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Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea’

The Little Shrimp

October 27, 2014 | by

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A postcard of the Little Shrimp.

One imagines that lots of Dylan Thomas devotees are marking his centenary by making a pilgrimage to the White Horse Tavern, where the dissolute poet famously downed those last fatal eighteen whiskeys. For their sake, we hope the White Horse is not thronged with frat boys, although I guess they have as much right to pay their respects as anyone. More, maybe. 

Naturally, any Thomas-themed New York walking tour—and there are several, guided and otherwise—includes the White Horse, the sites of his other watering holes, and perhaps St. Vincent’s hospital, where he died. Personally, I prefer to focus on a happier landmark from Thomas’s New York days: the Little Shrimp. This restaurant—a favorite of the poet’s when he was in residence at the Hotel Chelsea—is where, in 1952, the young, audacious Barbara Cohen and Marianne Rooney approached Thomas about making recordings for their new line of spoken-word records. The result was Caedmon Records—the source of many of Thomas’s iconic recordings—and the classic record A Child’s Christmas in WalesRead More »

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Incident / Resurrection

July 29, 2014 | by

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Roxy Paine, Incident / Resurrection, 2013, neon, 6' 9 9/16" x 15' 11 1/4" x 10". Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York © Roxy Paine. Photo: Jason Wyche

My commute takes me past Paul Kasmin Gallery, at the corner of Twenty-seventh and Tenth, less than a block from The Paris Review’s offices. Every morning for the past month, I’ve paused there to stare at an installation through the window, a pair of illuminated silhouettes. I watch as one red neon man thwacks another with a red neon two-by-four. Every time, the second red neon man falls to the ground; every time, he rises again, on hands and feet, retracing the ungainly arc of his fall; and every time, the first red neon man thwacks him again.

Thwack, fall, rise, repeat. Like many forms of suffering, this one goes on ad nauseam—and like many forms of suffering, it burns itself into your retinas. I watch the cycle four or five times and then walk the two-thirds of a block to the office carrying an afterimage of neon trauma. I find this strangely buoyant.

Only today, after more than a month of doing this, did I decide to find out what exactly I’d been seeing. It’s Roxy Paine’s Incident / Resurrection (2013), which the artist’s Web site characterizes as “a visual loop of pure narrative movement”: Read More »

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Adieu White Street, Bonjour High Line

April 29, 2013 | by

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It’s the end of an era here at The Paris Review: after eight years in TriBeCa, today we’re packing up and heading north to our new Twenty-Seventh Street digs. While it’s bittersweet, we look forward to making new memories in Chelsea. And, yes, the birds are migrating with us. 

As of this afternoon, you can find us at 544 West 27th Street, New York, New York 10001. That’s past the High Line, across the street from the strip club, and next door to the Cuban restaurant. If you fall into the river, you’ve gone too far.

 

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Part I: Race to ‘The Clock’

December 27, 2011 | by

We’re out this week, but we’re re-posting some of our favorite pieces from 2011 while we’re away. We hope you enjoy—and have a happy New Year!

A three-part saga of trying to see the last day of Christian Marclay’s The Clock at the Paula Cooper Gallery.

I am refusing to look at the time on my phone because it’s Thursday night, I am in Kansas City, and I have to be in New York City by Friday at midnight, to meet Zadie Smith to see Christian Marclay’s new video work, The Clock. The truck I planned to drive has a flat tire and the battery’s dead, so I run down the icy street with my backpack on, slipping in my gray Ferragamos on the hill, catch a cab at the corner and ask the driver to take me to I-70 just east of 71.

“Where on 70? You going to Liberty? I can take you to Liberty. I’ll turn off the meter if we’re going to Liberty.”

I think of a line a friend of mine used to say about New York City, that as soon as you arrived the meter started running and it didn’t stop until you left. Like Scorsese in his cameo in Taxidriver insisting that Travis Bickle keep the meter on while they sit and wait.

“All I need is a truck stop.”

Before we’re ten minutes outside downtown we see the red-and-blue TA sign in Oak Grove. There are probably twenty trucks lined up. But no trucker inside the TA is hauling to New York or nobody will cop to it, so I go outside and head for the line of semis. It’s starting to rain, I’m ten miles from home and I already recognize how eccentric, how unstable, how woebegone, how doomed this plan is; the roar of the highway is an echo of my sure failure, and I’m thinking about the trucker who’s too wise to take the little baby in Denis Johnson’s “Car Crash While Hitchhiking” when I hear, incredibly, like a promise from God—there will be many of these in the next twenty-four hours, but I don’t know it yet—the elongated throaty syllables of Lou Reed coming from an amiable-looking white truck with wide mirrors coming off its nose and bumpers that give it a kind of Disney Cars effect. In the movie, the trucks are always the good guys. And, better still, a middle-aged black man with a potbelly is pumping diesel into it, listening to one of the most white-boy songs of all time. It’s the very song that Johnson uses for the title and the epigraph of his famous story collection:

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Scene and Heard

August 4, 2011 | by

 

It wasn’t my plan to get thrown up against a wall by Macduff on a Monday night. Only hours earlier, I’d found myself innocuously waiting in a long line, on an otherwise deserted Chelsea corner, in a crowd wearing a sheen of sweat under cocktail dresses and collared shirts.

“I can’t believe they’re making us wait,” a man in very short shorts in front of me said. It was seven-twenty outside the McKittrick Hotel, a hundred-plus-room Chelsea warehouse currently playing host to one of New York’s most immersive theater experiences, but no one had seen any of the gore, sex, or fun our tickets promised. “I hate lines,” a girl in a halter top moaned to her friend.

“What’s the name of this?” a woman passing by asked me.

Sleep No More,” I said.

“That’s the name of the club?”

We were waiting, in fact, to see a free-form staging of Macbeth, in which the audience wanders through a maze of lush rooms decorated like Hitchcock’s version of a boutique hotel, including a gruesome taxidermist shop and a candy store. I’d heard that actors climbed up walls, had orgies, and went ballroom dancing, but I’d decided to ignore the freakish distractions in hopes of sifting out something less fleeting from the thousands of documents, photos, and files that decorate the convoluted set. If my wallet was going to be nearly a hundred dollars lighter by the end of the night, I wanted to leave with more than just the experience of a naked, wordless rendition of “Out damn spot!” I wanted to walk away with some small, new understanding of Shakespeare. Read More »

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