Is This The Woman Investigated for Hoarding at the Hotel Chelsea?
Not sure if you caught it but last month we stopped into the Hotel Chelsea for a brief respite from the hotel takeover and checked out the art exhibit that was going on there. Yet before we could make it to the art floors, about eight FDNY guys came in and proceeded straight up the stairs.
Later we found out that a woman who has lived there for 30 years was being investigated for a hoarding problem. Now we might know who that is. The NY Times has an article about a young artist in residence Sam Bennett who befriended his neighbor Bettina Grossman, a recluse and prolific artitst who became the subject of Bennett's documentary, "Bettina."
After two months, Mr. Bassett finally entered No. 503 to find that Ms. Grossman was, in fact, fiercely guarding an apartment nearly stuffed to the ceiling with hundreds of boxes, forcing her to live in her hallway and sleep on a deck chair.
Yikes. Grossman was almost evicted back in 2006 by the old management team for her apartment's frightening condition but a judge dismissed the petition. No doubt she was probably at the top of new management BD Hotels' hit list until they were fired last week. Unless, there's someone else hoarding stuff at the Hotel Chelsea.
Works of both artists, Bennett and Grossman, will be on display in the hotel's ballroom this weekend as part of an art show for the hotel's 125th anniversary titled, "Chelsea Hotel Through the Eyes of Photographers."
Don't miss the clips of the documentary that the NY Time is showing to see just how cramped up that space (which one resident calls The Bat Cave) was. Fortunately, Bennett has since helped Grossman excavate and organize her belongings.
Meanwhile, Page Six reports that a documentary about the hotel's artistic history called, "Chelsea on the Rocks" will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
As for the fate of BD Hotels at the Hotel Chelsea, they are completely out of there as the management firm. The Living With Legends has all the latest details, including the presence of asbestos in the building. Maybe that has contributed to the crazy amount of art that happens here?
As for hotel guests who want to experience the bohemian outpost for a night or two, rates are holding steady at $99 a night but interestingly the hotel has no availability until May 26th.
[Photo: Linda Troeller for the NY Times]