Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Leaving no stone unturned

The legendary Chelsea Hotel is 3 blocks from our rabbit hutch. For generations of aspiring artists, a stint at the Chelsea - their room rent paid in art - was a rite of passage into the New York art scene. It's where Sid's Nancy died, and Dylan Thomas too. I know of it from Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan and more recently the brilliant Patti Smith's Just Kids.

I walk past it all the time. There's a Doughnut Plant I enjoy on the ground floor, and I like peering in at all that bad art in the hotel foyer. El Quijote, just visible in this picture, has been there since the 60s, and retains a faded artsy grandeur which I suspect the Chelsea Hotel bar does too. I've been dying to go in and check it out. Roughly once a week since April I've been saying to TLOML 'Let's check out the bar at the Chelsea Hotel tonight / this weekend / sometime soon.' But there was always some other bar, or it was too early, or too late...

Finally, about a month ago, the stars aligned. It was a little after ten, on a Thursday night, and we were walking home with just enough energy for an exploratory whisky. So we pushed at that door we had walked past so many times. Only to find it was closed.

The hotel has been bought by a developer and I suspect when it opens will no longer accept weird papiermache masks as payment. Shame. And we missed it by a matter of days.

So, the fear has set in. We're leaving New York in a couple of months, and I don't want to miss out on anything else. Sure, we'll be back plenty, but we'll never have an opportunity like this to get to know the city. I am making a list. So far it includes Coney Island, Park Slope, about 8 steak houses, and the Intrepid (that one's for TLOML).

I will leave no stone unturned!

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