I love walking around NYC with my camera. The sights, the sounds, the people watching, the architecture. Ohhhh, the architecture. This time around, I spent some time walking the length of the High Line and taking some time to walk around Chelsea and I didn’t leave disappointed.
Braving the extreme heat, I headed over to W 23rd Street to the Hotel Chelsea, a New York City landmark since 1966. The history behind this hotel, mainly in it’s list of notable and notorious residents over the years, such as singers Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop, writers Charles Bukowski and Arthur C. Clarke (Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey while staying at The Chelsea), and a slew of famous actors. The hotel isn’t without it’s sordid history. It marks the place where Nancy Spurgeon, girlfriend of the Sex Pistols Sid Vicious was found stabbed to death in 1978. The list of notables, and the history they brought with them, or made during their stay there, is astounding.
As of August 2011, the hotel was shut down for renovations. I truly hope they don’t touch the amazing facade too much; if anything just to do a little tuck pointing but no major overhauls. The beautiful reddish orange brick and the wrought iron balconies make this building, formally the tallest in New York (at the time it was built), seem as if it’s straight out of Paris rather than here in the States.
I decided to go with both a color and black and white version of this photograph because I felt both provided a unique perspective on the building and told two very different stories. While the color version shows the beauty of the building, I feel the black and white version represents the history (and ghosts??) of the hotel. Which do you prefer?