Read the latest at Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog:
Ask my my five favorite memories of being my dad's son, and I'll give you that week in '91 (or was it '92?) when he took me to New York City and we stayed in the Hotel Chelsea. The Chelsea neighborhood was a different animal back then. I slept in that hotel fully aware of the famous artists who had lived there over the years. Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bukowski and so many other literary icons had walked these halls. I can't say that staying at the Chelsea changed my life, but it definitely helped to strengthen my love for good writers.
I learned that Stanley Bard had a history of letting struggling artists pay their rent with their art when they couldn't come up with the cash. The powerful paintings on the walls in the lobby literally were the difference between room and board and cold on the streets for some tenants. Some of my favorite books, poems, songs and paintings were created in the rooms of that famous 23rd Street address in Manhattan. A part of who I am rests in my deep appreciation for these wonderful artful endeavors.
But now Stanley Bard is no longer running the show. The neighborhood is a very rich one and Stanley hasn't been maximizing profits like he should. It'll be interesting (and maybe very sad) to see how the new management changes things around here. I'm hoping for very subtle differences, but it's possible that they could just gut the whole thing and turn it into condos. Whatever happens, it's likely that the next Dylan Thomas won't be able to afford even a night's stay at 222 W. Chelsea St.
Read Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog.