CHELSEA — Those mourning the death of musician Leonard Cohen placed candles, hand-written notes, cigars and a bottle of wine outside the Chelsea Hotel as part of a makeshift memorial for the late singer-songwriter.
Cohen, who passed away on Monday at the age of 82, lived at the legendary hotel on West 23rd Street during its heyday.
A plaque that hangs in front of the hotel quotes Cohen’s song “Chelsea Hotel #2,” which recalls a night he spent there with Janis Joplin.
Chelsea resident Cary Abrams, 69, was at the hotel when it unveiled the plaque back in 2009.
“I just wanted to sort of look at the plaque and pay my respects for [Cohen],” Abrams said as he stood near the hotel's entrance Friday morning.
He remembered Cohen for “the depth of his lyrics, his brilliance, his virtuosity, his compassion, his skills as a writer,” he said.
Photo credit: DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani
Eighth Avenue resident David Sims, 53, stopped to take photos of the memorial to send to a friend in Toronto.
“[Cohen] was there for me in some emotional times,” he said of the Canadian musician. “I can’t really think of any other artist that affected me in that way.”
The hotel also drew out-of-towners who found themselves in New York City the night Cohen’s death was announced.
Canadians Blythe Provost, 31, and her husband brought flowers and cigars to add to the memorial.
“He was someone I listened to as a kid, and as I got older, the words meant more,” she said.
A 17-year-old School of Visual Arts student who declined to give her name, meanwhile, said she “really loved his songs.”
“I don’t know what else to say — it’s too sad for me,” she said, after placing a bouquet of flowers on the ground.
Everything Cohen did, Provost noted, “was poetic.”
“And it was not even necessarily in his songs, in his poems — it was just hearing him speak, the way he described life, the way he looked at himself,” she said. “I feel like we’re never going to see anything like that ever again.”