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The next best thing to having a room key to the Chelsea Hotel during each of its famous—and infamous—decades The Chelsea Hotel, since its founding by a visionary French architect in 1884, has been an icon of American invention: a cultural dynamo and haven for the counterculture, all in one astonishing building. Sherill Tippins, author of the acclaimed February House, delivThe next best thing to having a room key to the Chelsea Hotel during each of its famous—and infamous—decades The Chelsea Hotel, since its founding by a visionary French architect in 1884, has been an icon of American invention: a cultural dynamo and haven for the counterculture, all in one astonishing building. Sherill Tippins, author of the acclaimed February House, delivers a masterful and endlessly entertaining history of the Chelsea and of the successive generations of artists who have cohabited and created there, among them John Sloan, Edgar Lee Masters, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas, Arthur Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Sam Shepard, Sid Vicious, and Dee Dee Ramone. Now as legendary as the artists it has housed and the countless creative collaborations it has sparked, the Chelsea has always stood as a mystery as well: Why and how did this hotel become the largest and longest-lived artists’ community in the known world? Inside the Dream Palace is the intimate and definitive story.Today the Chelsea stands poised in limbo between two futures: Will this symbol of New York's artistic invention be converted to a profit-driven business catering to the top one percent? Or will the Chelsea be given a rebirth through painstaking effort by the community that loves it? Set against these two competing possibilities, Inside the Dream Palace could not be more fascinating or timely....

Title : Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel
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ISBN : 9780618726349
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel Reviews

  • Mandy
    2018-12-07 01:37

    This is definitely one of my reading highlights of 2013. A long book, I couldn’t quite manage it in one sitting, but how I would have liked to! It is an endlessly fascinating and thoroughly and painstakingly well researched biography of the iconic Hotel Chelsea in New York, and follows the successive generations of artists, writers, socialites and eccentrics who made it their home or base or refuge since its founding in 1884. From Thomas Wolfe to Dylan Thomas to Bob Dylan, from Andy Warhol to Leonard Cohen, from tragedy to triumph, from a few days to lifetimes, the legendary hotel has countless stories to tell, and Sherril Tippins knows them all. And, even better, knows how to tell them. By being a haven for so many disparate people, those in the mainstream and on the margins, the story of the hotel encompasses also the story of New York itself, and Tippins describes its highs and lows with verve and a compelling style that never flags, but at the same time never overwhelms. A wealth of photographs illuminates the text, as does the book’s Facebook page.All in all, I can’t recommend this book highly enough – it’s a joy to read, and is both entertaining and enlightening. At the time of writing this review, the hotel’s future is uncertain. It still has some tenants, but has been bought by a property magnate who has not disclosed his plans for the building.

  • Aries
    2018-12-03 08:55

    Io spero che molti tra coloro che leggono queste righe sappiano cos’è il Chelsea Hotel.A beneficio di chi non lo sapesse, riassumo (molto) dicendo che si tratta di un albergo sulla 23ma strada a New York che, fin dalla nascita, fu in qualche modo destinato a un’esistenza particolare, fino a diventare il centro vitale della popolazione artistica e alternativa della Grande Mela.La lista di nomi di persone che hanno soggiornato anche per decenni al Chelsea è lunghissima e va da Arthur Milller a Dee Dee Ramone, da Patti Smith a Leonard Cohen, da Andy Warhol a Harry Smith ad Arthur C. Clarke (fu al Chelsea che venne scritto 2001 Odissea nello spazio, per capirci).Il Chelsea fu a lungo fulcro e crogiolo delle menti più creative, folli e problematiche che New York potesse accogliere o sfornare.Al Chelsea nessuno si faceva domanda sui gusti sessuali altrui, la diffusione di droghe era paragonabile a quella dell’acqua e il direttore poteva decidere di posticipare l’appartamento dell’affitto a oltranza, se pensava che un artista avesse bisogno di concentrarsi sulla propria opera o di investire i suoi pochi soldi in attrezzature.Gli stessi locali dell’albergo divennero spesso e volentieri opere d’arte o luoghi dove tali opere venivano create e/o esposte.Questo in breve.In vista del terzo viaggio a New York, quindi, ho colto l’occasione per comprare e leggere questo saggio di Sherill Tippins che prometteva di condurre il lettore per mano nella storia di questo strano hotel.Partiamo dagli aspetti positivi: la Tippins ha fatto molte ricerche e ha recuperato una mole di informazioni di prima e seconda mano impressionante, informazioni che non è restia a condividere.Pure troppo, oserei dire.Già, perché per il desiderio di raccontare tutto si finisce, se non si è veramente molto bravi, a elencare una marea di fatti tale che il lettore finisce sommerso, senza riuscire spesso a metterli in relazione di causa/effetto o di importanza nell’insieme più ampio.La Tippins ha ritenuto necessario, parlando dei singoli ospiti, raccontare non solo della loro permanenza all’albergo, ma anche della loro vita precedente, di quella successiva, delle intenzioni artistiche, a volte anche della vita di alcuni familiari; peccato che, così, abbia tolto esattamente ciò che sperava di trasmettere: l’anima del posto.Ci si trova a scoprire tante informazioni, tanti eventi, tante scelte, ma non si riesce mai né a empatizzare coi vari protagonisti della storia, né a comprendere il motivo per cui il Chelsea, col tempo, divenne tanto particolare.Ci sono i motivi “pratici”, certo, ma gli aspetti più interessanti, quelli umani, quelli emotivi si perdono via.Il risultato è un racconto dettagliato, preciso, informativo (pure troppo), ma sostanzialmente asettico, di un luogo che tutto è stato tranne che asettico.Si potrebbe pensare che la scelta sia stata fatta, in qualche modo, per dovere di cronaca, ma ho il forte dubbio che non sia così: la Tippins sembra sforzarsi più volte di comunicare l’aspetto emotivo e sentimentale del Chelsea, solo che non ci riesce.Per di più qualche volta si nota la sua tendenza a cambiare in aumento o in diminuzione l’importanza di certi eventi a seconda che l’artista di cui sta raccontando rientri più o meno nelle sue grazie: il modo in cui, ad esempio, sminuisca spudoratamente molti comportamenti più che opinabili di Arthur Miller è quanto meno imbarazzante.Quel che manca poi, a mio avviso, è lo sguardo delle altre persone.Chi al Chelsea lavorava, chi in quel luogo ha vissuto non solo come artista ma anche come “protagonista sullo sfondo”, chi potrebbe ben spiegare certi retroscena dal punto di vista umano: una mancanza difficilmente perdonabile a fronte di un lavoro di ricerca tanto minuzioso, indubbiamente frutto di una scelta più che di un errore involontario.Discorso a parte, stranamente, vale per il capitolo finale, l’epilogo.Qui la Tippins, abbandonati i registri dei capitoli precedenti, sembra lasciarsi un po’ più andare e le emozioni della fine dell’epoca del Chelsea riescono ad arrivare al lettore.Troppo poco e troppo tardi, purtroppo.Non è un libro da bocciare del tutto, questo no. Si tratta di una miniera di informazioni ben ricercate. Il problema è che si tratta solo di questo, ecco.

  • Kimmo Sinivuori
    2018-11-24 03:30

    In her book "Inside the Dream Palace" Sherill Tippins applies the tested formula to take a cultural icon, in this case the Chelsea Hotel, as the point around which to write a counter cultural history of the USA. In some cases this formula work very well but in some cases it doesn't. Tippins in successful to an extent and there are some good passages that bring out interesting information that is new at least to me.For example, the stories about the early artists, like Arthur B. Davies whose collection of paintings sparked the idea to establish the NY Museum of Modern Art, who lived in Chelsea are a pleasure. I also enjoyed very much reading about the shamanistic underground film maker Harry Smith. As a matter of fact, I think Tippins should have written the biography of Smith instead, so well she tell his story.However, the passage about Jack Kerouac is almost embarrassing as Tippins tries desperately to build a case where the failure of Kerouac to accurately portrait his night with Gore Vidal in the Chelsea as a grand betrayal of Kerouac as an artist. Also, l struggled to find what is the link between the creation of Allen Ginsberg's masterpiece the Howl, the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance and Ferlinghetti's battle to keep the Howl in the shops and the Chelsea Hotel?Often it also seems that Tippins really doesn't have anything new to say like in the case of Arthur Miller's tenure in the Chelsea Hotel or the punk rockers and the Max’s crowd. Nothing new comes out from the tragic tale of Sid and Nancy either.What I would have liked to read would have been what the staff thought about all the weird characters that stayed in the Chelsea. Was it a pain or was it a pleasure. How did they interact? Where they scared? Did they want to work here? Were there some interesting characters in the payroll?Also, it would have been nice if Tippins would have put the Chelsea into context with other similar hotels that were favored by artists like the Beat Hotel in Paris where Burroughs and Gysin lodged or the Welcome Hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer where Cocteau stayed. Were these hotels similar in the way they treated artists? Was the ownership likeminded and did they have any contact?I would have liked to read more about the lesser characters who inhabited the Chelsea. How did they see the big stars? Last but not least, I think books like this would benefit from much more and better quality illustrations and photographs.All in all, I liked the book, it was well written and a pleasure to read but it really left me with a feeling that someone could/should write a definitive history of the Chelsea. I think the cultural importance of the place is so great that it deserves it.

  • Allan
    2018-11-26 07:47

    I'm always interested in reading social history books on NYC, and have had my eye on this title for a while, so when it was released on audiobook, I decided to buy it.I primarily know about the Chelsea from its infamy as the hotel where Nancy Spugden was found murdered, allegedly by Sid Vicious, and laterally through Patti Smith's memoir, and the novel 'Netherland' by Joseph O'Neill. Both the Spugden murder and Smith's time at the hotel are covered, along with the stories of a plethora of other famous faces, from literary figures like Kerouac, Ginsberg, Behan and Miller to artists like Harry Smith and Warhol, to musicians like Janis Joplin and Dee Dee Ramone, along with those of countless lesser publicly known figures and activists.While there's no doubting that Tippins has researched the book meticulously, it wasn't completely what I expected, in that while it did tell the history of the hotel, it frequently veered off to tell the history of the people who had stayed there instead. It was interesting, however, to read about the bohemian nature of the management over the years, and of the hotel's eventual decline, as well as its sale to developers in 2011-I'll be interested to see what eventually becomes of the place. I may seek out another of the numerous books on the Chelsea based on this title, and while I enjoyed this history, it's one that I'd only recommend to those with a specific interest in NYC or counter culture in the 20th century.

  • Elly Sands
    2018-11-16 02:42

    This book was so well written and researched that I have to give it at least 4 stars. It didn't quite get 5 stars because it gets bogged down in places with too much information. I was surprised to learn about the initial reason and philosophy regarding the building and design of Hotel Chelsea in 1885. It is too involved to write about here but one of the descriptions in the book is accurate when saying "Art was built into it's bones". It explains why over the years such a variety of artists were drawn to live and create there but oh my how it evolved into a drug scene. The blight of the drugs makes Woodstock seem like a tea party. The author did a visceral job of allowing the reader to feel the seediness and self indulgence while still keeping the true creative spirit alive. One can only hope that the new owners will value the history of that spirit and not whitewash over it and turn it into just another homogeneous hotel.

  • Katrina
    2018-11-19 04:53

    This is a lengthy history of the Chelsea Hotel, the legendary home to many leading figures in American Bohemian and counter-culture artistic movement. I found the writing became bogged down in details and strayed too far from the subject matter to give it more than 2 stars.

  • Catherine Siemann
    2018-11-14 07:56

    As a longtime (though now former) resident of Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, I'm fascinated with this legendary building -- What the real estate developers have done with it in the last two years is the problem with contemporary NYC in a nutshell.The Bohemian residents of the Chelsea, especially those from mid-century through the punk rock era, have had their stories often told -- I was fascinated to learn more about the building's origins and the philosophy behind it, and to trace various threads throughout the century and a half of its existence. Morever, Tippins uses the building as an occasion to look at larger social and cultural trends reflected by the Chelsea's residents. Sometimes I felt like Tippins was a bit dismissive or oversimplistic in a reference or a description, but the book is well worth the read.

  • Mona Bradley
    2018-12-06 01:52

    So many decades of history; so many names to try and remember. One niggle is the book's last real chapter ends in the late 70s/early 80s and that does a disservice to the meat that is the removal of Stanley Bard as manager. Also while the book is seemingly arranged in a linear fashion, it at times seems like there were small time shifts in chapters but it might have been me.

  • Stephanie
    2018-11-24 08:45

    This book increased my respect for Patti Smith. I'll probably tackle her Just Kids book next. Really awesome stories, cultural context, and some economic/political commentary. What a tour of space and time at the Chelsea Hotel!

  • Ruth
    2018-11-30 03:34

    Excellently written. Full of facts and mini stories.

  • Karen
    2018-11-20 02:56

    It took me a long time to get through this book - it was rather a slog. I thought Tippins's writing was good, overall, but she tended to overuse phrases and words (if she described one more person as "penniless" I was going to throw the book across the room) and at times I felt that the book was getting pretty far from the Chelsea. I could see what she wanted to do - to follow the hotel from decade to decade and show how events outside the hotel were influencing what was going on inside - but this wasn't always successful. Too, although the book is obviously meticulously researched (there are pages and pages of notes), I wished for more first-person interviews and less reliance on already-published work (if you've already read Patti Smith's book Just Kids you can pretty much skip the pages on Smith, since they're apparently drawn almost exclusively from that book.) Probably the best parts of the book were those that followed certain residents through the years - people you might not hear much about today but who were a key part of their time, like Harry Smith. I also enjoyed the chapters on the early years of the hotel, perhaps because they covered material I wasn't as familiar with, like the connection between Faurier's ideals and the hotel's original purpose as a cooperative.For a much less scholarly but more atmospheric book about the Chelsea, I'd recommend Florence Turner's At The Chelsea.

  • Bill Wallace
    2018-11-22 09:51

    A fine microcosmic history with macrocosmic ripples. The Chelsea Hotel itself was an incubator of sorts for progressive, transgressive, and radical art for over 100 years. Ms. Tippins book traces the lives and art of the hotel's inhabitants and follows their paths out into the wider world in a very satisfying way that provides a different lens on some familiar mid-century history. I liked the early chapters somewhat better because I was less familiar with the stories of Howells, Dylan Thomas, and John Sloan and I was surprised more often than in the chapters that cover the 1950s, 60s and 70s, though the perspective gave the stories freshness. My sense that one of the geniuses -- in the sense of spirit or muse -- of the 20th Century was Harry Smith, whose story runs through the last half of this excellent book. I had the sense that Tippins could have written a book twice this length and I hope that maybe someday there will be a sequel or a supplement. First-rate history.

  • Paul
    2018-11-18 03:43

    An excellent account of one of the great icons of New York Life - the Chelsea Hotel - from its beginning as a Utopian experiment in living - no class divisions, encouragement of artistic endeavour - to being THE place to live in the Big Apple from the 20s through to the 60s with residents as illustrious as Dylan Thomas, Arthurs Miller and C. Clarke, Bob Dylan, etc etc ....... to its seeming demise amidst the chaos of the 70s and Nancy Spungen's death.What made the book stand out in particular is the meta-narrative of seeing the Chelsea as the vehicle for social and artistic experimentation, a protest against corporate/capitalist conformity and a desire to reawaken America's soul. Whether it succeeded or not is up to you. A glorious attempt in any case until the finale and being 'mugged by reality'.

  • Leah
    2018-11-27 06:27

    Inside the Dream Palace is a worthy read for anyone who loves New York, or the history of American culture. It’s doubtful that any building in the entire country has housed as many influential artists as the Chelsea, and their stories are what make the residence much more than an intriguing architectural marvel. Mark Twain, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, the Ramones; the list of notable tenants goes on and on. The walls of the Chelsea have seen it all, from Jackson Pollock vomiting profusely on the dining room carpet to the drug-fueled murder of Nancy Spungen. Read the rest of my review on LitReactor

  • Danika
    2018-12-03 04:44

    surely some people of color lived at the Chelsea. there's little evidence to suggest they were anything but bellhops in Tippins' book. also, the lion's share of the female figures in the book (Patti Smith being the exception) are portrayed as tragic victims. this portrait of the Chelsea is rendered mostly in shades of white and features a lot of dicks. dear publishers and writers, i'd like to see some other kinds of paintings.

  • Amy
    2018-12-09 03:40

    Dissertation research.I enjoyed this read, it is a good introduction to the Chelsea Hotel and its history. The book flows like a creative piece but is backed up with lots and lots of research (seriously the bibliography is huge).However I only give it three stars because it isn't critical enough for what I need. It serves as a nice base and serves as a lead for further, more critical research.

  • Philip Cherny
    2018-11-25 01:42

    I came to this book with somewhat low expectations, being accustomed to regular disappointment in titles that sounded much more interesting when I heard them publicized in podcasts, added to my observation that the hype of this release outside the New York Times review apparently fizzled out relatively quickly. Fortunately I enjoyed this read much more than I expected to (or probably should have), and now catch myself recommending it to virtually all of my friends. I found myself so entertained by the narrative that the critical scholar in me kept looking for faults in the book, suspicious of its actual edification value. While it’s true that Tippins hasn’t produced a scholarly masterpiece, she has impressively managed to construct a historical narrative that reads less as a work of nonfiction and more as a novel every bit as entertaining as a work of fiction. I’m astounded by the sheer level of detail she captures, which must have required an immense amount of research and collating of material. Her narrative unfolds with such intimate details of peoples’ lives that I often finding myself wondering to what extent the details were fabricated (nonetheless, an amazing historian’s imagination to craft the prose in such a manner). It helps you feel as if you are there witnessing the generations of legendary bohemian artists and seminal culture producers.This book reads as a novel, albeit with an unconventional narrative that focuses on a particular place (pardon me for stating the obvious.) By this I mean the Chelsea Hotel serves both as the backdrop for characters’ lives, thus a ground for several fragmentary stories to develop, and also as the chief character in the story—a story whose narrative remains unresolved as history inevitably continues towards the always open future, but also a microcosm and symbol for the greater macrocosmic history of the country…or its counter-cultures at any rate. Tippins emphasizes this latter aspect of the narrative with her descriptions of generational zeitgeists and recurring metaphorical motifs, most notably Charles Fourier’s utopian pipe dreams and Harry Smith’s never-ending work on his experimental film, Mahagonny, based on Brecht and Weil’s satirical dystopic opera, The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny. This historical and narrative focus on a particular place ideally sharpens the reader’s sense of history and place, giving one a greater appreciation for the depth and layers that lurk behind any local establishment fortunate to endure long enough to boast a legacy. To retain a sense of cohesiveness within each era of the hotel’s history, each chapter of the book more or less focuses on a few central characters at a time. Should I voice one complaint, I noticed at times the author seems to supplant her narrative with mere “name-dropping” (for lack of better term) by jumping quickly from figure to figure, sometimes merely listing them, without filling in the significant details of their lives. The sin of name-dropping of course goes further in that the sheer pleasure comes from the shallow merit of reputation in a name dropped rather than in any value of substance. I must confess I am guilty of taking pleasure in these names dropped, having studied art history extensively, but I could see how an outsider might find this tiresome. I could also defend Tippins’ name-drops by arguing they add to the narrative by filling it in with other details, personalities and minor characters that populate the hotel. E.g. though Tippins never focused exclusively on his life story, amusing anecdotes of George Kleinsinger populating his suite with tropical flora and fauna, essentially converting it into a rainforest, and how other characters kept figuring into his strange apartment served as yet another fun detail that gives the hotel a unique flavor.I enjoyed how extensively Tippins’s book fills in historical gaps or overlaps and ties together all the threads of all I’ve learned in art history lectures, etc. It some instances, it sheds new light on narratives I’m already fairly familiar with—e.g. mostly only familiar with Hollywood-ized versions of Edie Sedgwick’s biography from the film Factory Girl, and Jackson Pollock’s life from the film Pollock, or Valerie Solanas shooting Warhol from a Wikipedia article.) I found myself excited by some of the artists’ creative ideas, even the more silly ones, and by the hopeful zeal of those not too jaded to push for the improvement of society. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident then in the utopian dreams of Charles Fourier which the book begins with. Lastly, I found myself discovering completely new finds, writing down the names of interesting seeming historical figures that I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I’ve never even heard of (among them: Virgil Thompson, Marc Blitzstein, George Kleinsinger, Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Richard Leacock, Gus Hall, Jorge Frick, Harry E Smith, Shirley Clarke, William Dean Howells, Edgar Lee Masters, John Sloan, Isabella Gardner, Vali Myers, Abbie Hoffman, Stella Waitzkin, Whitney Bell, and Juliette Hamelecourt). Not everyone would get as much a kick out of this book as I did, but I’m sure most people would get at least some enjoyment out of it even if they are not steeped in the history.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-11-18 01:36

    The book really delves into the lives of the many famous residents if the Chelsea Hotel over the years. An interesting & fascinating must read for all history, arts buffs.

  • Ian Drew Forsyth
    2018-11-26 07:35

    Notes & Quotes:What was a bohemian headquarters like this doing lodged in the world's most capitalist city?There were other fears too: that the forced intimacy of Parisian-style apartment living might lead the residents to looser moral standards, or, even worse, that the apartment-dwellers might be mistaken for the lower-class types in the rooming houses downtown.It was difficult to attract hard-working individuals to rural phalanxes and recommended that collectives locate themselves in cities instead, with access to tools, ideas, and markets and the opportunity to take their place "at the front of the general march of improvement"By joining together to form a residential group or club, New Yorkers could buy their own land directly and commission the construction of their own shared building, eliminating the middleman and redirecting the savings toward larger, higher-quality apartments. Restricting membership to others of their social standing would protect New Yorker's reputations even when they chose to live in less expensive neighborhoods. Once in residence, they would save even more money by splitting the expenses of maintenance and fuel, which would allow them to spend less time earning a living and more time with family and in other pursuits. Hubert's intention had been to address the "poor man's" comfort and needs, as Greeley had hoped--but as Fourier had predicted of his own utopian experiments, "merely by working with the poor class, we will attract the middle class, which will want to purchase shares and install itself in the place of poor families"--and so it happened with this first home club. When less-well-off New Yorkers hesitated, suspicious of a deal that seemed too good to be true, families with more money rushed to invest. Reluctantly, the architect gave in to middle-class demand, but he later wrote of his deep frustration over this failure to solve one of the most crucial problems of the city's working poor.A corrupt society naturally corrupts the souls of those who live within it, Fourier had written.In the early stages, Fourier had written, 7/8s of the members chosen for an association should be farmers and artisans, those who possessed the knowledge and experience needed to get a rural phalanx going. For this cooperative, on an island under massive construction, the closest equivalents were clearly the builders, contractors, and real estate developers then involved in the creative process of "growing" the city.Once enough members with the knowledge and ability to take care of a phalanx's material needs were assembled, Fourier had suggested, most of the remaining portion of its population should consist of scholars and artists, who could serve the community's psychological and spiritual needs. The fifteen studios on the Chelsea's top floor, each filled with light from north-facing windows ten feet square, ensured significant participation by artists, and a number of the city's most promising young painters became association members or tenants. Writers joined to take advantage of the Chelsea's soundproof walls and inspiring views.In mid-1880s New York, Jay Gould was boasting that if necessary he could "hire one half of the working class to kill the other half" and anarchist Johann Most was distributing bomb making manuals to unruly residents of the Lower East Side. Referring to Bellamy's Looking Backward becoming a bestseller, Howells was astonished to see how easily such a dose of undiluted socialism could be gulped down by some of the most vigilant opponents of that theory when it was presented in the sugar-coated form of a dream.Howells nominated Crane for membership in the NY Author's Club, while Crane invited Howells to rowdy dinners at the Lantern Club, housed in a rooftop shanty near the Brooklyn Bridge where rebel writers held "high intellectual revels" challenging one another's literary theories and reading their stories aloud. A urban phalanstery would have to open its doors to the poor if it was to succeed. the 1913 armory show gave evidence of the energy and intellectual force that a population of artists could release in a mature, supportive culture, referring here to the avant-garde Europeans, that the Americans will still have to catch up to. Referring to 1929 stock market crash, Writers and artists wrote Edmund Wilson: couldn't help being exhilarated at the sudden unexpected collapse of that stupid gigantic fraud. It gave us a new sense of freedom...a new sense of power to find oursevles still carrying on while the bankers for a change were taking a beating.Federal Art Project and Federal Theatre Project: Old utopian ideas resurfaced in these first-ever official acknowledgements that American artists were legitimate workers who had a value to society and were deserving of payments of $38.25 per week for their paintings and posters, performances and plays. As word spread of these initiatives, open to all unemployed artists on Home Relief, regardless of stylistic approach or degree of success, painters, sculptors, dancers, and composers "were shouting with the excitement of children at a zoo". Sloan, fro whom making a sale was still like pushing a boulder up a hill could rely on the steady paycheck to maintain his studio as well as buy food. Hundreds of younger artists, including Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Philip Guston, Mark Rothko, and Ad Reinhardt, now had the time and security to explore new ideas, while those in the performing arts threw themselves into such experimental works as Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock and an African-American production of Macbeth directed by a 19yrold actor named Orson Welles. "I can't begin to tell you how rich everybody was" one artist recalled.Sloan taught the next generation of younger artists that the first rule was to learn to live frugally. A willingness to tolerate cold-water lofts and to recycle paintbrushes freed artists from having to endure just about everything petty and soul killing. It afforded them the supreme privilege of staying true to their own visions, thus making them "the only people in the world who really live."At times, Wolfe's rants made Masters reflect on his own long life, on how he, like every writer, had started out wanting to be the best, and to that end had developed a certain fanaticism focusing on his craft exclusively until he had eliminated everything extraneous--including people. At that point, a writer is no longer in control of his writing life; his writing has taken control of him. The two veteran outsiders spent the rest of the trip amusing themselves by baiting Harvard-educated "commies" aboard ship who refused to disown their prewar dream of a utopian-socialist new world order even in the face of Stalin's purges and a totalitarian Soviet Union. The shift in postwar alliances combined with two decades of left-wing infighting had destroyed American artists' and intellectuals ability to create social change. Kerouac's new editor, Malcolm Cowley, asked him to delete scenes of homosexual couplings in his still-unpublished On the Road, and the young author complied, for the sake of publication, cutting half the text he had refused to touch for Robert Giroux. The cuts transformed his dark portrait of postwar American into a more romantic vision that would inspire a generation, though less truthfully and, arguably, much less effectively than the original version might have.Nouveaux RealistesYves KleinA small group of Fourier-influenced artist agitators (especially in the idea of of work as a joyful form of self-expression not rooted in exploitation) had created the Situationist International movement, using performance art techniques to construct situations aimed at altering observors' awareness so that real social transformation became possible.Arthur Miller: "I watched the new age, the 60s, stagger into the Chelsea with its young bloodshot eyes and made a few attempts to join the dance around the Maypole, but I could not help myself: to me it all felt self-regarding, self-indulgent, and not at all free."All thoughts emit energy in the form of atmospheric vibrations, theosophists Leadbeater and Besant wrote. When strong enough, these vibrations create invisible, floating forms, called "thought-forms", that can latch on to receptive individuals and influence their thoughts. The clearer and stronger the thought, the more durable and far-reaching the thought-form. When perserved in music--or in abstract images, like those of the theosophist artists Kandinsky and Mondrain--thought-forms can influence minds for generations. Harry Smith and his wacky magic based films that jazz musicians liked to play over. He could be found most days in the NY public libary's third floor reading room, studying Kabbalah, Buddhism, the tarot, and other religious and occult systems whose metaphorical images might prove powerful in upending the status quo.Mekas' group of avant-garde filmmakers called themselves the New American Cinema Smith's occult research had taught him that thought-forms produced by certain highly focused collaborations can and often do break free from their creators and continue on their own. Dylan of Sara: One thing I always loved was that she was never one of those people who thinks that someone else is the answer to her happiness. Me or anybody else.Chelsea Girls Christmas on EarthLanding on the moon? As de Kooning remarked of the landing, "We haven't landed on earth yet"

  • Cinzia
    2018-11-17 01:27

    Diciamo che se questo libro avesse avuto un'altra confezione – e per confezione intendo tutto: copertina, cura editoriale, traduzione – avrebbe potuto anche diventare un gioiellino. Intendiamoci, il libro di per sé non è un capolavoro, spesso si riduce a una serie di fatti tenuti insieme da collanti spicci, ma sono pur sempre fatti legati a qualcosa di unico nel suo genere, con un'aura mitica. Si tratta della descrizione della parabola di quello che potremmo definire un esperimento sociale sui generis, la creazione di una "comune" ante litteram nel cuore dell'America, nata alla fine dell'Ottocento su basi fourieriste e incarnatasi poi nel Novecento nel corpo vivo dei suoi artisti. Una sorta di "controstoria" delle aspirazioni di un paese, votate per loro natura al fallimento ma non per questo meno affascinanti. Così come affascinanti sono le vicende del contenitore che vi ha fatto da sfondo, il Chelsea Hotel per l'appunto.Fin qui il libro. La vera tragedia purtroppo è la traduzione, veramente pessima e approssimativa che rende la lettura in più punti faticosa. A ciò si aggiungono una copertina inspiegabile e brutta e la mancanza di qualsiasi indicazione per il lettore italiano di informazioni su una serie di personaggi forse ben noti in America ma sconosciuti ai più in Italia. Un vero peccato.

  • Pamela
    2018-11-26 03:47

    This book is an interesting documentary of sorts of the life of the building - from start to 2014. The story of the building and the many people who were in and out of the building. The story of the artists, the writers, the musicians, the drugs and the sad endings for so many. As one person mentioned it show the cowardice of Arthur Miller - something I did not know. The story of Brad - the manager of the hotel and how giving he was and how that probably contributed to the decline as the hotel was stripped of art, nothing repaired, and his bling eye to many issues.So many people went through there - and many ended up dead due to the drugs. This was an interesting book - and not an easy read and so I read it slowly while reading other books. It was very interesting to read the activities of the characters - amazing looks into the lives of those only I heard about, and the sadness of how their lives could have been so different.Would love to go there and see inside - apparently not possible but would love to listen to the tales of the walls.

  • Yaaresse
    2018-12-01 02:26

    DNF. The book seems interesting enough. So far it is mostly about how the author got interested in the building's history and background about the architect and his utopian/bohemian ideas. I was just starting to get into the profiles of early residents when I decided to throw in the towel. I suspect I'd end up giving it three stars if I could finish it. Unfortunately, my library makes the book available only via the Axis360 app. I loathe this app. It makes both accessing details for and reading any book an unmitigated pain in the ass. This book's file seems particularly buggy, with each attempt to page forward requiring two or three attempts and randomly jumping to the end of chapters for no apparent reason. Deleting and re-downloading didn't help one whit. I'm not willing to put up with the piggish, clumsy thing anymore. Maybe I'll revisit the book if the library acquires a Kindle version.

  • Erin
    2018-11-23 02:50

    A bit of a slow start, but for anyone who knows what the Chelsea is and is interested in it's history -- fascinating book.

  • Susan
    2018-11-24 09:54

    It would be hard to imagine another hotel that has the reputation of the Chelsea in New York – a place known for giving shelter to those on the fringes of society; the artistic, the talented, the damaged and the tragic. Now suffering one of many temporary setbacks, being closed for over two years, the Chelsea was conceived in the 1880’s as a place where residents could come together in a new and creative way. This utopian society was to include writers, artists and musicians; a reminder of artistic life outside the commercialism of the city. This book is full of endless stories about the famous, and the infamous. Yet, there is always a dark undercurrent in the corridors of a hotel which has seen more than its fair share of tragedies. In 1922, the young wife of a concert pianist severed her left hand before leaping to her death, leaving the hand for her young daughter to discover. Such personal disasters seem to stalk the pages of this fascinating book, which is not only the biography of a building, but of many of the people who stayed there – as well as following the city of New York from the conception of the hotel to the present. We are taken through the stock market crash and depression, through the war years and see the Chelsea fall into a sort of down at heel chaos. As for names, well, there are plenty, from Peggy Guggenheim, Marc Chagall, Jackson Pollock, John Cage, Arthur Miller, Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, Brendan Behan, Arthur C Clarke, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Jerry Rubin, Patti Smith and through to the punk era and Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. In a way, it seems as if so many of these people – creative, talented artists, came to the Chelsea Hotel merely to self destruct. The tales of love affairs, drugs, alcohol abuse and just general eccentricity are breath-taking. The author takes us from a time of gentility and hope through to squalor, pimps, prostitutes and pushers. Through it all, though, the Chelsea had some kind of magnetic pull for those who were writers, musicians, artists, film makers or who were, perhaps, simply trying to create their own self image. For others though, such as Arthur Miller, newly divorced from Marilyn Monroe and fleeing with suitcases in hand, it offered a real refuge.Wonderfully written, this book takes us through many different eras and introduces all kinds of interesting characters, but the author is always respectful of the people she writes about. She is careful to set the historical context and explain what is happening in New York during each time, in a changing city and in a hotel which constantly seems to reinvent itself, while staying somehow true to its original aims. This is a fascinating account of a place which certainly will remain as culturally important – if only for the enormous amount of outstanding work which has taken place there by an amazing array of artists, in so many different spheres – from Beat poets to Punk Rockers. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.

  • Mark
    2018-12-03 06:53

    I'm sure anyone who isn't totally hopeless in the culture/arts & entertainment categories of trivia games knows of the Chelsea Hotel in NYC, at least as a famous rock star hangout "back in the day." Maybe even that Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, died there. Or that Janis Joplin and Leonard Cohen had a memorable night together there. Maybe, if you're really up on New York pop culture, you'll know that Arthur C. Clarke lived in the Chelsea and wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey there. Or that a lot of other famous writers, like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas, Arthur Miller—the list goes on—lived in and regularly returned to the Chelsea. The place was a nexus for literary and cultural life, a bohemian sanctuary and notorious agora for intellectuals, leftists, and free-thinkers for over a century. It started life not as a hotel but a utopian cooperative built on Fourierist communal principles with apartments large and small to bring together families and individuals, rich and low-income members. Economics and urban development drove it in various owners' hands to conversion to a hotel and the beautiful spacious flats into subdivided apartments and rooms. In later years it grew increasingly divey, harboring as many prostitutes, drug dealers, and junkie musicians as respectable tenants. But it continued to have a large percentage of long-stay or permanent residents, many of them artists and writers. Under new ownership today, the Chelsea is undergoing renovation—it remains to be seen how much of the building's historic character will be retained or recovered—but around the remaining longtime residents who have refused to leave. There's a huge cast of fascinating characters here, brought together by the charismatic Chelsea itself in all its changing fortunes and by the cultural history of New York City from the 1870s on. Sherill Tippins is not only exceedingly thorough but an excellent storyteller. She's a friend so I know a little about the incredible amount of research that went into this book and the impressive labor of refining it down to its present compact size; you can get a sense of its authority just by looking at the endnotes in which Sherill documents her sources. It's a bit regrettable that the book couldn't have been twice as long, perhaps multi-volume, because it really gives a fantastic overview of New York City and its most important intersection of culture and thought.

  • Norman Powers
    2018-12-07 08:39

    Sheryl Tippins' "Inside The Dream Palace", an exhaustive biography of New York's famous (some would say infamous) Chelsea Hotel, will appeal to anyone interested in New York legend and lore or in the struggles, achievements and downfalls of major figures in the arts of the 20th century.Built in the late 19th century in what was then the city's cultural hub, on Twenty-Third Street, the Chelsea began life as an experiment in cooperative living based on utopian ideals derived from Francois Fourier's vision of social progress. It was a luxurious building, with just fourteen spacious apartments bought by the leading literary and artistic lights of the day, from William Dean Howells to Childe Hassam. As financial realities subdivided the apartments and the building began a slow descent into shabby-chic, everyone from Dylan Thomas to Virgil Thompson to Arthur Miller took up residence in what was the epicenter of New York bohemian style.All this is relayed in a lively manner by Ms. Tippins, although the pace slows considerably when we arrive at the tumultuous 1960's and 1970's, when the place was overrun by Andy Warhol and his Factory entourage to film "Chelsea Girls"; by Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan (briefly) and Joni Mitchell (thus her "Chelsea Morning"). Fans of these figures may revel in the minutia of their sexual liaisons and drug experimentation, and in the gory details of Sid Vicious' murderous relationship with Nancy Spungen, but it may be a bit too in depth for others with a more casual interest.Today, the Chelsea is at the center of litigation between a new owner who wants to transform it into a chic boutique hotel, the former owners, and the last hangers-on still living in the building. It's a melancholy end to the optimism of long ago.

  • Kayla
    2018-11-22 07:39

    Faster read than I expected since the last 100 pages are notes. Yeah. This book is well and thoroughly researched. I still stand by my earlier assessment that it mostly feels like an Old Testament list of people I don't know or know a little bit. It got more interesting, and I think more focused, as she started writing about the 50s and beyond. More interesting subjects, I guess. It wasn't so much about the hotel but about the people who found a refuge there. Pretty cool overall, but the point became pretty redundant.

  • Jonathan
    2018-11-20 03:47

    At the time that Sherill Tippins was completing her thoroughly researched and magnificently presented biography of the Chelsea Hotel, it had come under new ownership and was being remodelled, home to a greatly reduced number of residents. This provided an opportune moment to look back on the history of the building from its conception in 1884 as a cooperative which would house a group of people from dissimilar backgrounds in order to form a new community, to its transformation into a hotel during the following century, and one of the most important single places in the world for the development of art and culture that has been seen.Antonin Dvorak, Arthur Miller, Thomas Wolfe, Patti Smith, Brendan Behan, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Arthur C Clarke, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Leonard Cohen - the list of residents just goes on. Cultural and counter-cultural icons who changed the way we look at the world all found themselves living at the Chelsea Hotel for a period of their lives, where the unique atmosphere created by the understanding and somewhat heroic management, enabled them to create their masterpieces. Alongside the creation came destructive forces, with frequent fires, overdoses and murders, all contributing to a fascinating story, and a worthy successor to Tippins's previous, brilliant, book 'February House'.

  • Paulo Santos
    2018-12-01 06:46

    I first heard about the Chelsea Hotel in the famous Leonard Cohen song. Later I read about it in memoirs, like Gore Vidal's Palimpsest or Patti Smith's Just Kids, and saw it in movies like Factory Girl. So, when I read somewhere a review of this book, I was curious, and ordered it on Amazon. It is a very good read, informative and entertaining. I didn't know the Chelsea had been built as a kind of experiment in urban lodging in the 1870s. Since then, it was the home of an incredible number of artists, from Mark Twain and John Sloan to Patti Smith and Dee Dee Ramone, with residents including Dylan Thomas, Virgil Thomson, Arthur Miller and so many others. The Chelsea Hotel was in the centre of the New York art scene, particularly after WWII until the 1970s. The book tells a lot of interesting stories, mostly interesting, and the author is very passionate about its subject. Sometimes it's a little boring, and it gives a lot of space to people like Andy Warhol - one of the biggest frauds in the art history, in my opinion, but then it was a big part of the Chelsea's history. And there are a lot of funny anecdotes, like when Christo invited someone for dinner and wasn't sure it the wrapped cutlery was a work of art...

  • Joe
    2018-12-04 04:32

    Wow . . . an endlessly fascinating look at a true artistic and cultural landmark in downtown Manhattan. Tippins gives the reader an in-depth account of the history of the Chelsea Hotel from its origins in the 1800's to its grittier times in the late 60's and 70's when it became a hub of the artistic community. Debauchery endured but the work and the artists that came from this building are unquestionable and hold high place and regard in American history. Everyone from Dylan Thomas and Arthur Miller to Bob Dylan and Patti Smith to Andy Warhol and Lou Reed all the way to Richard Hell and Harry Smith. The talent is legendary and one would be remiss not to bring up what is considered the true downfall of the Chelsea, the Sid Vicious/Nancy Spungen relationship. It's all here in all of its glory, beautiful and full of the trials and tribulations not only of the Chelsea, but of New York City itself. The writing was so real it brought me an air of nostalgia from a time when I was barely alive. Simply a must read.