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June 07, 2006

 

The Chelsea Hotel: A Grand Dame



The Chelsea Hotel


"Blog It Forward"


What's this all about? Just choose a website/blog (or two or three) that you expecially like and post an article on your own site about why you feel that they are noteworthy. Why do you like them? Why are they given that special place of prominence in your thinking about bloggers? Are they funny? Are they wise? Do they provide you with valuable internet resources? Are they just too "good looking" for people to pass by? Take a little time to let your friends and other people know about them!!!At the same time, you could send a note to the author(s) whose site(s) you enjoy, letting him/her know that you've shared their site with others.It just just might "make their day" to see their name in the spotlight! Remember, by doing this you can help to extend friendly feelings on the internet, and in these times there can never be too much love amongst bloggers here in the cyberworld.

Please read and pass along to your friends my own Blog It Forward of the Day: Living with Legends: The Chelsea Hotel

The Hotel Chelsea

A Rest Stop for Rare Individuals

The Chelsea Hotel is a well-known residence for artists, musicians, and writers in the neighborhood of Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City. The building is located on 23rd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. The hotel welcomes guests, but is primarily known for its long-term residents, past and present. The hotel has always been a center of artistic and bohemian activity and it houses artwork created by many of the artists who have lived or visited here. The hotel was the first building to be listed by New York City as a cultural preservation site and historic building of note.

An excellent history of the building that now houses the Hotel Chelsea describes how it originally was built in 1883 as a private apartment cooperative that opened in 1884. It was the tallest building in New York until 1902. At the time Chelsea, and particularly the street on which the hotel was located, was the center of New York's Theater District. However, within a few years the combination of economic worries and the relocation of the theaters bankrupted the Chelsea cooperative. In 1905, the building was purchased and opened as a hotel. It is perhaps most well known to the public as the hotel where Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols lived and allegedly stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen to death at 11 a.m. on October 12th, 1978.


People who live/have lived at the Hotel Chelsea

The Hotel Chelsea.

The Chelsea Hotel


Writers and Thinkers

Art fills the staircase of the Hotel Chelsea

Art in the Staircase at The Chelsea


During its lifetime, The Chelsea Hotel has served as a cauldren of creative activity. It has provided a home to many great writers and thinkers, including Mark Twain, O. Henry, Dylan Thomas, Arthur C. Clarke, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Leonard Cohen, Arthur Miller, Quentin Crisp, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Brendan Behan, Robert Oppenheimer, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir.

Arthur Miller, the great American playwrite, wrote an absorbing, emotional piece entitled The Chelsea Affect that described life at the hotel during the years he lived there. He had initially moved into the hotel right after his divorce from Marilyn Monroe, hoping to be able to escape from the public eye for awhile. Of course, his privacy was short-lived, but he stayed on for years. During that time, he continued to write (he wrote most of After the Fall there). Miller remarried and began to raise his first child there, later describing how his daughter had her first baths in his small apartment's kitchen sink.

Actors and Film Directors

The hotel has been a home to actors and film directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Miloš Forman, Lillie Langtry, Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Uma Thurman, Jane Fonda and Gaby Hoffmann.

Musicians

Much of Hotel Chelsea's history has been colored by the musicians who have resided there. Some of the most prominent names include Patti Smith, Virgil Thomson, Dee Dee Ramone of The Ramones, Henri Chopin, John Cale, Édith Piaf, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Sid Vicious, Ryan Adams, Jobriath, Rufus Wainwright and Anthony Kiedis. In April 2003 Pete Doherty and Carl Barat of The Libertines recorded the original "Babyshambles" sessions at Hotel Chelsea.

Visual artists

The hotel has featured and collected the work of the many visual artists who have passed through. Brett Whiteley, Christo, Richard Bernstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Robert Crumb, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Vali Myers (artist) and Henri Cartier-Bresson have all spent time at Hotel Chelsea.


A standard room for rent at the Hotel Chelsea

A Room for Rent at The Chelsea


The Warhol "Superstars"

The Chelsea Hotel is often associated with the "Warhol Superstars," because he directed The Chelsea Girls, a film about his Factory regulars and their lives at the hotel. Chelsea residents from the Andy Warhol scene included Viva, Ultra Violet, Holly Woodlawn, Edie Sedgwick, Andrea Feldman, Nico, Paul America, and Brigid Berlin.


Piquant Media Bites

"The building sits on 23rd Street with the air of a great dame who finds herself in the midst of a party of her social inferiors but instead of complaining decides to join right in the fun." --The New York Times


"I stay at the Chelsea because I like the creative atmosphere, the thick walls, the high ceilings, the friendly people. You know, some people think that all sorts of wild things are always happening at the Chelsea, but I find it so peaceful. You can have 150% privacy." --Milos Forman


"The Chelsea has always been a sort of Tower of Babel of creativity and bad behavior. Some of the world's most gifted and most destructive minds have called 222 West 23rd Street home." --The International Herald Tribune


"You meet people from all over the world on this international bohemian circuit, and they say "see you at the Chelsea." It's as if we have a kind of date there."--Jakov Lind


"The Chelsea Hotel may be one of the few civilized places in New York, if we mean by civilized freedom of the spirit, tolerance of differences, creativity, and art."--Richard R. Lingeman, The New York Times Book Review


"Everybody knows about it. Everybody knows it's a different kind of place, from the moment they walk in the door. The lobby looks like an art galley or museum. You have the feeling that there's something different from this hotel--you don't even have the feeling of a hotel, more that you're walking into a place that is history."--Stanley Bard


"Jake Baker could have lived at any hotel. He lived in the Chelsea. He liked it; in fact, he loved the Chelsea. He used to sit in the lobby and watch people coming in and out."--James T. Ferrell


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