A few years ago, a former friend of mine, who enjoyed vegan baking and falling for attached men, developed a serious crush on writer/Frank Rich spawn Nathaniel, he of the title of this post.  She dragged me to some event that he was co-hosting and awkwardly hung around the table where he was signing books afterward and introduced me, though I seriously doubt Sir Rich remembers it.  Since then, I’ve definitely imagined a familiarity that simply doesn’t exist, and tracked his career in ways that I perhaps wouldn’t have had I never shook hands with the dude.  I’ve read his writing when it is sent my way, noted releases of his novels, and cringed with envy when I heard his voice on This American Life.  But this week, my jealousy reached new peaks when a friend forwarded me the oral history he did of the Chelsea Hotel for Vanity Fair (also, please note my prediction that oral histories are the new listicles is TOTALLY COMING TRUE!) and of course I was beside myself.  MY Chelsea Hotel?  The place I spent a paycheck to stay in even though it was ten blocks away from where I lived?  The building I sometimes stroked as I walked by (en route to nowhere) just because I loved it so?  The hotel that––yes, I know––has turned me even in these sentences into a bumbling cliche and puts me firmly in the derided category of “poseurs with artistic pretensions,” to quote R. Crumb.

A snippet of the oral history, which can be read in full here.  This isn’t the best bit of it all––just want to remind myself to look up the work Isabella Stewart Gardner the younger, and also Busby is my buddy IRL.

GERALD BUSBY: There were rooms kept aside for black-sheep children from rich families, who paid Stanley to babysit. The most auspicious of these was Isabella Stewart Gardner’s grandniece, who had the same name: Isabella Stewart Gardner. She was an excellent poet—a poet laureate of New York in the 70s—and married to Allen Tate. She was also mad as a hatter, a total masochist, alcoholic. She’d get drunk and meet someone and he’d take her up to her apartment and fuck her and beat her up and steal something, and then she was totally happy.”

So after I get over my sadness that I didn’t get to work on this project, I open up my latest issue of Harper’s  and what do I find there but a cover story by Rich about a dude who INFILTRATES CULTS, which I would a) love to do and b) have planned on pitching a reality show series about for ages.  This guy has all the motherfucking luck.

Oh, and in case you haven’t gotten this already, I don’t actually hate Nathaniel Rich even a little.  He seems like a good dude and an excellent writer, and I think if you can milk nepotism, why not take advantage?  I’m just jealous of his subject matter, obviously.

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