Chelsea Hotel manager David Elder is now accepting paintings in exchange for stays at the famed Chelsea Hotel. And here we thought those people lined up on the sidewalk were waiting to get into the comedy club. It's a return to the good old days. Nadia Bertrand told Chelsea Now that she recently turned over two paintings to David Elder in exchange for a month long stay. "We'll take it as it goes in terms of if other people are interested," Elder told Chelsea Now. This should give the occupancy rates around here a big boost. We hear that the poets will still have to pay. (Photo of Nadia and her painting by Patrick Hedlund.)
Here's the end result of that video shoot a few months back where the crew took over the west wing of the 7th and 8th floors and filmed until 3:30 in the morning on a Sunday. What do you think? Was it worth losing a night's sleep over? You be the judge.
Some Chelsea Hotel guests decided to get into the spirit of banner hanging pioneered by tenant activist Arthur Nash. Here’s the result of their labors. We don’t know what this means since we don’t speak Italian but assume it’s something along the lines of “Fight the Power” or “Stick it to the Man”. In any event it disappeared within a few hours of our spotting it.
Chelsea Hotel ’s recently launched website featured a lovely photo of a fetching young woman sprawled upon the famous staircase.Having apparently either fallen or jumped or perhaps having just decided to take a rest.The sexist nature of this photo led some of our blog readers to take exception.For instance historian Sherill Tippins wrote in to say:
As someone at work on a history of Chelsea, whose founding philosopher is known for saying that a society can be judged by the way it treats its women, I can't tell you how ironic it is to see the image in that brochure of a woman stretched out in that sexually inviting way on the staircase. It's the quintessential image of commercial exploitation.
Decade after decade, the Chelsea's residents have worked through issues relating to women's place in society--from the first vagrant girl who was sent to Bellevue in 1884 for insisting that she had friends at the Chelsea, to the Victorian-era invalid, daughter of William Dean Howells, who died of lassitude, to John Sloan's wife, Dolly, a former prostitute saved by art, to Arthur Miller's Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol's Edie Sedgwick, Shirley Clarke, Patti Smith, and the many, many women who came to the Chelsea in the Seventies to liberate themselves.
And now, to end with this? I'm starting to feel more at home in the Second-Life Chelsea.
Strangely enough soon after this comment appeared the girl went missing. Where has the girl gone? Did they take her out in a body bag?Or was she simply a figment of our imagination all along.Perhaps she’s in the same Bohemian limbo as Piri’s money. Guess the Beaver House will stay downtown.
In answer to last week’s quiz: both the Hinckley Hilton and the Edison, New Jersey Benihana were designed by the architectural firm of William Tabler, who have now filed apermit application with the DOB to do $20,000 worth of work in the Capitol Fishing Tackle space.Well, I guess it’s about damn time, as the storefront has sat empty for almost three years now. Our question for Mr. Tabler is, for $20,000, do you really need the aggravation? After all we’ve seen your website. You can work anywhere in the world. We’re not even talking about the inevitable pressure from well-organized tenant activists or the daily scrutiny of the media. Look at who your bosses will be. Though I’m sure Marlene Krauss was on her best behavior for your meeting, she’s a psychotic harpy who will have you by the balls in no time flat.Obviously you’ve not even met David Elder yet, or you would never have taken the job in the first place. I guess you just neglected to do your research.Call hoteliers Richard Born and Ira Drukier and ask them if Marlene has paid them the $425,000 she owes them yet.Call author Piri Thomas and ask if he’s seen the $1.2 million that Elder owes him.Ask the other Chelsea Hotel shareholders if they’ve seen any of the increased profits that Marlene promised them for supporting the hostile takeover of the Hotel. Perhaps you look at this relatively small job as a foot in the door, and think that eventually you’ll be hired to gut renovate the entire hotel.But do you think Marlene is going to be able to get a mortgage to pay you in this economy?There’s 40 or more outstanding lawsuits against the hotel!Marlene didn’t mention those, did she?I doubt that she mentioned that her prospects for obtaining a Certificate of No Harassment are rather remote as well, as Elder admitted in a DHCR hearing to hiring goons to assault a tenant.Thank your lucky stars that you haven’t signed on for anything bigger. -- Ed Hamilton
For those of you who didn’t guess the answer to our quiz question on Wednesday here is another hint.The gentrified and suburbanized Chelsea neighborhood already has an Olive Garden and an Outback Steakhouse.It’s high time we had a Benihana’s as well.And maybe we’ll get a Red Lobster in the El Quixote space.Viva Suburbia!
Pictured below is the results of Chelsea Hotel minority shareholder's Krauss and Elder's ongoing campaign to squelch free speech at the Chelsea. DOB has issued a violation to the Hotel because the "Bring Back Stanley Bard" sign was attached to the balcony, which they're calling a fire escape. Tenant activist Arthur Nash has this to say about the latest development:
"Even as minority stakeholder David Elder was embracing free speech with a self-serving blurb published in Chelsea Now, he continued to dole out disdain for those whose expressions are, appropriately enough, afforded the most protection under the law -- in this instance, pro-Bard Family tenants who do (and will continue to) oppose his hostile takeover of the Chelsea Hotel. In the past, Elder dealt with what he considers unpopular speech not inside the courtroom but by retaliating with violent thugs who he clandestinely paid in cash, and by initiating retaliatory complaints with DOB that wrecked the rooftop gardens and caused our balconies --aka fire escapes-- to be rendered barren in time for spring. In spite of this harassment David Elder may be entitled to thanks for his most recent complaint which, while equally bogus and being selectively enforced, will permit the Bard Banner campaign to keep evolving, perhaps into NEON."
Yeah, it really looks like that sign was blocking the fire escape! And besides, excuse me for being cynical but does anyone really believe that Kruass and Elder care whether or not Arthur is injured in a fire!
The signs in chronological order from 2007 - 2009: The sign is no longer attached to Arthur Nash's terrace railing but it's still displayed!
What do the Washington Hilton, the place where Hinckley shot Reagan, and the Chelsea Hotel have in common?Care to hazard a guess?Hint: it doesn’t have anything to do with Sid and Nancy, and it only came about recently.Stay tuned to the blog for the answer.
The first redesign of the Chelsea Hotel website was undertaken during the misbegotten reign of Richard Born and Ira Drukier.Besides being poorly written and edited, the BD site removed all mention of the Bard family’s role in managing the hotel for nearly 70 years.Now it’s hard to tell who oversaw this most recent redesign since Marlene Krauss is refusing to hire a manager for the Hotel, but the tradition of denying the Bard family legacy remains firmly in place.( Nice photo of the Hotel on the splash page by the way. This takes the campaign to erase the Bard legacy a step further than even BD, who at least had enough concern for the truth to include the Bring Back the Bards signs in their picture.)
One ofour favorite new sections of the redesigned site is called “The Chelsea.” As you can see, the site still needs an editor.(Oh, and it also needs somebody who knows how to tell a joke!)Gee, anybody wonder why Jerry Weinstein is the only person on staff who can speak intelligently about the history of the Hotel?Could it have anything to do with the firing of Stanley and David Bard?
Although Chelsesas Hotel minority shareholder Marlene Krauss is a high-powered businesswoman who routinely crushes ordinary mortals beneath her 6-inch Manolo Blahniks and makes grown men weep and grovel before her on their knees, we know that her one big regret in life is that she missed the cut for Charlie’s Angels back in the seventies.
But don’t start feeling sorry for her yet.NBC is now casting for a new prime time show staring victims of Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme!It’s Marlene’s big chance.With her timeless beauty, her winning personality, and her questionable financial sense, she’s a shoe-in.
Best of all, she doesn’t have to do anything to be considered.Anyone can nominate a candidate for the show, and we intend to do so immediately.Others can nominate Marlene as well, perhaps strengthening her chances, by writing to TonyCastEast@gmail.com.Do your part for the Chelsea, Bohemians.Help make Marlene a star.-- Ed Hamilton
New York Real Estate Legend Dan Peckham’s Appelate Court case
against his landlord, Larry Tauber, was decided May 5, and, in a blow against
tenants everywhere, Peckham lost (Peckham v. Calogero).Later that day Tauber sent Peckham an e-mail
message that said, “Tick-tock,” hinting that Peckham’s days in his rent
stabilized apartment were numbered; Tauber also forwarded his lawyer's BBWG's e-mail
to Tauber that gloatingly said, “WE WON!”
In other words: Hooray! We get to throw an elderly, disabled man whom we’ve harassed for five years out into the street!Their mothers must be beaming with pride.I don’t know what’s going to happen to
Peckham now, but most likely Tauber will step up efforts to evict him.Hopefully Peckham has legal recourse.He relies on pro-bono legal representation,
and is presently without a lawyer.We
are hoping that a competent, dedicated lawyer will quickly step forward to
represent Peckham, and keep the wolf from his door.
To bring you up to speed on this case: Tauber
is seeking to gut renovate Peckham’s building which is in the Chelesa neighborhood.The Department of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) granted him the
permits to demolish the building (which he began to do, with Peckham still in
it!), but then realized its mistake.The
Appellate Court said, basically, that the DHCR couldn’t change its mind about
the definition of “demolition” in Tauber’s case after it had already decided
that he met the criteria.
(This is actually somewhat reasonable, as
allowing city agencies to change the rules after they have already granted
permits could lead to all sorts of abuses.It’s just that in Tauber’s case—an instance of the so called “phony
demolition”—the permits shouldn’t have been granted in the first place, and any
reason to revoke them would seem justified.)
This affects other cases around the city in
which the DHCR has already made a decision to grant permits for this kind of
phony demolition.Fortunately, the DHCR
can still change their definition of “demolition” for future cases.We urge them to do so, and immediately close
this dangerous loophole.
Enduring untold stress and harassment,
Peckham has been the lone holdout in his building for five years, costing Tauber hundreds of
thousands of dollars in lost rent revenues and legal fees, and making greedy
landlords everywhere think twice about trying to cheat legitimate rent
stabilized tenants out of their rights.In addition to fighting his own case, Dan has devoted his time and
expertise to aid other Tauber tenants in need, and as such he remains a hero
and an example for all of us of what a courageous, dedicated activist can
accomplish.We need more Dan Peckhams in
this City. -- Ed Hamilton
Gerald Busby, a friend of composer Virgil Thomson, recently checked out Wallace Norman's new play, "Oh Virgil: A Theatrical Portrait." Busby had this to say about the play, "For anyone who already knows Virgil Thomson’s music and his life at the Chelsea Hotel, this production will be deeply satisfying. For those who don’t know his music, it will reveal an American genius who mastered the art of merging instinct and intellect in the simplest musical terms – you think you’ve heard this before, but suddenly you realize it’s a completely new context for the most familiar and intimate experiences of your life." You can read the full review at theaterscene.net.
"Oh Virgil: A Theatrical Portrait" stars VICTOR TRURO and runs through May 10 at The Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, NY NY
Actor Mark L. Young was in town last week for the premier of “Happiness Runs” which was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.Young who appeared in “Happiness Runs,” “O.C.,” “ER,” “Sex Drive,” and “Big Love” among other things was very curious about Bob Dylan’s room and wanted to check it out. Young gave us a copy of Nylon magazine which focused on stars of the next generation and Young was included in the article.Perhaps in a few years Young will be so successful that he’ll return to help the Bring Back the Bards campaign.We hope that the Chelsea is as big an inspiration to Young as it has been to us and countless other creative people throughout its 125 year history.In the picture Mark stands beside the Chelsea’s latest acquisition ,a painting by Nadia Bertrand, who you might remember was at the Chelsea for an extended stay which ended a couple of weeks ago.We’d tell you what room it’s in but we don’t want people to be building shrines.
The Hotel Chelsea is one of the last remaining art enclaves and bohemian outposts, which nurtured the musical contributions of artists such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Leonard Cohen and many more.
The Hotel Chelsea in New York is under threat right now, as they have begun to demolish this great piece of our musical heritage. You can do something about it!
Join Mykal Skall and other performing artists at The Hotel Chelsea Second Life for the "Bring Back The Bards!" campaign. This grassroots movement based at the Hotel Chelsea New York (First Life) hopes to reestablish management of the Hotel to the Bard family, who will preserve the history and artistic integrity of the site in perpetuity.
The Grand Opening is Sunday May 3rd begining at 12pm and ending with Mykal Skall Live at 6pm. There will be a myriad of Live Spoken Word Artists, and Live Music including: Phiona EMber Moondoggirl Moomintoog Rosedrop Rust Whirli Placebo Moxy Barracuda Mykal Skall And the Comedy of Lauren Weyland
The Bring Back the Bards campaign has taken root in another life thanks to the hard work and talent of Mykal Skall. We're glad to have him on board in our ongoing fight to preserve the 125-year-old tradition of artistic freedom at the Chelsea.
Thanks also to Saki Knafo for bringing Mykal's work, and our struggle, to the attention of a wider public. And for minority shareholders Krauss and Elder, please be put on notice: when you desecrate this iconic hotel, the world is watching, and history will be your judge.
One Correction to the NYT article: Bob Dylan's old room, 211, did not undergo renovations. It was simply, and, I might add, illegally, gutted. Management planned to renovate it, but they did not have the proper permits, so the DOB shut them down. -- Ed Hamilton
At last we have good news to report. David Elder has come out in support of freedom of the press vowing that Chelsea Now will once again be welcome in the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel. Following a pro- Bard editorial Chelsea Now had been removed from the lobby, apparently because it threatened the stability of Elder's reign. And then after a series of pro-Bard letters to the editor in a subsequent issue Chelsea Now disappeared from many of the paper boxes surrounding the Hotel. Disappearing, once again, even after some of them were refilled. Don't be rejoicing yet although the Onion and New York Press have been present in the lobby this week together with a bunch of fliers there is still no sign of Chelsea Now. Has Elder come down with a case of cold feet? Stay tune to the blog for further updates. -- Ed Hamilton