Saturday, May 31, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Chaos at the Chelsea!
Hotel's Photo Party Erupts in Mayhem
by Chris Shott |
May 19, 2008, The New York Observer.
Also on Friday, May 9, the Chelsea Hotel’s grand ballroom was opened for the first time in years, hung with more than 100 photographs of the ancient bohemian enclave and its many edgy inhabitants, including rockers Patti Smith and Dee Dee Ramone.
Celebrating its 125th anniversary, the legendary lodge recently saw its second management shake-up in less than a year amid stalled renovation plans and evictions of at least 15 tenants. Perhaps it’s unsurprising that hotel vice president, David Elder, who co-curated the exhibit with resident photographer Linda Troeller, was chased from the exhibit hall by a masked doppelgänger dressed in a hotel bathrobe. A stink bomb was also set off.
The next evening, on his way to a party celebrating the exhibit, Mr. Elder was fiercely confronted at the front desk by a tenant, Arthur Nash, himself a curator, who’d beaten the landlord in housing court only a week earlier. Mr. Elder fled to the hotel’s subterranean Star Lounge, where a bouncer stepped between them, allowing his escape into the bar. (“I never got physical with him or threatened to get physical,” Mr. Nash told the Transom later. Mr. Elder refused an interview.)
Later, after stepping outside briefly, the hotel exec returned to the party with a security guard after being doused from a balcony above. Staff called the cops. When they arrived, with stun guns drawn, firefighters were already there. Someone had called to complain about overcrowding inside.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
"Chelsea Hotel Through the Eyes of Photographers"
Curated by Linda Troeller and David Elder
Friday May 9 noon to 6pm
General Opening 6-8pm
Saturday May 10 noon to 5pm
Sunday May 11 noon to 5pm
Chelsea Hotel Ballroom 1st Floor Lobby
222 West 23rd St. New York, New York
Photos by Linda Troeller and Keith Green
For Immediate Release: April 20, 2008
"Chelsea Hotel Through the Eyes of Photographers" – 125th Anniversary Photography Exhibition of the Chelsea Hotel
The Chelsea Hotel turns 125 this year and to celebrate its anniversary, photographer and Hotel resident Linda Troeller, curated the exhibit, "Chelsea Hotel Through the Eyes of Photographers," collaborating with Hotel Vice President David Elder. The show features work from over sixty photographers shot in and of this iconic Hotel ranging from historic images of residents such as Virgil Thomson, Patti Smith and Dee Dee Ramone to the edgy and atmospheric. “With so much of New York City history vanishing, these photographs testify to the pivotal value of the proliferation of culture generated at an artist-oriented place,” said Ms. Troeller.
The exhibit, in the ballroom of the Hotel, is on view for the May 9th from noon to 6pm and general opening 6-8pm;
May 10th Saturday from noon to 5pm and Sunday May 11th from noon to 5pm.
The Hotel Chelsea, a legendary bastion of creativity, has often stood in the eye of New York City's cultural storm. The ghosts from the Hotel's earlier days saw Arthur Miller hide away to write in a back apartment following his
divorce from Marilyn Monroe; Janis Joplin “talk so brave and sweet” to Leonard Cohen; and Ralph Gibson print his photographs for his first Lustrum photography book in his tiny kitchenette.
The Hotel Chelsea is located at 222 West 23rd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, near the E, C, F, and 1 trains.
Press photographs are available and the press may visit the show by appointment before the opening.
Photographers featured in the show are from New York City and around the United States, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, England, Canada, and Mexico.
Bailey Ann Rosen
Dina Von Zweck
Marc Antoine DUPONT
Mark Edward Harris
Mary Ann Lynch
Rebeca Senovilla Zubiaga
René De Carufel
Thursday, May 1, 2008
My draft story of the hood
I am going to miss our neighborhood.
i have lived in Denver most of my life and here in the highlands as an artist and activist since 1991.
18 years ago i moved in the north side from NYC. I picked this area because of the great cultural diversity and it was thick with artists. Pure luck i got to I got purchase my house for a bargain. The houses surrounding me abandoned and the corner homes were drug dealers. Look outs everywhere. In many ways it was safe. You just stayed out the way. I started a large community garden and became friends with most all my neighbors who were at first not to pleased with a white person on the block. With the community and Our Lady of Guadeloupe Church I helped build the ceramic mosaic walls along I-25. With HUNI I helped stop traffic engineers from building a clover leaf highway exit at 20th . Now it is a lovely green belt of grass parks and play grounds. :)
I met a wonderful Denver historian David Spencer “Spence” who taught me how to sleuth the history of my block and home from county records and micro film articles .. to where I found wonderful stories of the first 19th century residents. One is Minny Wilson a wild druggist the ( Wilson drugs store on the corner of 30th and Zuni) she owned my house and lived next door. Her grand children brought me her diaries. My 92 years old neighbor knew her and has been through it all and back. And now at the end of her life its the end of the neighborhood.
First was the working class Irish and Italians then came the new workers the Hispanics and always the artists.. then the greedy developers follow after seeing white people around. Now things are a changing very fast.
I will miss the woman walking their kids to school. (urban professionals drive their kids) The Sunday Mexican polka music in the air .. Zuni Plaza..Taqueria El valle with the old man playing the guitar and no white people or English spoken.. its all going soon .. I am soon going to have to go to.
I am a white artist and i don't have generations behind me..but I am sick and sad to the loss of a once culturally diverse and historic neighborhood .
Density is important rather then urban sprawl .. and I am resolved to the changes. It’s the greed of the developers that don’t even live in the area. The low standard of building quality and design. All has me very upset and frustrated.
Poverty is the steward to historic preservation, thus is the special unique charm to our area. Do not developers scrape everything get it? The reason the neighborhood is so hot right now is because of this special historic quality.
I have been watching the families get pushed out on my block one my one these past few years. Most lived here for over two generations.
I have been watching and documenting beautiful historic buildings scraped so a developers can build a particle board palaces. Because they paid so much for the property they have to use up every square ft of the land leaving no trees no yards.. and they go up as high as codes allow. Shading out the neighbors all the views and ending privacy.
The worse part They are so extremely poorly constructed.
It is this era of Disney land buildings all faking wealth but in reality are built extremely shoddy . Just As long as it looks wealthy it doesn't seem to matter to a new generation of buyers.
I welcome well thought out design that is a quality solid build ..it’s the fake the hollow that I have problems with. It’s a symbol of our culture now .. over extended ..hollow and owned by the bank. Throw away ..no craftsmanship .. empty of personal taste.
These are my tales of my block.
In the 1980s Pena administration brought a lot of change in the north side. He implemented several rehab programs bringing including putting in historic street lights and creating businesses and home ownership to many of the poor. It solidified the hood Hispanic. It was beautiful. Many of the businesses flourished. Soon those families made profits and many moved to the suburbs while renting out the properties to a poorer Mexican national class of migrant workers and day labor. That is when the area became even more dangerous and drug ridden. Our corner store was called “stop and stab”. Lower highland was a section with the highest violent crime rates in Denver. I will say it kept the developers at bay and east highland emerged. Slowly in the mid 80s the artists moved in to the abandoned buildings and crack houses. They lovingly restored them .. by the mid 90s developers saw white people around and soon were soon starting to buy up the low priced land and structures. Its an age old story. Now the old families and artists and all other working class all are being pushed out. Young professionals are moving in.
This is a brief documentation of the destruction my block to date.. and this is just my block.. this is happening on every block in the area.
The first of six beautiful historical buildings to go on my block was one of the earliest buildings on the hill ..it was a wood structure meaning it pre-dated mandatory brick so it was 1860-70s.. it was a small wooden house . It was scraped and a giant multiplex was put in its place covering every inch of the lot .. David Spencer addressed the planning meetings and all we could do was to get them to put brick instead of stucco on the outer wall which is three stories of windowless nothing. ( facing the street).
The worst example of night mare construction is across my alley.
A beautiful solid 1890s home with a carage house scrapped for this horror build by Remax ,all international investors that saw this was a place to throw money into.
It now towers over my two story home.( The garage starts at 14ft then three 14ft stories above that). This project I got a first hand view of the worst building practices I have ever witnessed.
The list is long on mind boggling mistakes that started with miss measuring the foundation which led to jack hammering sections out thus cracking the foundation ruining the structural integrity.. this is just the start ..that winter and spring and following fall was extremely wet with snow and rains. Water penetrated the unprotected particle board roof wall and floors over and over for many months during construction delays. Mold was growing .. and have you ever seen particle board the gets exposed to water over and over? It puffs up expands and looses all it tensile strength.
.. I felt sorry for them cause it all had to be replaced.
Well to my stunned amazement the day labor Hispanic crew was screwing down the chicken wire and starting to stucco over the damaged wasted particle board. Total shock .. someone should blow the whisle on this one. Maybe that’s a job for our council woman Judy Montero.
The next worst travesty on my block is next door. The two families pushed out . Two solid historic homes scraped. One in particular, a stone block home soon to go was built by stone cutters that help build a large part of19th century Denver. A important historic foot note is now forgotten forever. The painful night mare is they are going to rebuild a fake Disney version of Victorian architecture .. all plastic and styrofoam covered with stucco, and fake rock skins.. and making them multi units with no yards. I my opinion it’s the lowest of the lows in architecture today. And I have it right next door, My privacy is lost with three stories looking down into my windows and private yard spaces. And of course is the loss of the view of down town and the view of the mountians is enought to slit my wrists.
A recent event on my corner is a huge solid historic stone and brick building that was just scraped to make way for a Malibu looking beach front pad. It had housed six long time families that had to abruptly move. Also the historic house next to it and the long time second generation family. What was insult to injury was the demolition crew was sending all the historic red stone slabs and .. foundation grante stone blocks .. the bricks all to the dump. During after hours The new owner would not allow me on the property to save the stone and the demolition crew said they will have me arrested if I am caught on the site.
Conclusion, I am sad and frustrated watching families and diverse culture pushed out, watching a great historic neighborhood go down. Nothing one can do really. We can re zone to R-1 but that limits the rights of property owners and i am against urban sprawl. I guess just be happy get to know my new neighbors. I will have a film and slide show soon just for the historical documentation of if it all.
This poem by Bobby LeFebre speaks about changes in the neighborhood. The poem’s topic is gentrification—the process of new residents with money (the “gentry”) moving into an older neighborhood, often displacing longtime residents. To me, this is not about “urban renewal”; it is truly about “pushing out” the history, people, and roots of urban neighborhoods.
I remember when my neighborhood was just called the Northside
Now they are calling it the “Highlands”.
Bilingual bookstores are now Boutiques
and the liquor store is carrying exotic wine.
They’re calling it progress….
Progress on the same Barrio streets
those people once warned their children to stay away from.
Now they flock to the Barrio armed with
developers plotting out a new place to live.
I see the transformation.
They say it is an evolution…….
as if what had existed there before was somehow subhuman, but my neighborhood had history.
The concrete beneath the feet of customers at
coffee shops has a story woven within the patterns of the cement…..
unfortunately its format is not compatible with any of the programs installed on their laptop computers so….
they’ll never get the message.
My neighborhood is changing before my eyes
Old Impalas and Monte Carlos are becoming Mercedes,
Parking spots have been invaded by SUV’s,
and I have to drive to get Mexican food.
They removed the tennis shoes from the power line
painted over a mural of La Virgen de Guadalupe,
and closed another Brown-owned business,
…..they replaced it with a “doggie daycare”.
I remember when the police patrolled the streets,
rollin like thugs two to three squad cars deep,
cuffing before questioning………
Now the Police interaction with the changing
demographic is smiles and handshakes.
Gentrification is as compassionate as a suicide bomber detonating in a preschool schoolyard.
My culture is suffering worse than it was before the push out,
meanwhile, the pushers, they discuss popular culture in an overpriced eatery that used to be a shop that sold herbal remedies for people too poor for doctors and prescriptions.
They have placed streetlamps along the same walkways where the darkness of night provided a shield for drug deals,
graffiti ridden walls have been painted over,
trashcans have been added to every corner,
and there is even a contraption on every light post that has baggies for dog shit.
All of this in the name of beautifying the Barrio.
All of this was asked for before,
but back then……
it was only dirty Mexicans asking;
if they wanted a better neighborhood then why didn’t they just move….
And now it has become so damn pretty that sometimes I have to remind myself of the pain, but some things are just impossible to change,
the blood has been washed away,
but the shape of the stain in my mind remains.
I know why the bricks on the corner building are chipped,
there was a drive-by there,
but prospective buyers don’t know that,
…..they just think it gives the building character.
The sound of profit drowns out the cries of the people who were there before
Gucci shoes erase the remnants of the chalk line that was there before
Before long there will be nowhere else to go.
It couldn’t get much worse
Now don’t get me wrong,
the barrio I knew was not an ideal place for a flower to grow.
There is nothing beautiful about drug deals and Brown on Brown crime.
Nothing luring bout’ streets filled with litter and disproportionate illiteracy rates.
Living paycheck to paycheck has never been fashionable
…………..there was beauty in the struggle though
I received the call yesterday
My landlord informed me he is “negotiating” a deal to sell the property in which my apartment sits.
A deal that would leave him with a profit and us packing…….
We have started to collect boxes.