From Dylan Thomas to Andy Warhol, from Arthur Miller to Allen Ginsberg: the Chelsea Hotel, on Manhattan’s West 23rd Street, has embraced New York’s creative outsiders, providing them with refuge for weeks or years or even decades. From 2003 to 2009, I was one of those creative outsiders, living off and on at the Chelsea.
While there, I got to know the hotel’s staff and long-term residents, and this project shows their intimate, eccentric living spaces and records their anecdotes and memories about life in this special building. I didn’t realize it at the time, but these years would be the end of an era. The Chelsea has since been sold to developers, making this project my elegy to a vanishing bohemian New York.