Hotel Van Rensselaer

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Gail and I moved to New York in 1967 to play in the Garrick Theater on Bleecker Street. The first place we stayed, before we could find an apartment, was the Hotel Van Rensselaer on Eleventh Street. We were living in a small room on one of the upper floors. I was working on the album cover illustration for Absolutely Free at a desk by the window. I remember the place being so dirty I couldn't keep the soot off the artwork.

Formerly the Hotel Alabama--built 1902 in the Italian Renaissance style. The Van Rensselaers were big landowners in the Hudson Valley. They also established the Polytechnic at Troy where Zappa performed in 1975, 1976, 1980, and 1981.