A reliable source has indicated that Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister who is now the part-time Special Middle East Envoy of the Quartet, is moving his office out of the legendary American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem.
Blair’s presence — and its overbearing security requirements — has contributed to ruining the American Colony Hotel’s former unique atmosphere as the meeting place for Palestinian political and economic notables with international visitors and the occasional Israeli official.
The American Colony — now a five-star establishment, one of the Leading Hotels in the World, run by Swiss hotel management — is also now too expensive for most Palestinians, who have moved en masse up the road and up the hill to the Ambassador Hotel, where le-tout-jerusalem-est can now be seen doing business throughout the day and evening [nobody stays up late in East Jerusalem, where there is no night life, but insomniacs].
[The American Colony has managed to fill the void by receiving the Shabbat weekend business of nouveau riche Israeli businessmen and their highly made-up fertility goddess wives in skin tight clothes, who feel safe enough there despite the titillatingly exotic location, and who do enjoy the buffets. The late-Ottoman-era central courtyard with bubbling fountain and lemon trees, and the summer garden with tall palm trees and a grassy lawn remain popular places to sit and relax, despite the change in clientele.]
Now that Blair has ruined the American Colony, he’s following the Palestinian notables up the road and up the hill to a new building, constructed by a member of the Nashashibi family, just below the Ambassador Hotel on Nablus Road.
There goes the neighborhood.