ED HAMILTON, 55, is a writer who lives with his wife in a tiny room at the Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd Street in Manhattan. All around him gentrification and redevelopment is going full speed, just as it is in Downtown TORONTO. The ‘creative class’ in both cities must deal with rising rents, lack of studio space, vanishing of the familiar, and the arrival of a multitude of luxury condominiums and the folks who go with them.
Mr. Hamilton sees gentrification as a metaphor for growing old. You become invisible as the world changes around you he says, but “I don’t want to be somebody who’s always down on something new. The way to resist is to carve out a niche for yourself in a crazy, gentrified world.” And that’s what he’s done on the 8th floor of the Chelsea Hotel, which happens to be under renovation and gentrification.
“Artists used to be able to resist gentrification. At some point, the tide has turned.” – ED HAMILTON
In 2015 Ed Hamilton wrote ‘The Chintz Age’ (Cervena Barva Press, 2015), a collection of short stories and a novella about artists trying to survive in a changing city. He is also the author of ‘Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living with the Artists and Outlaws of New York’s Rebel Mecca’ (DaCapo 2007) which is now in its eighth printing.
<PHOTO ABOVE – a New York City micro-apartment, the latest thing – New York Daily News>