. It was the stomping grounds of a very tall, brown, Tranny, hooker who ruled the space between the Otis doors and the sex shop that was at the other end of the block. What did a 15 year old girl with a skateboard want with a 6 foot transvestite in nettings? She also happened to be a regular LSD merchant. So it was very common to find me looking for her on a Friday night around 1st & J. This was BEFORE cellphones so it was all about knowing who was usually around and where you could buy.

One weekend I was out with a couple of tourists from East Valley (Oooh look at me all goth for the dance club) when I took them down to get some acid, one of them spotted their math teacher coming out of the sex shop. She screamed and waved like he was a rock star. And never had to do another piece of homework ever again in that class (and got all A’s). I’m talking not just porn and videos, this was one of those skeezy shops where you could rent little rooms in the back under the guise of watching movies, but really it was a place to hook up with all the young, male prostitutes that worked the area. I heard he couldn’t even look her in the eye.

It was probably MORE dangerous back then. The Greyhound Station was just down across 1st Street from all that. Lots of criminals and mentally ill folks lived in the Otis. Lots of competitive prostitution and drug deals going on in that area. And certainly no cell phones to call 911, or to Snapchat it! I remember once we were just behind here on 2nd and we had to duck behind a car in a parking lot because there were cops shooting back and forth with another car on 2nd street.

Sigh. And now it will become condos. So some overprivileged twats can move in with their “vintage” Esprit bag and talk about how great the 80’s were and how they wish they too could be 80’s kids.



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