terça-feira, agosto 11, 2015

Inside the Dream Palace - The life and times of the New York's legendary Chelsea Hotel, by Sherill Tippins

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...

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