This video was filmed, at least partially (they had to use another room for the balcony scenes), in Room 822 of the Chelsea Hotel, the same room where Madonna shot her famous Sex book. I actually saw Taylor standing outside the room during a lull in the shooting, though of course I didn’t recognize her at the time. (She was wearing the same funereal black outfit she has on in the video, which is what jogged my memory.) At the time I figured she was just another young, pretty model of the kind who grace our halls for fashion shoots and the like. I did notice that Taylor was looking at me as if she expected me to shriek with delight and run over and ask for her autograph at any moment. And I would have too, obviously, except for the fact that I didn’t know Taylor Momsen from Taylor Swift or even Taylor Meade. It could have been my imagination, but I thought Taylor seemed a bit put out that I didn’t recognize her. Taylor, don’t kill yourself! You have your whole life ahead of you! I’ll ask for your autograph next time, I swear!
Lost our lease!Everything must go!Stanley was famous for renting the room where Madonna shot her Sex book to Material Girl-worshiping hipsters with stars in their eyes.Lately, however, sex alone has not been paying the bills.In response, general manager Arnold Tamasar has revealed a new marketing strategy: Celebrity Death Tourism. (And maybe a little sex thrown in for good measure.) For bargain basement prices, you can stay in the room where a drug-addled Sid Vicious killed a drug-befuddled Nancy Spungen—or at least a room with the couple’s infamous bathroom attached.And if you can’t afford to go the whole hog, the hotel now sells Sid dolls at the front desk.(Complete with tiny leather jacket, sure, but how about a tiny hypodermic needle?You’ll have to ask the concierge.)Wear your black fingernail polish and light a candle for the Romeo and Juliet of punk.
Substance-abusing punks not your cup of tea?Ask to stay in the tiny room where Dylan Thomas collapsed after a night of hard drinking at the White Horse tavern.Bet you can’t beat his record of 18 whiskeys!Speaking of lovable alcoholics, Charles Jackson, author of The Lost Weekend bit the big one here as well—a suicide, double the fun!(Don’t try this at home, kids!Though really, don’t try it here either.)
If you don’t have time to spend the night (or simply fear for your safety and/or sanity), book a spot on the Big Apple Death tour, as the Chelsea Hotel is now on the itinerary.You’ll travel in style, making the rounds of the city in a decommissioned (we hope) 1967 hearse.The only problem with this option is, you’ll miss the famous ghosts of the Chelsea, who only come out at night! -- Ed Hamilton
With the Spring shareholder meeting fast approaching, minority shareholder Marlene Krauss, MD, Pld., Harvard MBA, together with her new general manager Arnold Tamasar, is loudly trumpeting the claim that the ChelseaHotel is at maximum occupancy.But isn’t it funny how, except perhaps on week-ends, the place seems half-empty?
Actually, the 100% occupancy claim is intended to obscure certain inconvenient facts.For one thing, we would estimate that as many as 30% of the rooms have been taken off of the books, many, such as Bob Dylan’s room and Arthur Miller's room, for “renovation”, while other rooms have simply been allowed to sit empty—or to be used as crash pads for workers on double shifts. Additionally, rooms are being used for storage because there's no place to put extra blankets that were previously stored in the basement.
Furthermore, it’s not like the hotel is getting top dollar for these rooms.People aren’t coming here because it’s the Chelsea anymore; they’re coming here because they’re advertising cheap rooms on the internet.The smallest rooms with shared baths fill up first, and then tourists who arrive later are given “upgrades” to the larger rooms for the same price or maybe a few dollars more.Otherwise, the large rooms would sit empty.
As several readers have written to express confusion over our earlier post about the firing of David Elder from his job as general manager of the Chelsea Hotel, and since we’ll have to admit to being a bit confused ourselves, we’d like to open the matter up for discussion.How, exactly, did he get fired?
The problem is this: the board of directors, which hires and fires the general manager, is composed of three members: Marlene Krauss, David Elder, and David Bard.It would have taken two votes out of the three to fire Elder (as well as to replace him with Arnold Tamasar).So does this mean that Marlene is now siding with the Bard Family? (And why would David Bard cooperate in hiring Tamasar for a job he wants himself?) Or was Elder stupid enough to vote himself out of a job?
The third possibility is that Elder hasn’t actually been fired at all, but was only tricked somehow into absenting himself from the building, in which case he could presumably return at any time.After all, he is part owner of the Chelsea Hotel.This would be bad news for present general manager Arnold Tamasar, who reportedly accepted the job on the condition that Elder would not interfere with his management decisions.
We hear that Elder is puzzled by the “firing” himself, so much so that he has taken to calling certain tenants to whine, “Why doesn’t anybody want me around anymore?” -- Ed Hamilton
Theories abound as to why the Chelsea Hotel management removed a panel from the historic landmarked balcony on Monday and replaced it with a generic black iron plate. Now the NY Times reports that "... inspectors and engineers have visited more than 530 buildings across the city to determine whether the property owners maintained the exterior of their buildings, including balconies,..” The article goes on to say that buildings are required to inspect their balconies every 5 years and report the inspection to DOB. Was the inspection something that fell through the cracks during all of the recent managment upheavel? In any event they better replace the panel soon or else the Chelsea Hotel will have another Landmark violation on their hands to go with the inappropriately repaired railing on the Star Lounge stairwell. Photo by Arthur Nash
Why is a company that specializes in hazardous waste management removing debris from Star Lounge? Should our concerns extend beyond the destruction of the mural in Stanley Bards office? We'd like to think that these men in masks were just cleaning up three years worth of crack cocaine residue from the bathroom fixtures, but we fear otherwise. Why are residents never notified as to what's going on in the building? Management has some explaining to do.
concern at this point is for the structural integrity of the building, and
especially for the fate of the
magnificent Beaux Art mural on the ceiling of Stanley’s office, an original
feature of the hotel, built in 1883. Other original features of the office include the marble floor and two fire places.
Obviously, any disturbance to the floor or the walls of the office
threatens to destabilize the ceiling, which likely would result in irreparable
tears to the mural, which is actually a large painted canvas that has been
stretched and affixed to the ornate ceiling.(As you can see, there are several matching canvases affixed to the
surrounding walls.)Furthermore, dust
from the demolition is likely to damage the mural if great care is not taken to
of his ambitious ten-year renovation project for the hotel, Stanley Bard had
the mural restored in 2000.We have been
in contact with the restorer, Lisa Rosen of Fine Art Restoration, who
writes to describe the costly and laborious process:
"The painting was obfuscated with 129 years of New York City smog, soot, nicotine
and surface dirt. The once transparent final layer of protective varnish
had also altered, turning first yellow and then brown (see photo ). The restorative cleaning procedure took five weeks of intensive
physical labor using 'q-tip's' and idoneous solvent to finally arrive at
you see today. What you see now is how the painted canvas looked
originally leaving the master's studio before being adhered to the hotel
In the 1880's the height of chic was to hire Italian artists to come to New York City and decorate the
splendid private mansions and elegant hotels of the Belle Epoque. America was striving to keep up
and prove itself with Old World style. These
artists were also responsible for the interior decorations of the historical
villas in Newport, R.I..
The ChelseaHotel is a perfect example of
the New World imitating Old World luxury. Stanley
Bard's former office in fact had originally been the Ladies Powder Room.
The painted ceiling, the stucco decorations and even the stained glass in the windows
of Bard's former office reflect the suave elegance that the hotel represented."
As you can see by the before
and after pictures, Rosen has
done a great job.It would be a shame if this irreparable mural were lost due to careless
and/or malicious action on the part of hotel management, who might have other
ideas about what a chi-chi
club should look like.
Commode Kingpin Arnold Tamasar has just given Chelsea Hotel minority shareholder/general manager David Elder a swirly.You know, that’s when you dunk somebody’s head in the toilet bowl and flush it.
What reportedly happened is that, back around the end of March, Tamasar resigned from his post as Director of Operations, telling tenants it was for “ethical” reasons.Now, if at this point you begin to smell a big, fat sewer rat clambering up out of a ChelseaHotel drain pipe, you would certainly not be alone.When Legends received Tamasar’s goodbye letter on March 22, we immediately suspected a trick, perhaps a shakedown of Chelsea Hotel minority shareholder Marlene Krauss, which, while in itself certainly a worthy undertaking, was not anything we wanted to be involved in.
In any event, whether intentional or not, the Lord of the Lavatory had played his cards perfectly and at this point had Marlene over the proverbial barrel.Marlene knew that the dimwitted Elder couldn’t run this rapidly sinking ship by himself.She also knew that it would cost upward of $100,000 to hire a headhunter to find a replacement for Tamasar—provided they could even find a hotel administrator clueless enough to take the job.
Grudgingly, Marlene reportedly offered Crapper Czar Tamasar considerably more money, only to be told where to go.One can only imagine the increasing perplexity of this wildly ambitious, driven woman, someone who understands human motives only in terms of greed and avarice, upon seeing her increasingly generous offers being repeatedly rebuffed.It turns out what Tamasar really wanted (in addition, of course, to the money) was for Elder to be fired.(Who could blame him?And maybe this is where the “ethical” concerns came in.)With no alternative but to betray her faithful lapdog and semi-dependable spy, Marlene reportedly convened a meeting of the full board of the hotel, who summarily voted for Elder’s dismissal.
Bravo, Bathroom Boy!Thanks for getting rid of the incompetent Elder. I'm sure you'll have much more fun taking orders directly from Marlene Krauss.Reached in California and surfacing briefly for comment, Elder responded only, “Sputter! Gurgle!Gak!”
"They run a nice, clean operation and times were so hard years and years ago in this city, and they stayed and they put in their own money to stay," explained former hotel manager Stanley Bard, also a co-owner.
The article also points out that current management is seeking ways to bypass a clause in El Quijote's lease which stipulates that "The Landlord agrees not to rent space in the building to a third party for operation of a restaurant in competition with the Tenant; however, the Landlord may operate a coffee shop." ( Speaking of coffee, lard lad has been accused of selling decaf in the guise of regular caffeinated coffee. Next thing you know he'll be selling donuts without lard! )
Loyalty, now that's something we could use a little more of around here. Unfortunately it seems to be in short supply.