I get mad at New York sometimes. Mostly because it’s not the same place I moved here for. That was 1997. In my mind I was getting The Warriors NYC, and not Giuliani’s Disney circus. Mike can tell you, I’m a jaded New Yorker—I’ve seen the Chelsea Hotel lose its soul, CBGB’s close down, and Coney Island become the land of Fischer Price toys. But I’ve also been privy to amazing underground parties and met amazing groups of artists and performers that inspire me on a daily basis. Whether I want to admit it or not, this city has ingrained itself into me. And every once in a while you can find a place that has managed to stay true to its spirit. The Elk Hotel is one of those places, located in Times Square, one of the last of the hourly hotels in NYC. The paintings are screwed into the walls (literally through the paintings, which were upside down in our room), the mattresses come with one sheet, and many a couple have carved their names into the bedpost. Mike checked the mattress for bedbugs before we even put our things down. The Elk Hotel is a “nice” place for couples meeting by the hour. Clearly it was the perfect setting for Lie & Indite.
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We met up with Balthazar and Sonia in front of the hotel on a Saturday. I was late, Mike was later, caught in a Duane Reade buying markers and rubbing alcohol. When we went inside, the men running the front desk refused to rent one room to all four of us. We had to rent two rooms—each for two people. I still think we got swindled but that day I wasn’t in the mood to fight. We rented two rooms for two hours, using the one with the best light and most space. We set up the equipment, I stripped down and Mike started writing…
Photo by Balthazar