Chelsea Hotel, New York
While we were in Chelsea, we walked passed Chelsea Hotel and saw a group of tourists snapping away! I read briefly about their famous patrons in the past and had to join in the fun! Without knowing much about the history of this hotel, I took a quick picture before we resume our journey.
And lo and behold, an article on TODAY featured this hotel and I finally get to know what the fuss is all about. According to the article, Chelsea Hotel is not just unique because of their long list of notable residents; it is also special because of their free-wheeling bohemian spirit which was led by then owner-manager Stanley Bard. He is the one who decides on who can stay in the hotel, which room, which floor, and how they pay perhaps in their artwork. Julia Calfree, a photographer who stayed for four years back in 2003 shared.
Under Bard’s hand, it is not a hotel where money rules, he allowed people to stay depending on their potential, a penniless artist with great potential like Bob Dylan fitted the bill. During Calfree’s stay, she had the privilege to take behind the scene and intimate pictures of their residents on a promised of discretion. Too bad Chelsea Hotel is now taken being bought over by a real restate developer, when it reopens again; I doubt it will ever be the same hotel with the old bohemian spirit.
If you are curious about what gets behind the door, you are in luck! Calfree’s exhibition is here in Singapore and you may want to pop by Art Plural Gallery on 38 Armenian Street for her “Inside The Chelsea Hotel” exhibition which runs from now to October 12. Admission is free and it opens from 11am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.