Wednesday, February 16, 2011

At The Hotel Chelsea

from Patti Smith's wonderful book Just Kids:

I was wearing a long rayon dress with white polka dots and a straw hat, my East of Eden outfit. At the table to my left, Janis Joplin was holding court with her band. To my far right were Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane, along with members of Country Joe and the Fish. At the last table facing the door was Jimi Hendrix, his head lowered, eating with his hat on, across from a blonde. There were musicians everywhere, sitting before tables laid with mounds of shrimp with green sauce, paella, pitchers of sangria, and bottles of tequila.
I stood there amazed, yet I didn’t feel like an intruder. The Chelsea was my home and the El Quixote was my bar. There were no security guards, no pervasive sense of privilege. They were here for the Woodstock festival, but I was so afflicted by hotel oblivion that I wasn’t aware of the festival or what it meant.

1 comment:

  1. I read this immediately after reading Edmund White's *City Boy* which covers the same period in NYC. Smith even makes a brief cameo. It was great reading them together.