I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel

16 Jan

The place really should have been a museum.  A dedication to the poetry, music, art, film, drugs and gonorrhea of New York in the 60’s and 70’s; yet here it sits, closed off from the people it matters most to and a mystery brick skeleton to those who came too late.

In 2010 Patti Smith spoke at Cooper Union and Vanishing New York covered it.  She is quoted as saying, “New York has closed itself off to the young and the struggling. But there are other cities. Detroit. Poughkeepsie… New York City has been taken away from you… So my advice is: Find a new city.” And I’m pretty sure we should have listened.  In less than two years gone is the Mars Bar, Duffs when it was by the River and awesome, the original Coney Island Arcade, Shoot the Freak, Cha-cha’s, and Chelsea Hotel like CBGB, Max’s Kansas City, Coney Island High, etc. before them.

But ain’t that New York?  A town of wildly rich people towering above starving peasants across the moat in Brooklyn.  They take more and more land away for their ten dollar sandwich shops that fortify the walls of their castles in the sky.

I was lucky enough to spend a less than classy evening in the Hotel before it closed in 2011 with three of my girlfriends.  It ends as to be expected.

R.I.P.

Where does your wanderlust take you?

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Rachel Louise Martin, Ph.D.

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