The Great Escape – Meet Marvin

Hotel Arts
March 31, 2023
In Freestyle Social Club you may find a flamingo who is right where he belongs.

In Phoenix, AZ, on 205 Pacific Parkway, there is a street called Tropics Trail. Now, this isn’t any old street, its neighbours don’t have sedans and mailboxes or parents with early commutes. Instead, they have tropical trees, ponds, and residents of all shapes and sizes.  But, if you continue just a little further down the trail around the arch in the road, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an explosion of colour, and this my friend is where our story begins. 

The zoo had been Marvin’s home for as long as he could remember. But, if he closed his eyes and thought long and hard, he could sometimes remember memories from a place past the divide. Here it was warm with dry winds that ruffled his feathers and winding roads filled with lively conversations, but this was a distant memory and far from his reality. That’s not to say he didn’t enjoy his home at the zoo. He was surrounded by many other feathered friends, with water to splash around in (although it was freezing) and the featherless monkeys who brought him food weren’t too bad either. But, it still didn’t feel like home. 

Although he was surrounded by many others just like him, he didn’t feel like he belonged. As one of many, he felt ordinary. He longed for a place where he would feel extraordinary—he yearned for an adventure. 

While Marvin daydreamed of what lay beyond the zoo walls, his friends splashed in the water and gossiped with the orangutans next door. His musings were interrupted by a spray of cold water. He spotted Lola smirking in the middle of the pond, trying (and failing) to look innocent. Since their first day, they had been inseparable. Lola’s wild attitude juxtaposes with Marvin’s reserved nature, they are so different, yet exactly the same. 

The remainder of the day was spent the same as usual, Lola gossiping and babbling away while the two of them sunbathed, and chatted with their friends. When the sun had set that night, long after the featherless monkeys had left, Marvin pondered his predicament again, and slowly a plan began to form. 


Today was the day, they had practiced and perfected and at last, they were ready. Lola was waiting at her spot by the pond and Marvin was stationed close to the door the featherless monkeys used. The latch flipped as they entered, and they started doing their daily duties, such as portioning out the food and cleaning the pond. Satisfied they began to exit, and that’s when Lola flopped over and started making the horrible sound she’d learned from the elephants. Mid-exit the startled naked monkeys looked up and rushed to Lola’s side until suddenly she returned to splashing in the pond as though nothing had happened. Perplexed the featherless monkeys left, and in their confusion didn’t latch the gate.

Much later once everyone had left the zoo and Marvin’s friends had fallen asleep. Lola and Marvin slipped through the gate and then took to the open skies. They kept their eyes fixed on the North star allowing it to lead them away from Phoenix and to their new adventure. 

They had been flying for a while when they saw it, it was a big grey tower blinking red with a spike pointing towards the sky. This was it. Marvin landed on what looked like soft white padding, dismayed to find it cold and icy beneath him. Now, this just wouldn’t do. Lola kept flying looking for a place to call home while Marvin kept to the ground. He was starting to rethink his plan when a burst of warm air suddenly ushered from an open door. Looking up, he was met by a large building with a sign that read ‘Hotel Arts’. Inside he found food that was much tastier than what the featherless monkeys had ever given him, a huge space to fly around in and a room that reminded him of the ocean. This was it. 


Lola had found a place much like the zoo they once knew, but smaller. She met some new friends and was even starting to become the leader of her little flock. As for Marvin, he was happy. He had a pool that was always warm, a friend called Bob (who although a little dramatic was a great companion) and the featherless monkeys who worked here were the nicest he had ever met. But Marvin was also free, he spent his time doing whatever he chose and even managed many somewhat secret visits to the zoo to see Lola. 

In Calgary, Alberta, on 12th Avenue there is a place called Hotel Arts. It is a hideaway from the cold and an escape from the city. If you continue through the halls you’ll reach Freestyle Social Club where you may find a flamingo who is right where he belongs.