Monday, November 30, 2015
The Chintz Age
At DUMBO's Powerhouse Arena tomorrow evening, the NYC launch of author & blogger Ed Hamilton's latest book, The Chintz Age: Tales of Love and Loss for a New New York.
In seven stories and a novella, Ed Hamilton takes on this clash of cultures between the old and the new, as his characters are forced to confront their own obsolescence in the face of a rapidly surging capitalist juggernaut. Ranging over the whole panorama of New York neighborhoods—from the East Village to Hell’s Kitchen, and from the Bowery to Washington Heights—Hamilton weaves a spellbinding web of urban mythology. Punks, hippies, beatniks, squatters, junkies, derelicts, and anarchists—the entire pantheon of urban demigods— gambol through a grungy subterranean Elysium of dive bars, cheap diners, flophouses, and shooting galleries, searching for meaning and a place to make their stand.
Hamilton's stories examine the city in the context of gentrification, or, as Vanishing New York's Jeremiah Moss would call it, hyper-gentrification - an accelerated, corporate-driven stratagem to re-create both the city's landscape & its population. They involve characters confronting issues we're all too familiar with - rising rents, closing businesses & a rapidly altering streetscape.
Hamilton's earlier book, Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living with the Artists and Outlaws of New York's Rebel Mecca, is now in its eighth printing. He is also the author of the Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog, & has been a resident of the Chelsea since 1997. You can read a Sunday Routine Times piece on Hamilton here.