Bellhops and Bellevue

bellevue_gate

Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, the Bellevue that for 78 years has stood, gloomy and gated, on 30th and First, the Bellevue made infamous in movies and nightmares, the forbidding destination for so many celebrated and notorious New Yorkers that it stands as a chilling landmark: the Chelsea Hotel of the mad.

Bellevue, a decaying remnant whose stark shell stands as a testimonial to the Dickensian life of old New York, is now going to be renovated as a luxury hotel. New York Magazine takes us through the legendary hotel’s notorious past in a truly amazing essay.

I have a friend who works at Bellevue and late one night I was given a tour. It was like something that might have been cooked up by David Lynch and Dario Argento on a bad acid trip together. The patients were drifting around the hallways in a Thorazine haze and looked completely batshit. The building was so bleak and dismal it just added to the terror, and around every turn I kept expecting to see Nurse Ratched presiding over a broom closet lobotomy or something. Seriously freaky place.

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1 Comment

  1. Makes me think of the Camarillo State Hospital which was also one of those freaky psychiatric places long ago when we didn’t have an understanding of what was going on in the head and so performed these awful procedures. The hospital is now the Channel Island University. They say it’s still haunted.


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