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Linda Troeller's
Chelsea Hotel Atmosphere -
An Artist's Memoir

Photo Exhibit
Room 914 Chelsea Hotel
September 26, 2007

Photos Courtesy of Linda Troeller


Oh, the siren call of seedy hotels – the ones you look at and say, “Boy, a lot of shit has gone down here.” Hotels like the Gramercy Park Hotel before it was Shragerized or Galveston’s Hotel Galvez before it was Wyndhamed – these hotels told stories that seeped into your pores and made your skin crawl. Think about the wallpaper- peeling Hotel Earle in the Coen Brothers 1992 classic film, Barton Fink. That hotel had a bigger role in the film than the film's stars, John Turturro and John Goodman.

And at the top of anyone’s list of sexily-seedy hotels is New York’s un-renovated, art-filled Chelsea Hotel. Built in 1883, the hotel has been home to many famous names in the art, literature, music and film worlds. Andy Warhol, Tennessee Williams, O’Henry, Sarah Bernhardt and Dylan Thomas have all called the Chelsea home. Dylan Thomas famously died in his hotel room of New York Artist’s disease (commonly known as alcoholism). And Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols may have knifed his girlfriend (Nancy Spungeon) to death in his hotel room. Nancy definitely died of stab wounds, but there is still conjecture about what actually happened - some of the scuttlebutt being that Nancy asked him to kill her. This little incident was the subject of the 1986 film, Sid and Nancy.

Photographer Linda Troeller has lived at the Chelsea Hotel since 1992 where she befriended many of artistic souls who presently populate the hotel’s rosters. And she has taken their photos and asked them to write letters to the hotel about what the hotel mean to them for her new book, Chelsea Hotel Atmosphere - An Artist's Memoir. Many of the letters in the book speak fondly of the now ousted manager, Stanley Bard, who they credit with making the Chelsea their home. But all the letters and photographs tell a tale of creation and depict the wondrous art haven that is the Chelsea Hotel.

Linda held a showing of her prints and a book signing on September 26, 2007. The photographs had been blown up to large poster size and were displayed both on the walls of room 914 and in the hallway outside. Many of Linda’s friends were present as were representatives of the New York Times, the Daily News and BBC. The party was a glimpse into a time capsule, a visit to an old bohemia that is fast being erased in our collective march to an updated future.

The famous (and infamous) Chelsea Hotel is located at 222 West 23rd Street in New York City. For more information about the Chelsea Hotel, log onto: hotelchelsea.com, hotelchelseablog.com (yes, the residents have their own blog) and wikipedia.org. Chelsea Hotel Atmosphere - An Artist's Memoir is available at www.blurb.com. For more information about Linda Troeller's beautiful and evocative photos, log onto: www.lindatroeller.com.

Bruce Vilanch in front of the Chelsea Hotel
Photo Credit Linda Troeller

Hiroya (Painter) in Front of the Hotel
Photo Credit Linda Troeller

Window View Room 515
Photo Credit Linda Troeller

Bell Hop Victor Hernandez and and Robin Williams
Hotel Chelsea Lobby
Photo Credit Linda Troeller

Christo, Jean-Claude, Artists with Stanley Bard of the Chelsea Hotel

Robert Lambert With His Paintings in His Room, 515
Photo Credit Linda Troeller

Famous Gothic Staircase at the Chelsea Hotel
Photo Credit Linda Troeller

Third Floor Maid
Photo Credit Linda Troeller

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