In an interview with Jeremiah Moss on the Vanishing New York blog, poet and musician Mykal Skall confesses that while most people come to NYC to see the Statue of Liberty or various other tourist attractions, his dream was to come to the city and stay at the Chelsea. There will always be such rare individuals who don’t just automatically accept the Status quo, and since 1884, the Chelsea has been the place that has drawn them in.
Mykal, of course, is the man who created the Virtual Chelsea on Second Life, with the noble purpose of raising awareness of the greed of the minority shareholders who want to to turn this place into a boutique hotel. But as Mykal’s creation shows, though Marlene Krauss and David Elder may have temporarily seized the physical building that houses the Chelsea, they will never be able to gain control of the heart and soul of Chelsea.
It is the true artists of the Chelsea Hotel past, present, and future, who will always own that soul – people who are passionate about the unique traditions of the hotel, and loyal to the Bards, who created and nurtured those traditions. Krauss and Elder and their cronies will never gain the trusts of the true artists, because they have no idea what makes them tick.
Hell, Krauss and Elder don’t even understand the BRAND of the Chelsea. They keep trying to rent the rooms to Midwestern tourists on package deals! That’s a bright spot, however, because it means they’ll continue to lose money until they cave in and Bring Back the Bards!
Those of us left at the physical Chelsea will continue to fight the good fight so that those of you who dream of joining us will someday have your chance. And in the meantime there’s Mykal’s virtual Chelsea to preserve the ideals that make this iconic hotel great. – Ed Hamilton (Photo: A gathering of poets at the Virtual Chelsea via Sharron Schuman's flickr)