I love the way Richard Born and Ira Drukier insist on acting like they are just regular guys, rather than greed-crazed sociopaths who think nothing at all of tearing asunder the fabric of the city as they lay waste to long-standing communities and devastate human lives. In a recent interview with the New York Observer's Chris Shott, the self-delusional duo reveal that they think the tenants of the Chelsea Hotel were mad at them for no reason better than the fact that they mopped the floors. Well, gee, there was the matter of the 17 tenants they forced out. That’s 17 big reasons. Also, they plopped spoiled brat Glennon Travis down in here, ostensibly to “manage” the place, though really to drive residents crazy with his obnoxious personality so they too would move out. They neglected necessary repairs, purposely letting the place run down, and imposed restrictive policies designed to crush the free spirit of the Chelsea. And, despite their claims, they didn’t even really clean the place all that well.
Even outside our little, once-vibrant artistic community, Born and Drukier are guilty of bringing the illegal-billboard-packing Hotel Gansevoort to the Meatpacking District, ruining that neighborhood in the process. And they are now in the process of driving the tenants out of the Riverview/Jane Hotel, as they did at the former Pickwick, now saddled with the heinously insulting name of “The Pod.” (I’ll bet the tenants of the Riverview take issue with B&Ds claim not to have forced anyone out of there as well. B&D say the only ones being asked to leave are those who don’t pay their rent, but of course Born and Drukier have a nasty habit of raising tenant’s rents to a level that they can’t pay.)
At least Drukier has one thing right: Stanley Bard is the only person capable of running this place—even though the reason Drukier said it is no doubt simply to get Marlene Krauss’s goat.
In other highlights of the article: I chortled over Drukier’s claim that there was no economic reason behind their taking on the Chelsea Hotel’s management, particularly when coupled with Born’s admission that all they’re fighting about now with Marlene is money. Well, at least the fact of their apparently capricious firing (they were getting rid of tenants, just like Marlene wanted them too) should give other potential management teams pause.
B&D have some good advice for present manager Andrew Tilley, when they say: Hang on tight to that pole! They know that Tilley is having a hell of a time balancing the needs of the tenants with those of the owners (Marlene and Elder)—since the main desire of the owners is to throw out the tenants. Maybe Tilley should take pole dancing lessons across the street at the Sheila Kelly S-Factor. -- Ed Hamilton (Photo -- Those were the days)