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Chelsea Moaning
Washington Post (1999)
  • C Miller, San Jose State University
If you are longing to run away from home, and you are looking for a place to stay, and you are really fed up with staying at posh hotels where the bellboy's manicure costs more than your luggage, and you feel a little too grown up to sleep under those stenciled geese honking their way around your room, you may want to consider the Chelsea Hotel in New York City. The Chelsea is the type of hotel where you can check in with a case of cheap Scotch and sit in your room, unapologetically smoking a carton of Marlboros, while you stare out at the gritty Manhattan view, work yourself up into a fit of angst about the missed possibilities of your life, ponder the ledge outside a window that does open, think about writing a novel, think about taking up painting again, perhaps send home a telegram that you've decided to stay in New York permanently, and please forward all your mail to the Chelsea. Possibly this is what happened to Thomas Wolfe when he wrote ""You Can't Go Home Again"" while living there in Room 831. At the Chelsea you're pretty much left to your own devices, no doubt a factor that attracted a stellar crop of artists in its century of operation. When I went there with my husband recently I was curious to make a pilgrimage to the hotel where Mark Twain had lived while he was in New York. I think I may have gotten the room he stayed in; if not, most certainly it was the same mattress. Perhaps this explains why, when Sarah Bernhardt lived there, she slept in her coffin. Like New York, and like the neighborhood surrounding the hotel, the Chelsea is not a place for wimps. The intuitive (like myself) begin to pick up on these subtle clues right away while making reservations. I had seen listings for the hotel in a guidebook that suggested asking for one of the rooms with a fireplace. Sounded good, so I rang up: ""How much is a room for two?""
Publication Date
January 24, 1999
Publisher Statement
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Citation Information
C Miller. "Chelsea Moaning" Washington Post (1999)
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