I Remember You Well In The Chelsea Hotel

Iconic photos of some of the Chelsea Hotel’s most beloved residents and visitors, ranging from writers to musicians, actors and artists to alcoholics and junkies. Not that any of those titles are mutually exclusive.

1. Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen

Easily the most pop culturally profound moment in the building’s history, Nancy was found stabbed to death in room #100 at Hotel Chelsea. Sid was charged with her murder but overdosed before trial.

2. Mark Twain

80 years before Sid&Nancy, Mark Twain was getting freaky at the Chelsea.

3. Arthur C Clarke

Clarke wrote the screenplay for Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” during a stay at the Chelsea. In 1999, Clarke told The New York Times “This place is my spiritual home”.

4. Edie Sedgwick

Warhol Superstar, fashion icon, and alleged old flame of Bob Dylan, Edie Sedgwick called the Chelsea home during a peak in her drug addiction. On a particularly bad night, the It Girl reportedly set fire to her apartment after having nodded out with candles still burning.

5. Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan lived in room 211. He denies having any such romantic relationship with Edie Sedgwick.

6. Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac wrote “On The Road” at the Hotel Chelsea.

7. Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe

As Smith writes in her New York City memoir, “Just Kids”, she and Mapplethorpe fled to the Chelsea while the pair were sick and lice-infested. It was at the Chelsea that Patti Smith wrote the play “Cowboy Mouth” with her former lover, Sam Shepard.

8. Madonna

In the early 1980’s, Madonna rented a room at the Chelsea. She returned nearly a decade later to shoot the book, “Sex”.

9. Dee Dee Ramone

Dee Dee Ramone is said to have stayed at the Chelsea specifically to kick a heroin habit.


Nico of The Velvet Underground and muse to Andy Warhol was among hotel residents. She is also featured in Andy Warhol’s film, “Chelsea Girls”, much of which was shot in the establishment.

11. Leonard Cohen

Cohen wrote the song “Chelsea Hotel No.2” …

12. Janis Joplin

…About an affair he had with Janis Joplin.

As many are aware, Hotel Chelsea closed it’s doors to the public for renovations in 2011. Remaining residents report constant frustrations regarding new ownership, fundamental changes structurally and culturally, and a generally ominous feeling that the struggle to preserve artistic communities in Manhattan as well as the surrounding boroughs is becoming catastrophically difficult.

But whatever ultimately happens to the Chelsea Hotel, whatever happens to those of us scraping by to stay in New York, let’s just reflect on how ridiculous it must have been to have lived there during between the 60’s and 80’s.

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