We receive a lot of e-mail around here and we love hearing from our readers, but currently we don't have time to respond to each individual e-mail. Perhaps other tenants and readers could help us out by providing replies via the comment box. Thanks. Here's a few of the e-mails we received this week:
I enjoy reading your blog. Before I moved to the city I would sometimes stay at the Chelsea. One of my favorite rooms was (I believe) room 604. It was a huge apartment with a purple shag rug and key-lime colored sofa. The shower had no curtain but you have to take the good with the bad. I’d request that room when I’d need a place to rehearse with my UCB friends. After a while Stanley starting charging me less and less for the room. When I moved to the city I still stayed at the Chelsea whenever my apartment’s ceiling would leak or some other disaster would force me from my place on 21st street.
I’ve since had to move out of the city because of work but I return often. My questions are: 1.Is staying at the Chelsea as a transient guest damaging to the tenants ongoing fight? 2.Is staying at the Chelsea as a transient guest like staying at the “Y”. 3.Have the rooms all been “updated” or are there still rooms that retain the charm of the Chelsea? I have friends who are no longer in Stuy town after having some member of their family live there for nearly 40 years so I wish you luck in your fight against the greedheads. All the best, (name redacted)
Dear blogger, When I was a teenager, I used to drive down to Hollywood and see Dainty Adore sing in a little club on Sunset. I sent her fanmail and she was so sweet to respond. Does anyone know if she is still performing or where to contact her? Thank you, (named redacted)
Hi there, I'll be in NY in march and I'd love to stay at the Chelsea. I'll have my 10 month old daughter with me and I am a little concerned with all the bad reviews I read online, regarding bed bugs and smelly hallways. Is it all true? I like to believe it isn't. Being a resident, what can you tell me about the place? Thank you so much, Tatu
...The reason im writing, is that im an artist (i work in video games), but i also write and draw comics in my spare time as well. i used my trip in may as vacation, but also as a chance to research a bunch of sites and what not for the graphic novel im currently working on......a part of the story will take place in the chelsea (including the room i stayed in...#631, i think it was). so, there's a scene where the main character checks in, and i wanted to include stanley bard in that scene, but since ive never met him, i wanted to see if you could tell me some things about him, like quirks and or expressions he might use often.....you know things like that, so i could i breathe some believable life into his cameo appearance. who knows you might end up making an appearance as well...
thanks for taking the time to read this. i appreciate your help.
According to this new documentary, Who Killed Nancy? by Alan G. Parker, neither Sid Vicious nor Rockets Redglare was the killer of the nauseating one.Instead, Parker fingers a shadowy blond-haired Brit from the 6th floor of the Chelsea Hotel, known only as “Michael.”Who is this Michael, and what has become of him?He could still be living on the 6th floor, for all we know!Only Stanley Bard knows for sure.Bring Back the Bards!
Here are some antique Chelsea Hotel doors that Andrew Tilley threw out on the street.No doubt Stanley Bard was keeping them around in case any of the doors of the Hotel needed to be replaced.If ever there was proof that the new management doesn’t respect the history of the Chelsea Hotel this is it.And why did they need to cut then in half like that – so nobody else could use them.
We just thought of something, the Hotel owes us interest on our security deposits.In all of the time we’ve lived at the Chelsea Hotel we have never received any interest.We would like, (and I’m sure many other tenants would like as well) some accounting of this money and of course to be paid.Here is the relevant paragraph from the NY Rent Guidelines Board.
The security deposit must be kept by the owner in an interest-bearing account in a New York State bank. The owner must notify the tenant of the name and address of the bank and pay the tenant the full annual interest, less 1% of the security deposit per year for the owner's administrative costs. The tenant can choose whether the interest is to be subtracted from the rent, held in trust until the end of the tenancy, or paid in a lump sum at the end of each year.
In addition to the tenants living here now, we assume that there are lots of former tenants who likewise have not received the proper accounting of their security deposits.We think that all of them should contact Chelsea Hotel manager Andrew Tilley and ask for their money.Let us know how it turns out. -- Ed Hamilton
my father-in-law and me will visit ny in april. he has been to ny over 30 times in the past 20 years for jazz events. he never got the chance to stay at the chelsea. now i would like to surprise him, but after all i heard and read about new management i can not arrange with my point of view to book a regular room. i do not want to help on the management with its ideas and ideology.
could you kindly answer following question: is there any chance to rent a room or suite without spending money at BD?
would be the biggest surprise for the last ny visit of my father-in-law.
On Friday there was a security guard placed up on the tenth floor to bar access to the roof.Given the unseasonably mild weather, Tilley believed that a rogue resident or two might try to sneak up there and have a barbecue.Since we seem dead set on becoming a serious police state here, we have a few suggestions for other spots around the hotel that could use a security guard or two:
-The laundry room, in case residents try to do an unauthorized load of knickers when no one is looking
-The balconies on the front of the building: these represent a serious spittle and water balloon hazard for David Elder.In addition, snipers could be placed on the roof of the building across the street in case anyone tried to post anymore BRING BACK THE BARDS banners - The secret passageway to 22nd Street, so Tilley can't use it to sneak out early - Sid’s room, just on general principal - the trash bins: no dirty diapers or cat litter permitted! - the shared bathrooms: no more junkies lately, but someone still keeps stealing the toilet paper! - Stanley ’s office: you never can tell when he’ll show up unexpectedly and try to manage the hotel
- Bob Dylan’s room: an obscure folk singer might show up there seeking inspiration.Or else some psychotic lunatic might try to destroy it with sledgehammers - the airshafts, to listen for unauthorized shower-singing and audible lovemaking.We’ll have no more of that in the New Bohemia!
Never mind that many of these sites are currently monitored by cameras.Much mischief could occur before the guards can ride the elevators upstairs.Luckily, the hotel has, by some reports, sunk into the single digits in occupancy lately, so that gives us some time to get these security guards in place before the inevitable upsurge to the potentially unmanageable 20% mark! -- Ed Hamilton
Hurray! Tee-shirts will save this sinking ship.Good Plan Marlene Krauss and Andrew Tilley.Actually there were already tee-shirts in the display case on the left of the desk.Now they’ve also appeared here on the right hand side of the desk. The tee-shirts in this case replaced the New York Times article on the history of the hotel as well as other documents related to the culture of the hotel.
This is not even smart from a business point of view as people who come here are interested in the rich counterculture history of the place.That’s the only thing that will make them want to buy a tee-shirt.Otherwise, they might as well have one from the Holiday Inn or the Hard Rock Café.And isn’t $30.00 steep as well.On the other hand, they’ll need to sale a lot of these tee-shirts to make up for all of the revenue they’re loosing on the vacant commercial space, not to mention all of the empty rooms (occupancy rate continues to hover around 30%).
Chelsea Hotel historian Sherill Tippins, author of the forthcoming history of the hotel, “Dreampalace,” weighs in on the roof garden issue.This should give the building’s tenants a bit of ammunition in their fight against the destruction of the gardens.Obviously it wasn’t the original intent of the architect to have a club on the roof.
Chelsea architect Philip Hubert, 1884: The roof "will be reserved for the exclusive use of the occupants..It will be fitted up with seats and awnings, and will be found a cool and delightful resort in summer."
Is there no landmark protection for one of first roof gardens in the city? Hubert is considered the inventor of the New York roof garden.
(Ed's note: This is the first in a series of reports written by a new columnist who will be contributing to the blog on a regular basis. Enjoy.)
With Hotel occupancy at an all-time low, tenant litigation increasing every day, and multiple stop work orders and violations served against the building, Chelsea Hotel Manager Andrew Tilley continues to upgrade the act by: working less! Last week, Tilley didn't even break the 40 hour mark at the Hotel, clocking in at barely 38 - not exactly the hours of a man set on conquering the world, much less trying to compete with Stanley Bard's legendary 12 hour days. And that was when business was booming! Remember all those mornings you crawled out of bed at 7am, only to find last night's wineglasses and ashtrays, candles and incense still burning, and AC/DC still on the CD player (this was before Ipod docking stations) and....Stanley Bard at the front desk wanting to know when you'd be paying the rent! And he'd already been there for an hour and phoned the Hotel from home before that! (PS Andrew, every day Stanley also wore a TIE - ever heard of those? They're the things you put around your neck when Marlene's hands aren't there). Tilley started off the week poorly, showing up Monday morning (the first day after a long holiday slump, formerly the busiest season of the Hotel's year) at a lousy 9:08am, only later to shave an extra 8 minutes by leaving early at 4:52pm. Tuesday appeared to be another lackluster day in the life of Tilley with another tardy appearance at 10 after 9, but Andrew, always looking to improve, took his chances and left the Hotel at 4:31! A mere 7 hour and 23 minute day - not bad for a quarter of a million a year salary, eh mate? (Though I guess you won't be getting that bonus). One good turn deserves another, so Tilley took the morning off on Wednesday, arriving at a weekly low point of 9:25am. As one Hotel guest observed his late morning stroll of an entry from a hotel balcony (an excellent observation point), it was noted from above that Tilley's roots - or should I say his true colors - are starting to show. April Barton at the famous Suite 303 is the best colorist in New York and will upgrade your Sun-In/Hair Club for Men combo in a flash, Andrew. Marlene must've gotten wind of this clockwatching though and chained him to his desk as he actually managed to stay that day past 5pm - three whole minutes! Still Tilley, just a mere 7:28. Thursday was a different story, with Prince Andrew arriving promptly at 9 (still without a tie, though - isn't this guy a professional?) and clocking out at a mighty 5:03pm for his first and only 8 hour day of the week. Harvard Business Reviewhere we come! But old habits die hard, and Tilley's Casual Friday began at his typical 9:23. Then there was that 2 for 1 Happy Hour special at TGIFriday's at the Paramus mall, which must have accounted for Andrew's speedy departure that day at 4:51 - love those nachos! Needless to say, the powerhouse Lord Andrew Tilley does not work weekends and the hours detailed above do not include long lunches or the time Tilley spent hanging out at the BreadStix Cafe, Starbucks, or sitting in the lobby talking -- we have those timings also and will report on those shortly. Also, we are uncertain as to whether this part-time status in any way jeopardizes the $415 a week in imminent unemployment Tilley will likely attempt to collect - he'll need to call the Department of Labor to confirm that. Since Andrew Tilley decided to opt for the police state version of the Chelsea with multiple cameras installed on every floor to surveil tenants, we thought we'd have a little police state of our own. You see, Andrew, this sinking ship you're captaining is full of leaks. And we also have cameras of our own. They're called eyes. And they're watching you. -- The New Kid on the Blog
Last Friday, the residents of the
tenth floor found this letter tacked to their door (even residents who
don't have rooftop access received the letter), courtesy of Mr. Yee.
that Andrew Tilley (or one of his employees) called this violation in on the
building himself.If you want to look at
the complaint on the DOB website, you’ll notice that the language is quite
different from that of the usual complaint called in by a resident.Tilley has several reasons for wanting to do
this, which include:
1. To get the building up to code
so that the hotel can apply for a Certificate of No Harassement, which is
necessary for them to undertake disruptive construction.
2. He wants the roof cleared so he
can put a club up there.(We’ve been
saying this all along: both BD and Tilley have made clear that they want
this.There are several more hurdles
that they must clear—including getting the Stop Work Order lifted—but taking
the roof away from the tenants is a huge first step.)
3. It’s a general harassing
technique designed to get tenth floor residents to eventually move.(Don’t discount this: along with the needless
security and the other nastiness, the plan is to make people decide it’s not
worth it to fight.)
Basically, it is
our opinion that all residents should unite in opposing this new policy.This same thing will be happening soon to the
residents with balconies, as well as the rest of us over fireplaces, smoke
detectors and various issues.The idea
is to hassle us all as much as possible. -- Ed Hamilton
Last Friday evening, a mysterious Asian man was spotted sitting in the Chelsea Hotel lobby.He seemed agitated, unable to relax, as if eager to be up and on his way.At one point he exchanged heated words with an unknown woman, and was heard to criticize hotel management personnel. Was he a spy?A paid assassin?A government scientist passing top secret documents to his Russian contact?And would our security force whip out Uzis and mow him down?Or slip a hood over his head and spirit him off to Guantanamo?Anything seems possible these days at the increasingly surreal Chelsea Hotel. But relax, paranoid Bohemians, it was just Mr. Yee, a process server, here to serve notice to the tenth floor residents that they had ten days to chop down those rooftop trees and pitch those planters over the edge into the courtyard.Mr. Yee was angry because manager Andrew Tilley had hightailed it out of the hotel the moment the clock struck 5 (if not before), neglecting to sign the requisite paperwork.Now Mr. Yee apparently had to wait around for Tilley (or some other authorized joker) to reappear.(We still don’t know who the woman was, a latter day reincarnation of Mata Hari, perhaps.) The plot thickens. For, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Chelsea Hotel ’s law firm, Belkin Burden, serve their own notices?Marlene hired Belkin Burden, Stanley ’s old law firm, after she severed the relationship with Bob Olshever. Now, just a few months later, sources in the legal community tell us that Marlene’s relationship with Belkin Burden is on the rocks as well.Whether this is due to the botched handling of Arthur Nash’s DHCR harassment case, or whether it has more to do with the recent “Bob Dylan’s Room” illegal construction fiasco, Marlene is well known for leaving a trail of burned bridges and bloated corpses in her wake. So, what’s it to be?Will Marlene have Belkin Burden for breakfast on her way to world domination?Or will a slumbering God awaken, and, in his righteous vengeance, finally strike her down.For further updates, clichés, and mixing of metaphors, stay tuned for the next installment. -- Ed Hamilton
If you noticed a moving van outside the hotel the last week of December, you might be wondering which of our neighbors we’ve lost this time.Well, it was Peter Ferro, who had occupied the suite of rooms once belonging to Arthur Miller for the past 24 years.For many years Peter lived and worked in the suite, though in recent years he had chosen to live elsewhere and to use the entire suite for his dental business.As you might imagine, it’s quite a chore to move a whole dental business, but as there’s no rent stabilization for businesses, Peter had no choice but to move.His lease was up at the end of this year, and, while BD Hotels had indicated a willingness to be flexible and allow him some extra time if he needed it (and it turns out he did), there’s now a new sheriff in town.Manager Andrew Tilley reportedly asked for $24,000 per month (!!!!) for the space, and when Peter balked at that extortionate sum (when the wiring’s so bad that he has to unplug his AC in order to use his X-ray machine!), Tilley reportedly had eviction papers served on him. We wish him luck in finding a new space, and will keep our readers updated on his search.
Just this past month they’ve managed to vacate two historic rooms: first Thomas Wolfe’s room, and now Arthur Miller’s apartment.Obviously, tenants mourn the loss not only of our neighbors, but of these two historic rooms, which hotel management presumably intends to turn into high-priced nightly rooms.But we’d like to point out that that’s a gamble on their part, as, with a Stop Work order in effect on the entire building, they’re not going to be able to do the construction necessary to get the rooms ready to rent (at least not at the high prices they desire: they can probably just throw a bed and a TV in Wolfe’s room, if it comes to that, but Miller’s apartment is a huge suite of rooms).With the economy tanking, and the hotel occupancy down, they’ve thrown away a sure source of income.(Both tenants were paying market rates.)And the Capitol Fishing Tackle storefront is still vacant, 2-and-a-half years later! -- Ed Hamilton
Good to have you on board, Ira!First Drukier—a partner in BD Hotels, which ran the Chelsea Hotel for 10 months—was quoted in Chris Shott’s article in the Observeras saying that the only man who could run the Chelsea Hotel is Stanley Bard.Now, in the Independent, he points out that, as Legends has said before, what BD was trying to do was to bring the building up to code, including registering tenants with the DHCR so that their rent could be collected legally (and, of course, so they could be legally evicted).(Marlene didn’t appreciate BD’s slow, methodical, legal plan, wanting to move faster, so she fired them.)Also:
Drucker [sic] is so concerned about the hotel’s physical structure that he dares to give disgruntled residents such as Hamilton some advice: "They should get themselves a lawyer, because that place could be a lawsuit waiting to happen," he says. "They wouldn't have to pay rent ever."
Thank’s Ira.I myself already have a lawyer, as do 40 or more of the tenants of the Chelsea, and we are pressing our cases in court.But your advice remains good for the rest of the Chelsea’s tenants, who, for whatever reason, have not yet contacted an attorney. Though in the past, Ira, we have had a bit of fun at your expense on the blog, we have an enemy in common now, and perhaps between us we can throw enough fuel on the fire to burn the evil witch Marlene Krauss at the stake. -- Ed Hamilton (As of press time, Ira Drukier had not responded to our request for a comment.)
“I knew it would be difficult, but not to this degree,” whines Andrew Tilley in last Sunday’s Independent.“It’s been ridiculous.”The hotel is hemorrhaging money, as reservations are down a reported 30 to 40 percent over this time last year.This is not due solely to the economy, as Tilley would have us believe, but is also attributable to the management’s incompetence, as, reportedly, the hotel’s internet reservation server was inexplicably turned off for several months at the end of last year!Tilley reportedly called in a team of experts to figure out why reservations were down—costing the hotel even more money—and that was what they concluded!Well, at least somebody is earning their pay.
In addition, vigilant tenants have shut down Tilley’s illegal renovation program.The Department of Buildings placed a stop work order on the entire building, which Tilley then blithely attempted to ignore.The police were promptly summoned and the responding NYPD officers said they would be taking management personnel out of here in handcuffs if the stop work order were defied again.Yeah, they take these things seriously, Tilley.In the Independent article, Tilley sounds a familiar theme, attempting to blame the shutdown of his renovation program on that old standby, the economy:
. . .there is every chance that financial strictures – not protests or nostalgia – will end up putting any serious overhaul of the Chelsea Hotel on hold. "I think obtaining bank loans now is not going to be the easiest thing," Tilley – who may instead have to be satisfied with updating individual rooms piecemeal and biding his time for the more far-reaching work – concedes.
Yeah, he’s right: neither Marlene nor any sort of reputable bank is going to give him a cent.But even if the economy were good the banks wouldn’t give him money, not with all the outstanding building code violations, not to mention the 40 or more outstanding tenant lawsuits in the courts, or the half-million dollar suit by BD Hotels.And even if Tilley somehow gets the money, he can’t do any construction until he gets a Certificate of No Harassment—difficult to obtain when tenants are being harassed.And all he was attempting to do anyway was “piecemeal” construction on individual rooms, until “protests and nostalgia” shut him down. On top of these intolerable work conditions, Tilley apparently has lots of stress at home as well.Somebody sent his wife 79 magazine subscriptions, and, as if that were not enough, a pair of women’s panties.I assume Mrs. Tilley is also a blog and newspaper reader, and has to witness her husband’s name being dragged almost daily through the mud.I imagine that does make things a bit tense around the dinner table.But let me ask you, Mrs. Tilley: do you think it’s pleasant for us to live at the Chelsea Hotel now?Marlene and Elder, BD Hotels, and now your husband and his cronies are making our lives a living hell.The Chelsea Hotel is OUR HOME.Your husband can go home to New Jersey and kick back in his recliner and watch Dancing with the Stars, but WE HAVE TO LIVE HERE.So forgive me if I’m rather short on sympathy when I hear that Andrew might need an extra gin and tonic in order to get to sleep at night.Tell your husband it’s not worth it, Mrs. Tilley. In the Independent, Tilley says, “Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have touched this place with a bargepole.”Normal circumstances?What, pray tell, are those?If you could have gotten another job?If you had had enough sense to Google the Chelsea Hotel and find out a little bit about the struggle that was going on here?If Marlene hadn’t reportedly offered you a whopping half-mill a year (salary plus bonuses)?In addition to all the problems you’re having with residents, I’m sure you must hate Marlene Krauss, since virtually every sentient being on earth prays for her death.And as for Elder, I can’t imagine it’s any picnic sharing an office with the cretin—not to mention actually having to take orders from him!!!If you didn’t really want the job in the first place, and you don’t enjoy it, and you’re under so much stress, why not resign?Take the money and run.We won’t hold it against you.This is our fight, and it can go on just as easily without you.Pretend that “normal circumstances” now prevail, take hold of that metaphorical bargepole, and push yourself off from this sinking ship. -- Ed Hamilton
Don’t miss manager Andrew Tilley’s puff piece in Sunday’s Independent, wherein he makes several interesting admissions (more on this later).Most humorous among these is his claim that someone (presumably from the Chelsea Hotel) mailed his wife a pair of knickers!This has instantly set off speculation around the hotel as to whom the culprit could be.Who the hell wears knickers?Oliver Twist?Maybe they were sent by a jealous Master Bates in an extortion attempt masterminded by Fagan.Oh, but wait a minute, we’re in New York.So maybe it was Huntz Hall or Leo Gorcey or another of the Dead End Kids who mailed the cut-off pantaloons.But would that be with or without knee socks?And how about a page-boy hat to go with those?Since he spilled the beans to a newspaper, will they now give Andrew Tilley the “mahk of the squealah”? Oh, wait a minute again, I get it now: “knickers” is what the Brits call women’s panties!That clears up a lot.I could scarcely imagine that Tilley had gone that far over to the dark side.According to the article, the panties came in a package with “a note insinuating that Tilley was up to no good at the hotel and she should make him leave.”“No good”!What could that possibly entail?Maybe something along the lines of: “Dear Mrs. Tilley, Your husband is attempting to evict the long term residents of a New York landmark, so he can gut the building and junk it up with mini-bars and I-pod docking stations.”Seriously though, due to the hard work of our vast network of informants, Legends has obtained a copy of the actual offending missive:
Beware, Mrs. Tilley,
I am no fan of infidelity, so I suggest you divorce your no-good, lying, cheating husband right away.The siren song of the Chelsea is too strong for mortal man to resist.Temptations here are too great, and everyone knows that once you go Bohemian, you can never go back. To my eternal shame, I must confess that I enticed Andrew through the dark portal of my boudoir of earthly delights, leading him through the labyrinthine corridors of books and magazines that I have piled up over the years in homage to the Collyer Brothers. (I understand that you are quite a big reader too.) We collapsed in wild abandon upon my blood-and-urine stained mattress as clouds of dust filled the air and swarms of moths ascended from the piles of old clothes heaped upon the bed.As Andrew slammed me repeatedly into the crumbling, termite-infested headboard, chunks of plaster fell from the ceiling and hit him in the head, and an excited rat scampered across his backside.At the moment of supreme ecstasy several towers ofbooks and magazines came crashing down all around us, and it took us nearly seven hours to tunnel our way out.That was why Andrew was home late on meatloaf night!
Naturally, I thought that this sublime erotic interlude would be enough to convince Andrew to repair my apartment, but he has since demanded further highly perverse favors—such as that I wear a page-boy hat to bed—and in truth I don’t know where it will end.(I guess I’ll just have to dial 311 and complain to the HPD like everyone else.)I am writing in the hope that you will use whatever influence you still have to convince Andrew to quit this horrible job and return to the fold of suburban normalcy before it’s too late.After he replasters my ceiling, of course.I could also use a new refrigerator (see below).
With Deepest Sympathy,
An Anonymous Bohemian Temptress
P.S.: I didn’t wash these knickers, by the way, in case you wanted to have them checked for DNA. Although I collected most of the evidence in a babyfood jar and crammed it into my freezer next to all my dead cats (for use in possible future insemination attempts), enough dried residue no doubt remains for scientific purposes.
Now who on earth could this demented, home-wrecking tramp possibly be?Although the writing looks suspiciously like my own, we can no doubt attribute this to the influence of the blog.
As for the advertised teaser about a possible union of the damned between manager and minority shareholder: sorry to lead you on, but I was just kidding about Marlene being a suspect.We know it’s not her, because she would have sent Tilley’s balls! -- Ed Hamilton
It has come to our attention that minority shareholder David Elder and Manager Andrew Tilley may be taking a survey of all the elderly people in the Chelsea to see if any are vulnerable to court action.Presumably, they are looking for such things as cluttered or unsanitary living conditions, disabilities, or deteriorating physical or mental health that would allow them to move to evict elderly residents in housing court.We have already seen at least two residents charged with clutter: one of these cases ended satisfactorily when a helpful younger resident cleaned the older person’s apartment; the other case was apparently put on hold when the elderly resident collaborated with management in testifying against another resident.
Elder and Tilley are also reportedly planning to start a publicity campaign to make it appear that they are actually helping the seniors (this campaign is reportedly in a fairly advanced stage of implementation; it’s not just hot air at this point).There are no shortage of “charities” that prey on the elderly with the aim of receiving an estate gift, and Tilley and Elder would presumably try to work with one or more of these organizations to have seniors declared incompetent and committed to a state-run nursing home.“Oh, they were living in horrible conditions,” would no doubt be management’s cynical propaganda line, “and we helped them to improve their quality of life.”So Elder and Tilley come off smelling like roses, while the hotel’s responsibility for providing decent housing is sloughed off onto the public agencies.
I would say to Elder and Tilley: Have you no shame?Don’t you have older relatives, parents and grandparents, yourselves?But obviously we can just ask Piri Thomas about how Elder treats his parents.
This is a difficult issue to discuss, as we want to be extra careful to protect the privacy of elderly residents.However, one case is particularly pressing, and needs to be addressed immediately, and that is the case of Stormé DeLarverié.Although Stormé, who is known and loved by everyone at the hotel, is 89-years-old, she is still strong and gets around fine, and, though sometimes she forgets minor things, she is lucid and coherent when she speaks.Stormé is living in a rent stabilized apartment for $600 per month, $550 of which was until recently paid by a charitable organization (they’re not all bad, after all).She receives Social Security and until recently was paying the rest of her rent out of that. In the past year, however, two problems have cropped up: first of all, Stormé lost her wallet, so she has no ID and hence can’t cash her Social Security checks; secondly, the charitable organization has not paid its share ofStormé’s rent for several month because of the dilapidated condition of Storme’s apartment, and because they don’t believe she is eating enough (she is probably attempting to conserve money since she can’t cash her checks).Stormé now owes $8400 in back rent.
The hotel is responsible for fixing Stormé’s apartment, but apparently they would like to get out of it.David Elder is reportedly using a sometime tenant whom he placed in a compromising position to call people, old friends of Storme, to convince them she needs to be in a nursing home.Elder and Tilley have reportedly met with two non-profit organizations—for now we will refrain from naming them—to discuss ways to get Stormé’s money out of her and have her committed.We have also received information to the effect that the hotel intends to go to court very soon with a non-payment case against Stormé.Their publicity campaign will no doubt portray the hotel management as the good guys trying to get help for this poor old woman who nobody else cares about.
But obviously that’s absolute baloney.Plenty of people at the hotel are looking after her.Stormé had Thanksgiving dinner with a family at the hotel.Another resident has established an account for her at the Aristocrat Deli so that she can get anything she wants should she ever be short of cash.Residents visited her when she was in the hospital recently for a mild infection.One of the members of our Tenant’s Association has already been in touch with a charitable food service, and they will start bringing her meals.The same charitable organization that was helping with her rent bought her clothes. Residents will chip in and pay her rent too, should that become necessary.And now that residents have become aware of the ID problem, we will work with her to make sure she gets a new one, and that she retains control of her money.We will be looking to make sure that she gets her room repaired too, as the hotel is legally required to do, so that the charitable organization can be persuaded to resume their support.
Until his unjust ouster, Stanley Bard worked closely with the charitable organization, calling them every month, to get the rent money for Stormé, but apparently no one has bothered to contact them since.If Andrew Tilley is so concerned about Stormé’s wellbeing, why has he not contacted the charitable organization?And if he really wants to help Stormé, why can’t he just fix up her apartment!?Tilley is simply attempting to shift the responsibility of the landlord onto the public agencies.
Stormé is an integral, valued member of the Chelsea community.In addition, for those of you who are unaware, Stormé is a gay rights activist who had a prominent role in founding the gay rights movement at Stonewall.In other words, she is someone who gave willingly of herself so that others might live meaningful, fulfilling lives free of discrimination and harassment.She’s a rare individual worth ten money-grubbing Tilleys, and a hundred Elders.Storme herself is well aware of her precarious situation: “When you get old, they try to put you in a home,” she told us recently.“That’s a hell of a thing to do to somebody just because they’re old.I wouldn’t do that to a dog.”It’s up to us to make sure they don’t get away with it—either in Stormé’s case, or with any of the other valued senior members of our community. -- Ed Hamilton
Herbert Huncke is the pivotal figure in the development of beat literature. Huncke’s use of the carny term “beat” in his stories of riding the rails in the thirties inspired Jack Kerouac to chronicle his own tales of rootless wandering in On the Road. He turned William Burroughs onto heroin, and appears as a character in Burroughs’ Junky, the first step in an immersion in addict culture that would eventually produce Naked Lunch. And the image of Huncke’s shoes filled with blood tramping 42nd Street gave Allen Ginsberg the very model of the “angel-headed hipster” in his seminal poem Howl. But most beat fans do not realize that before he even met the beat lit triumvirate, Huncke was writing in a journal he always carried with him. The stories that come down to us, depicting lyrical childhood memories, loss of innocence, misfits of society, petty crime, incarceration, junk sickness and the downtown art scene, reveal that Huncke’s legendary storytelling skills were infused with their own touch of the poet.
This January 9, 2009 will be the 94th anniversary of Huncke’s birth, and the extended family of his friends and fellow travelers are coming together to remind us of Herbert’s importance as a writer. Among those scheduled to read are:
Tatum O’Neal, Oscar winning actress
Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth founder
Abel Ferrara, Indie movie auteur
Jack Walls, writer & visual artist
Stewart Meyer, Lotus Crew novelist
Edgar Oliver, downtown theatre stalwart
Anne Hanavan, video artist
Jeremiah Newton, writer & gay activist
David Lawton, poet & actor
Dimitri Mobengo Mugianis, poet, drug user activist, ibogaine therapist & N’ganga
With video contributions from:
Laki Vazakas, Huncke and Louis
Francois Bernadi, Original Beats
And a Special Musical Appearance by Patti Smith
The event takes place at the hot new downtown club, The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery (at 2nd Street), starting at 8pm. Doors open at 7:30pm. There is no admission for this event. A presentation of Basse Productions.
Friends of Joan Russell are invited to attend a memorial service in her honor on Sunday,January 4, 2009.The service will be held at:
Gramercy Park Memorial Chapel 353 Second Ave., (between 20th & 21st St.) Greet Family 11:00 – 12:00 Memorial Service at Noon. Remembrances welcome.
The Chelsea Hotel community was saddened to learn of Ms. Russell's passing. Joan Silverman Russell was a resident of the Chelsea Hotel for over 38 years. Joan was an author and classical scholar and was a retired City University professor. She was preceded in death by her husband, painterAlfred Russell, who died in 2007.