A life-long New Yorker writes in to lament the current state of things at the Chelsea, and in New York. Unlike some of us, however, he believes he's found a silver lining.
Somewhere between the many letters you must recieve from those abroad that are concerned with the current conditions and the uncomfortable chatter of permanent residents you must recieve letters from that "energetic new blood" you speak about. If you haven't, this is one. And it is a concerned one yet a hopeful one.
While I haven't been a resident in my 25 years I have been a lifelong New Yorker (which ironically makes it easier now to play with the outsider aesthetic in this city). I first realized things were going all wrong last month when I stopped in the hotel to have a recorded chat with Mr. Bockris. While waiting for the elevator I couldn't help but hear two guests ask the front desk if there was "any decent food on this block". The elevator door opened. The front desk started calling off names of fancy five star restaurants in midtown. The elevator door closed just in time.
I'm not surprised to hear about what is going on in regards to management. There's a certain sadness in knowing the doors won't be open to new residents and that great change has plagued the air used by the ones already there. Living at the Chelsea is a pontification not a circumstance. Am I wrong to be romantic about this?
I could only hope that this city's gentrification will be a new kind of challenge to the artist and a new kind of work will be produced by the threat. As artists we reserve the right to rewrite things. Well let's rewrite Hem's history and call his era something else. This is the Lost Generation. Unfortunately we're lost in our own backyards. But like any lucky kid we could say we've got the biggest backyard on the block.
Julian Stockdale, New York Poet
Thanks Julian. That's just like BD: they are complete outsiders, out of touch with whats going on in the hotel and the Chelsea neighborhood. Author Victor Bockris by the way, a long-time Chelsea resident is no longer with us. Bockris, a fixture of the Warhol Factory who penned biographies of such counterculture figures as Patti Smith and Lou Reed, is a recent causalty of BDs ongoing campaign to gentrify and homogenize the Chelsea.