The Legend of The Chelsea Hotel

The Chelsea Hotel, otherwise known as The Hotel Chelsea, has housed many rock ‘n’ roll greats, authors and actors. People from the iconic Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix to the notorious Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen have stayed in. In the late ’60s and ’70s, New York City was home to the whole new pop culture realm of music, photography and poetry.

I came to hear about the Chelsea Hotel through a book written by Patti Smith called “Just Kids”. She wrote about her many experiences in New York with her then partner Robert Mapplethrope. She talks about her time in the Chelsea Hotel and the people she met there.

As some of us may know, The Chelsea Hotel was were many artists spent the end of their lives. The most infamous was the murder of Nancy Spungen, Sid Vicious’ girlfriend. For those who don’t know the story, Nancy was found stabbed to death in her and Sid’s hotel room. Many believe that Sid killed her, including the police. So, they arrested him at the Chelsea Hotel.

Many songs, books and movies have been written about this hotel. We all know the lovely song “Chelsea Hotel #2,” by Leonard Cohen, who also stayed in the establishment. That song was about the affair with Janis Joplin he had during their stay at the Chelsea. Andy Warhol, the esteemed photographer, filmed a short film called Chelsea Girls about his models and their lives in the hotel.


I recently had the privilege of visiting the Chelsea Hotel. Even though it was closed for renovations, I could still feel the essence of its glorious history. On the building people have written the long long list of names of legends that have stayed behind its doors. I hope to go back one day when it is open to really feel the spirits of those who came before. I’ll leave you with the words of Leonard Cohen: “I remember you well, in the Chelsea Hotel. You were talking so brave and so sweet.”

 

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Book Review: Flux by Orion Carloto

I only read two books last year and one of them was “Flux,” by Orion Carloto.

Flux is a book of poetry written by famous YouTuber Orion Carloto. I know what you must be thinking: “Not another YouTuber trying to become an author.” I know how exhausting that is, but unlike other YouTuber’s books, she isn’t writing about her life (which no one is really interested in) and this isn’t a book that was ghost-written.

As someone who has been a follower of Orion since she first started her channel, I was proud to see that she finally released the book she’s been wanting to release for years. In one of her first Q & A videos she talks about wanting to write a book and how that was one of her biggest goals in life. I personally love seeing people go after and achieve their dreams. So when I found out that she was releasing a book I wanted to support her.

This book shows a lot of vulnerability on her part. She used the love and the heartbreak of her relationships between friends and lovers in her writing – it’s evident. Her opening line is “Falling helplessly in love is one magical adventure, but falling out is one seldom spoken.”

Also her poems are directed at a boy from her past as well as a girl in her present/future. She is one of the few to openly write from a bisexual perspective. One of the poems that I personally relate to is a poem called “Delusional.” And there’s a line from one of her other poems that says, “ I wrote these words for him, but he never appreciated them. I wrote these words for her, but I was too afraid to admit it.”

These words were beautifully written and could be found relatable to a plethora of people.

If you decide to pick up this book, I’ll leave you with the words from the author, Ms. Carloto herself, “Flux is best read with a cup of warm coffee in hand. Indulge in these words as if they were meant for you.”

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A Movie For Your Inner 70’s Teen: Dazed and Confused

Alright, alright, alright. The ’70s weren’t all that great, but movies made in the early 2000s about the ’70s were pretty great. “Dazed and Confused” is a movie that takes place on the last day of school/first night of summer and follows a bunch of high school students.

When I say this movie has one of the best soundtracks ever, I mean it. The opening scene is a car cruising in a parking lot to “Sweet Emotion,” by Aerosmith, while a girl rolls a blunt in the front seat. If that isn’t a scene for the ’70s then I don’t know what is. Other great classic rock songs are played during some iconic scenes, such as when the freshman boy, Mitch, is getting hazed by the new seniors to “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” by Alice Cooper, or when the new freshman girls are getting hazed while “Why Can’t We be Friends,” by War, plays in the background.

This is a movie where the quotes are just as iconic as the music. Like I referenced in the beginning of this article, “Alright, Alright, Alright,” the famous Matthew McConaughey impression, comes from this movie. Also, “I only cam here to do two things: kick some ass, and drink some beer. Looks like we’re almost outta beer.” a quote that is referenced in a lot other movies and T.V. shows, comes from none other than “Dazed and Confused.” And let’s not forget my personal favorite quote “You gotta keep on livin’ man L-I-V-I-N.” This movie has those good, reckless vibe quotes that the ’70s gives off.

So if you want a feel-good summer movie then “Dazed and Confused” is your thing. You’ll see some great fashion, hear some good music and watch childhood friends hang out. “Dazed and Confused” makes you feel nostalgia for a time that you weren’t even alive for, so grab your popcorn, pop this movie into your DVD player and chill out, man.

Why “Four” by One Direction Deserved a Grammy

Well, well, well. It has come to my attention that a lot of people don’t know about the evolution of One Direction. Their most popular hit, “What Makes You Beautiful,” was a straight bop and an all around good mood song. Because of that, a lot of people decided to write them off as just another teen sensation that would end soon. Oh, how wrong they were. Now, I won’t write about the history of One Direction or their fandom or the records they broke or why they weren’t just another teen sensation. But, I will talk about why their fourth album, “Four,” deserved at least one Grammy, if not three.

Let’s start with the quality of the album. HIT AFTER HIT! “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” “Ready to Run,” “Girl Almighty,” “Stockholm Syndrome,” “Fool’s Gold” –  I mean come on. And these were just a few of the hits from that album. The groups vocal performance was top notch too. Zayn was phenomenal as always, while Harry, Louis, Niall and Liam really came into their own on “Four.” Their vocal ranges were expanding and were really shown in this album (and were also really shown in their last album after Zayn’s departure).

Now, I don’t know the qualifications for a Grammy Nomination, but I do know that this album was the first of their albums to actually have a shot. I personally believe that One Direction was never nominated because they were still seen as the “bubblegum pop” teen sensation that they were back in 2012. But in two years time (2014), when “Four” was released, one could see and hear the growth the group went through. They wrote the majority of the songs on that album and they were impressive. It wasn’t what I was expecting, honestly.

Vocally and content wise, “Four” was the album that made a statement: One Direction demanded to be taken seriously. Even though many people still didn’t, their fans felt it. As they were growing up, so were we. Here’s to 1D! If the hiatus ever ends, may the industry take you guys as serious as a heart attack (oww!).