An immersive photographic tour of the Hotel Chelsea and the current residents living in one of New York’s most legendary landmarks. Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, William S. Burroughs, Thomas Wolfe— these are just a few names on the long and storied list of past figures who once occupied the Hotel Chelsea. Born during the Gilded Age (and once the tallest building in New York City), the twelve-story landmark was, and still is, a havenfor artists, writers, musicians, and cultural provocateurs of all stripes. In Hotel Chelsea: Living in the Last Bohemian Haven photographer Colin Miller and writer Ray Mock profile the apartments of nearly two dozen current residents with detailed photographs of their unique spaces that continue to embody the bohemian spirit of the hotel.
The apartments showcase the often maximalist, quirky decorating sensibilities of these urban aesthetes, most of whom are members of the creative industries, resulting in a diverse collection of deliriously ornamental spaces with a campy edge.
A conversation between sisters Gaby Hoffmann and Alex Auder serves as the book’s foreword as they recall their experience growing up in the hotel with their mother, Warhol superstar Viva: “I go through a somatic journey,” says Auder. “Through the lobby-I-know-like-the-back-of-my-hand, sneak into the sinisterEl Quijote bathrooms to tend to my recurring bloody nose, up to the first floor elevators if I don’t feel like talking to Merle, and while I wait for the gold elevator I spit into the first-floor stairwell to see how it differed from spitting from the 7th floor.”
The Hotel Chelsea—amid recent ownership changeovers, legal conflicts, andthe conclusion of a long renovation for rooms that will soon open up as a luxury hospitality destination—is still integral to the fabric of New York cultural life,and Hotel Chelsea is a fascinating portrait of the residents that keep it as vibrant as it is mythical.