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Books

book review

‘Inside the Dream Palace’ by Sherill Tippins

New York’s Chelsea Hotel is the Zelig of American artistic landmarks.

Looming over West 23d Street, the Chelsea seems to pop up in the life stories of every crazed or visionary writer, avant garde artist, and Warholian fame hog of the past 125 years. Dylan Thomas, Arthur Miller, Thomas Wolfe, Allen Ginsberg, Edie Sedgwick, Patti Smith, Milos Forman, Bob Dylan, Christo, Dee Dee Ramone — each had a Chelsea chapter, a formative period within its shabby walls and wrought-iron balconies. If you created or inspired a significant book, movie, or piece of art during the 20th century, odds are that the unofficial artists’ colony, with its dusty carpeting, art-filled hallways, and rusty sinks, has photo-bombed your story.

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