Artie has a new banner to celebrate the news! We've all heard that Marlene Krauss has handed BD their walking papers. Check back for more details as they become available. Read the posts from earlier this week to catch up on what you've missed.
We’ve heard from multiple sources that today is Director of Operations Glennon Travis’s last day at the Chelsea Hotel.(And if it’s not today, then it’s reportedly coming up soon.) Our only question is, what took so long?In his brief tenure here at the hotel, Glennon has managed to alienate nearly everyone he has come into contact with: residents sane and otherwise, guests, employees, union reps, reporters, you name it.His habitually obnoxious and abusive rejoinders to anything from mere pleasantries to valid questions by concerned residents, have led us to speculate on this blog that BD Hotels may be using him as a kind of one-man harassment crew to drive out the rent-stabilized tenants and union employees.In that respect we can see how he might be a useful employee, and if that was BDs intent, I’m sure they’ll keep him on the payroll at one of their other properties.
Glennon himself, however, doesn’t seem to be fully cognizant of this adverse effect he has on people (or perhaps he just can’t help himself), and in that sense he is truly pitiful.Our advice to him is to seek counseling, and for God’s sake to find a job where he doesn’t have to interact with people on a routine basis.
How will this gaping void be filled?(Okay, two questions.)And is this just the beginning of the end for BD?(Three questions!)As annoying as he is, let’s not forget that Glennon is merely the sacrificial lamb.BD bigwigs Born and Drukier (and of course General Manager David Bernstein—who you damn sure don’t see around here much) have been setting Glennon up as the fall guy all along, because once they saw the public outcry and media firestorm that resulted from their slimy takeover of the iconic Chelsea, they knew that nothing good was likely to come of the deal.
But rest assured, no one is fooled, least of all board member Marlene Krauss.BD has screwed this place up from the perspective of residents and shareholders alike, and we expect further heads to roll.
As for Glennon, if you’re in the lobby tomorrow (or his reportedly soon-to-come last day) and see him heading out the door with a cardboard box, be sure to snap a picture.We’d love to put it up on the blog. -- Ed Hamilton
Uh-oh Spaghetti-Os Glennon!Marlene Krauss, Harvard MBA, was here at the Chelsea Hotel AGAIN yesterday.Dear God, how this must be interfering with her career as an MD, Master of the Universe and bad ass corporate raider!Additionally, her $4.5 million home on the Upper East Side continues to sit unsold on the market.It's a good bet that she doesn't appreciate this extra aggravation.Ah, well, perhaps there's a silver lining.Luckily for you, even though you and BD management were quite rude and never introduced yourselves to tenants after you were foisted upon us by the minority shareholders, we're going to turn the other cheek and be helpful to you.And, so we're offering you, free-of-charge, our valuable transition counseling services.Today, we're actually going to save you the time and expense of hiring a service to rewrite your resume. But be forewarned, Glennon, truthful resumes are the way to go.You don't want to get caught making stuff up by your future employer.
Brooklyn, New York(and everywhere really; I'm a citizen of the world)
Objective: -To obtain a position where I can sit around at my desk and play Tetris and look at Internet porn
-OPD (Obnoxious Personality Disorder) Also sometimes known as assholeism.
-Ability to alienate absolutely anyone from tenants to employees and from Board Members to Union Reps
-Ability to set up an extremely embarrassing myspace page (though not willing to learn how to take one down) -Refined Sense of Smell -- can sniff out marijuana fumes even when they're mostly imaginary
-Other Skills: Narc, Snitch, Rat, Squealer, Paranoid alarmist
-Double major in chillin' and kickin' it, dawg!
-Never graduated from hotel school, but obviously that's not relevant since I was able to land a job managing a large Manhattan hotel anyway
-Bumming around on the beach in St. Louis while listening to Reggae and drinking wine
-Hip Hotel Junky
Experience: âDirector of Operationsâ (Manager, to you, bitch) Chelsea Hotel July 2007 â Present -Lead initiative to clean hallways of bad art and useful furniture
-Slashed room rates while miraculously keeping occupancy rates low -Contributed to the destruction of the infrastructure by booking large corporate events that clogged the halls and broke the elevators
-Proposed renaming the hotel as "Bohemian Gardens" to avoid confusion with famous art hotel of the past
-Supervised purchase of maid's carts that won't fit in the service elevator, as well as trash bins that are too small
-Oversaw the knocking-down of dust from inaccessible ledges and pipes
-Imposed and enforced many important regulations designed to restrict lifestyles of irresponsible Bohemians who have really gotten away with too much already
-Oversaw introduction of numerous errors on the new corporate website
-Developed new "Tombstone" business cards
-Outfitted doormen in Beefeater-style uniforms
Prior Experience: Freedom Fry Chef at McDonalds Barrister at Starbucks
Glennon Travis, we hardly knew ye.And it’s a shame too, but certainly the fact that board member Marlene Krauss, Harvard MBA, feels she has to come to the Chelsea Hotel to micromanage its operations, does not bode well for your job security.Still, we have our memories, and what fond memories they are:
1.First Impressions: When Gennon was first named “Director of Operations” in late July of last year, essentially taking over Stanley Bard’s role as day-to-day manager of the hotel, it produced in residents an odd sort of cognitive dissonance.How could this callow youth, without even a degree in hotel management--and seemingly without the sense God gave an ass-- be expected to run the famous Chelsea Hotel?(Turns out he wasn’t able to run the place, but that’s another story.)For many residents, it still has yet to register that Glennon is the one in charge.
2. Tampering with the U.S. Mail: not long after Glennon arrived, all the residents received a notice in their mail box, stating: "To prevent any confusion please be advised that BD Hotels is no longer the managing agent of the Chelsea Hotel.All inquiries should be directed to David Elder, Office of the Manager." A hoax, obviously, though how prescient it may yet prove!Anyway, when I opened mine in front of Glennon, he snatched the letter out of my hand and threw it in the trash, as he did with the rest of the notices that had been delivered to residents boxes, blithely unconcerned that such actions may constitute a federal offense.This is the kind of thing that we’ve all grown to love about Glennon: he doesn’t think; he merely acts.
3. Anti-Child policy: Not long after that Glennon made up a little white lie about a child in the building cursing a maid, which enabled him to decree, seemingly by fiat, that children (and pets) were no longer permitted to roam unattended in the common areas of the hotel.The children laughed and did as they pleased.At about the same time Glennon also imposed draconian restrictions on the items residents could place in the hallways—though he made seemingly random exceptions.His latest edict is that residents must request all repairs in writing.
4. Glennon’s MySpace Page: extensive research enabled us to uncover a top-secret document that was to prove highly embarrassing to Glennon.On the page—which anybody with a computer could accesss— the ever-professional Glennon, a self-described Eurotrash beach bum, revealed that he loves Reggae and wine, and aspires to be a hip hotel junky.
6.Thanksgiving Turkey: Around Thanksgiving Chris Shott’s article in the Observer—normally a very conservative and pro-development paper—appeared, in which he called Glennon “Bizarro Bard” and “Baby Dictator.”Shott also pointed out that Glennon treats permanent residents worse than transients—though we disputed this, since we have received numerous reports form transient guests saying that he has treated them poorly as well.
7.Holiday Cheer: Last December Glennon put his name on the holiday gift list—along with the regular staff—seemingly in order to jokingly extort money from residents in his inimitably endearing way.(If you haven’t been able to get any repairs done since, then by God, you know why!)
9. Bizarre Threats: Glennon recently threatened to have a very well-respected resident arrested simply for asking questions and voicing concerns about the operation of the hotel.
10. Trashing the Old Guard: At various times, Glennon has falsely accused loyal, longterm employees of, respectively: theft, drinking on the job, and drug dealing.
But don’t let us have all the fun.Share your own treasured memories of our beloved Glennon, before he is snatched away from us in the same way that Born and Drukier’s senses must have been snatched away from them on the day they thought to appoint Glennon to such a position of responsibility. -- Ed Hamilton
We heard it through the grapevine that the Chelsea Hotel has a new policy now: for any sort of repair to be done on your room you must notify Glennon Travis in writing of the problem.What we want to know is does this include when your toilet overflows or when you have a leaky faucet?The whole thing seems ridiculous.They just want to make it harder for people to get repairs done therefore leading to further deterioration of everything in the building. Don’t be surprised if when you submit your request in writing they "accidentally" get lost. What you’re probably going to have to do is send them to him via certified mail.But how about this instead, just dial 311 if you can’t get a repair.(Not for your toilet or for your leaky faucet.We hope to God it hasn’t come to that yet.)
An aggrieved hipster writes: "Hi, Actually, "the Chelsea" is not based on the Chelsea Hotel in NYC. The name comes from the fact that the hotel is located on Chelsea Avenue in the "Chelsea" district of Atlantic City and in no part trying to be confused with or compared to the Chelsea Hotel. Just because something is named Chelsea doesn't mean it has or wants anything to do with your hotel. It is a beach hotel and that is what it is striving for." Great, maybe Glennon Travis can get a job there afterall he's a Eurotrash Beach Bum himself.
If you happened to notice that the Chelsea Hotel did not have any water Saturday morning here's the reason. The overhead sprinklers in No Stars Lounge erupted and flooded the basement. The water had to be shut off throughout the building to turn off the sprinklers.
Actually, that would be an over-reaction, given that no one could possibly take this hair-brained venture seriously.In a bold postmodern gesture, “the Chelsea” has actually been cobbled together out of a Howard Johnson and an adjacent Holiday Inn, and the resultant Frankensteinian structure incorporates the worst features of both and ends up looking like a suburban parking garage with a housing project on bolted on top.I know hipsters have a reputation as airheads, but are any of them really so stupid that they are going to confuse this piece of crap with the Chelsea Hotel?
So, on second thought, maybe we can just stomp some chewing gum into their carpet—or rub a wad in poster boy Paul Sevigny’s hair.
Actually, this new rip-off hotel is instructive, because the developers are making the same mistake as BD Hotels: confusing the timeless cool of the Chelsea Hotel, with it’s unique Bohemian vibe of acceptance and creativity , with the ephemeral “cool” of people who dress in the latest fashions and have to be seen drinking at the hottest new club.These people hate the very idea of the Chelsea because it means being an individual rather than a mindless clone.It’s the exact same difference as that which exists between one of these prefab glass towers and a building designed by an architect with a soul who took care to produce a beautiful, livable structure. -- Ed Hamilton
Hey BD, want to know how to sucessfully manage the Chelsea Hotel? Listen to the man who was able to manage the hotel for 50 years. (Video interview with Stanley Bard originally shown at the Museum of the City of New York 4/4/08)
I went uptown to Bruce Levingston’s piano recital, “Points of Departure,” at Carnegie Hall the other night, and, as usual, he put on a great show.Though I was all the way back in the last row, and hence Bruce was but a tiny speck on the distant stage the acoustics were wonderful.Several of our Chelsea Hotel friends showed up, and I didn’t notice any of them leaving early, so they must have had a good time as well.(Out of delicacy, I’ll refrain from naming them, as certain of them may have been involved in romantic trysts and/or political intrigues of a highly clandestine nature.)
Anyway, the first piece, and the one I liked best, was “Fur Alina” by the composer Arvo Part.Minimal and straightforward, tinkling like fairy bells in the moonlight, Levingston played the piece with an amazingly delicate touch: this is the music of childhood, simple, redolent of nostalgia.Levingston showed a quiet confidence in his own abilities and emotions, and was willing to bare them for us all, assured of their universality.I fell under his spell.
The Scarlatti piece Levingston played next was a perfect complement to the Part (and one could see how it had been an influence on the later composer): also delicate, but more upbeat, it set the stage for what was to come.The Rihm piece, the New York premiere of his “Brahmsliebewaltzer,” began sweetly and then became more strident: a walk by the seashore morphing into a journey of discovery.
The next piece was the world premiere of a tour de force called “Departures and Arrivals” by Sebastian Currier.Undoubtedly the highlight of the evening (together with the Part selection), Levingston said he had asked Currier to write him a short piece, and the guy just basically went totally overboard and wrote this long six part work.Nevertheless, Levingston heroically rose to the occasion.And I mean that almost literally, for I found the piece highly agitating and somewhat creepy, composed as it was of alternating movements of disquieting jingling followed by abrupt, jarring cords.I kept thinking of a slasher film, where long stretches of suspenseful foreboding are suddenly punctuated by a moment of extreme violence: the music set me on pins and needles, only to pounce--and sink the knife in the jugular!I disliked this piece at first, but toward the end I was forced to accord it a sort of grudging respect, especially after the fourth movement, “a transformation,” which, although by far the heaviest and most sinister, tied the whole thing together, justifying the emotional upheaval it had (seemingly senselessly) wrought upon the listener, and propelling it to it’s surprisingly sweet and ultimately restorative conclusion.
Well, how do you follow that?Despite the break that intervened, I was so emotionally drained by the Currier piece that I must admit I didn’t have much left for the next selection, the world premier of Charles Wuorinen’s “Heart Shadow.”The piece was a little too complex for me, throwing in as it did everything but the kitchen sink (even the theme from Goldfinger!), and I never could quite get a handle on it.There was certainly nothing objectionable about it, and Levingston played the selection expertly, but it’s something I would have to listen to a few times to really appreciate.
The concert closed with a couple of more reassuring pieces by Debussy and Liszt, which Levingston played to perfection.
In addition to his virtuoso piano skills, Levingston is a fine speaker, composed and welcoming, and demonstrating an infectious intellectual engagement with the music.I liked how he put the various composers and their works into context with each other.He’s obviously dedicated to the close study of what he’s doing as well as the technique, which is quite helpful for me in understanding where he’s going with the music.The program for the evening also contained useful notes, penned by Bruce himself, on each of the composers.
Alas, I must admit I was a bit remiss and didn’t stick around after the show to fully gauge the crowd’s reaction—they did give Levingston a standing ovation, however, if that’s any indication. -- Ed Hamilton
We went to Johnny’s birthday party on Sunday.In case you don’t know, Johnny is a huge black Newfoundland —11 years old, which I’m told is quite elderly for this breed.When she deigned to drag herself out from under her table, Johnny chowed down on hamburgers, hotdogs, dog biscuits, and treats of all manner—many of which were given to her (Johnny is a female) as gifts—and gnawed on a brand new stuffed beaver and rabbit.And then of course there was her birthday cake: a cheesecake, of which she had two large slices, the second of which was given to her so we could photograph the event.Alas, Johnny scarfed it down before I could even snap the picture. (At a previous party Johnny had stolen a wheel of blue cheese from the table and ingested it, so they knew she would like the cheese cake—though of course she upchucked the blue cheese later, as Willem’s estranged (he says “strange”) wife assured us would occur later on in the day with the cake as well.Too bad we had to leave, or else we would have certainly photographed that as well.)
Among Johnny’s dog friends, a pair of skinny wiener dogs showed up— in addition to Rex the Wonder dog, a wooden lawn ornament on a metal pole, which Willem’s welder friends--who have been working on Willem’s boat, and who were reportedly on their best behavior since Willem owed them money--had drug into the city from a lawn in New Jersey.Willem’s boat, by the way, which he’s been working on for ten years, is coming along nicely, and should be finished sometime before he goes to meet his reward.Willem says it will be his last boat on this plane of existence and so he’s determined to do it up right.He has painted it bright yellow and christened it the “Sea-Banana.”
“Everybody is always telling me about these blogs,” one of the welders—perhaps getting a bit tipsy despite his desire to collect his money--said to me at one point, “but I never have been able to figure out what the hell they’re talking about.”
I explained what a blog was: “It’s a web-log,” I said, “You know, kind of like a ship’s log where you have an entry each day, or like on Star Trek when Captain Kirk says, ‘Star Log 2352,’ or whatever year it is.”I figured the nautical metaphor would appeal to the seafaring man, and he seemed satisfied, but then he asked me again later in the afternoon, almost the exact same question.So maybe it was the beer, or perhaps the farout reference to Captain Kirk.
Anyway, to get back to Johnny’s friend’s, the daschunds refused to play with Johnny—hiding between their keeper’s legs when she came out to greet them, but then started barking when they saw that Johnny got hamburgers and hotdogs when they didn’t--and then to top it off, cheesecake!Boy, that really burned them up.
Willem was grilling Hamburgers out on his balcony and throughout the party the smoke drifted back through the apartment and into the hallways of the hotel, finally prompting the staff to send a maintenance man in search of the cause.Then right after that we heard fire trucks out on 23rd street and went out on the balcony to see if they were coming to the hotel to put out the grill. While we were out there, a lady (whose name I don’t remember) told us about the last time she came to a party at Willem’s.She said that somebody had lit the drapes on fire, and that, as the room filled with smoke, the guests stampeded for the exit.Johnny, of course, had no idea what was going on, and so just lay there under the table as usual, but her husband came and got the dog and led her to safety.“Oh my God, are these idiots just going to let the place burn down?” the lady said to herself, and so she jerked the drapes down and threw them out onto the balcony where she was able to stamp out the flames.She then went back and sat down on the couch and when the firemen came she said, “See for yourself, I already put it out.”Later she told her husband, “Thanks for putting the dog’s safety ahead of mine.” Nothing like that happened this time, however: the fire trucks sped by the hotel and went on down the block, stopping in front of the theatre—no doubt summoned in response to an epidemic outbreak of vomiting induced by the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
Talk about vomiting, in addition to a bag of healthy dog treats—which Johnny devoured indiscriminately, but which the wiener dogs turned their noses up at (I don’t blame them when there was actual meat to be had!)--we contributed a bag of French “Bio-Chips”—which sound like they’ve been reconstituted out of compost or something—which were left by Fabio and Claire, tourists from France who contacted us after they had seen Legends, to thank us for showing them around the hotel.(Just kidding, Claire and Fabio, thanks for the treats!)Who says web-logging doesn’t have its rewards? -- Ed Hamilton
The HPD building inspector paid another visit to Michele Zalopany’s leaking, mold-spotted apartment last week.He was less than pleased to learn that the A & B Level violations he had previously cited had been ignored.However, upon closer inspection, he discovered another C-level violation in her apartment.Now BD will have to replace Michele’s entire living room floor!
We know that Michele’s living situation is all-too-typical around the Chelsea Hotel.In particular, we’ve been in a number of apartments with rotting floor boards and broken floor tiles.But hey, HPD is being responsive to our problems.Call 311 now and get yourself a new floor.
Check out this new "do not disturb" sign spotted hanging on a door on our floor. It replaces those quirky ones we had before which said we were all busy working on our masterpieces. In BD's new world order there will not be any masterpieces created at this place.
Though BD has just received the rubber stamp from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for an unnecessary hotel at 145 Perry Street, one that would totally alter the character of that quiet neighborhood, the changing real estate climate will hopefully lead the banks to reconsider and tell Born and Drukier to go take a flying leap from the top of the Pod Hotel.
BD also needs a loan in order to gut renovate the Chelsea, or whatever the hell it is they plan to do to us, and now it's not looking so good for them in that respect. As Stanley Bard said in his recent Video statement at the Museum of the City of New York , "We're not always going to be in this bubble. We're not always going to be in this economic boom, hotel wise." Well, it looks like his words are coming true already. BD needs to figure out who their clientele is (hint: adventurous artistic types who want a unique New York experience) if they want to last for long at the Chelsea. -- Ed Hamilton
Herbert Gentry’s retrospective exhibition, entitled “The Man, The Master, The Magic” celebrating over forty years of work will close on April 12th, 2008. G. R. N'Namdi Gallery is located at 526 West 26th Street, #316.
"The paintings and drawings in this retrospective exhibition vary in size and range from 1964 until 2003. Gentry’s formation as a painter should be considered in light of the passion he brought to his identity as a painter, “A painter paints, a fighter fights, a writer writes,” he would say. Gentry painted his world on canvas, alluding to his fascination with the power of social relationships and the allure of the journey. His aesthetic speaks through decisive lines and a strong sense of composition.His canvasses are intuitively descriptive of his international experiences living in Harlem and throughout Europe. He stated: “Painting is very much about sex, it’s about love, it’s about putting things together”.The drawings featured in this exhibition, although as extemporaneous as his paintings, are more laid-back and lovely. They're filled with sinfully sinuous lines forming erotic shapes inspired by the curvaceous form of the female body." (From the Press Release)
With the recent problems resulting from BD incompetently overloading the elevator some guests have written in to our blog to make sure they are running before they make the trip. Well, we're pleased to report that they are presently running if not smoothly then at least some what jerkily. But that is not the only problem to be encountered on the infamous elevators of the Chelsea Hotel.
A couple of weeks after we reported on the sorry state of Michele Zalopany’s apartment – due toleaks that BD wouldn’t repair – progress appears to have been made.In particular, BD is now putting in a new floor in her kitchen.Though we’d like to claim credit for the blog, it had more to do with Michele calling 311 and reporting the problems.The inspector arrived and promptly cited BD with 10 violations for her apartment alone.If you have any of these violations listed, or any other problems that you think might constitute violations (including violations for defective wood flooring, broken ceramic floor tiles, missing smoke detector, missing carbon monoxide detector, defective plastering and paint, and mold) now’s the time to have them addressed.
HPD (Council of Housing Preservation and Development) was very responsive so everyone should call 311 and report problems in their apartment, because that’s the only way to get anything done.Apparently the floor was so bad that the HPD actually levied a fine against BD, prompting them to really push for the floor repairs.As for the leaks, the HPD advised Michele to call them again once it rained and the water was really streaming in.They seem to be listening folks. (You can view the violations by searching the database.) -- Ed Hamilton
BD hotels continue to slash the room rates at the Chelsea. We hear that the Hampton Inn in Times Square is currently the only place with lower rates than the Chelsea. Meanwhile, minority shareholder Marlene Krauss's penthouse is still on the market at its original asking price of $4.7 million. No price chopping for Marlene. Surely somebody wants to be Marlene's neighbor!
UPDATE -- Both Elevators Are Now Out of Service! People are huffing and puffing up and down the stairs. The Service Elevator is being overloaded with equipment for fashion shoots and will probably soon be out of service too!
I didn’t get a chance to check out the Pool Art Fair which took up most of the 1st and 2nd floor guest rooms over the weekend, but a few of our local critics weighed in: “Mediocre, what passes for art these days,” one had to say.“Loved the video on the first floor,” another reported.(I noticed that a none-too-subtle critic had crossed out the “P” in Pool and inserted an “F” on one of their signs.)And on Sunday morning, one sleep-deprived short- term guest asked me if I was the person who had held that all-night party in the room next door to him.(Really, is it worth it to annoy and inconvenience all the other guests and residents in the hotel just for the sake of a bunch of day trippers?) While walking down the stairs there was almost always a bottleneck at the second and first floors. Luckily, I live on a higher floor--although many art fair attendees seemed to feel they had the run of the hotel.One thing is for certain: many of the people who stopped by did so mainly to get a chance to look at the hotel.A couple of our neighbors reported that people attempted to walk into their apartments, saying things like, “Is there art in here?” (At the previous Pool show, residents complained that people were running up and down the fire escapes, whooping it up—and probably that was going on at this show as well.)What are we now, zoo animals on display?Many residents tried to head off the inevitable breakdown of the elevators by encouraging the visitors to use the stairs.We hope that BD made enough money from these art folks to cover the cost of repairing the elevators – as one is currently out of service and the other is acting mighty screwy.