PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston May 2023

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Hotel Checking In and Checking Out the Iconic By Steven Hempel. Photography Annie Schlechter. I t was the best of times … The Hotel Chelsea, newly refurbished, sitting at the heart of Chelsea in NYC, has more than just a story to tell. It has a history — from ghosts to actors, artists to playwrights. Its website describes the vibe as "a decadent palace of peculiarity." Indeed. Once a world unto itself, The Hotel Chelsea now manifests genteel society, with The High Line to its west and retail du jour to the east. Such is the price of gentrification. Famed playwright Arthur Miller, having recently divorced Marilyn Monroe and in need of privacy, moved to the hotel in 1960. He described it thus for Granta magazine last year: "I began to like the hotel, or at least some of the residents, or denizens as some liked to call themselves. You could get high in the elevators on the residue of marijuana smoke. 'What smoke?' Mr. Bard (hotel owner and manager) would ask indignantly. Allen Ginsberg was hawking his new Fuck You magazine in the lobby, Warhol was shooting a film in one of the suites, and a young woman with eyes so crazy that one remembered them as being above one another, would show up in the lobby now and then…" Nearly a century earlier, writers Samuel Clemens and O. Henry were known to stroll the halls. They were followed through the years by poets Dylan Thomas and Allen Ginsberg and novelist Jack Kerouac. Musicians Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix were frequent visitors, and Sid Vicious (allegedly) killed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in Room 100 on the first floor. It truly was — and is — a world unto itself. Stories from the past have cemented the legacy and lend credence to the idea that The Hotel Chelsea was a place for any man and everyman. Just so long as said guest was open-minded, the gateway to another world awaited. The hotel was recently renovated by owners Sean MacPherson, Ira Drukier and Richard Born (The Jane, The Bowery, The Maritime), with the Lobby Bar, El Quijote restaurant, and The Bard Room event space completed; Café Chelsea, the first new restaurant since El Quijote opened in 1930, arrives this year. Artworks collected over the past century hang throughout the hotel, by artists Donald Baechler, Maryan S. Maryan, Ching Ho Cheng, Sandro Chia, Ultra Violet, Robert Lambert, Stan Brakhage, Alain Jacquet, Philip Taaffe, and Hiroya. The Hotel Chelsea, in its new splendor, is the backdrop for this month's fashion shoot. We hope you enjoy your visit. Chelsea Hotel Chelsea lobby bar Hotel Chelsea Caviar with potato chips and beer cream Mercury Pool cocktail ERIC MEDSKER ERIC MEDSKER DAVID MCCABE Warhol and friends, El Quijote restaurant, Hotel Chelsea, mid-1960s 40

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