Well-known New York writer, artist and socialite Anthony Haden-Guest has begun a public campaign to complain about the legal procedures and customer service at self-storage facilities, particularly those of Public Storage Inc., and kicked off the campaign with a benefit party last week. The campaign accompanies a lawsuit Haden-Guest has filed against the storage company.
According to the source, Haden-Guest became delinquent on a unit at a Queens Public Storage facility two years ago while the writer was temporarily living in London. Haden-Guest, who grew up in England, had been storing what he said were hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of books, art, clothes and personal papers. The facility eventually auctioned the unit for $630. The auction buyer now plans to resell Haden-Guest's goods for a profit, unless the writer can come up with a $350,000 bond to forestall the sale.
“I would like the judiciary to scrutinize very closely what these storage companies do,” Haden-Guest told the source. “Basically, I want to occupy Public Storage.”
Haden-Guest argues that while residing in England, he wasn't receiving Public Storage's nonpayment notices (for $1,350) because they were being sent to his former address in New York. By the time he discovered he was in arrears, his property had already been sold. A spokesman for Public Storage declined to comment to the source.
The benefit party, called "Anthony Haden's Public Storage Blues," was hosted at the Hiro Bedroom in the basement of the Maritime Hotel in New York. Its attendees, who all paid $30 to enter, included wealthy New York publishing magnates, artists and many musicians, including Deborah Harry of Blondie and Nile Rodgers of Chic. Rodgers performed for the crowd, and Haden-Guest read a poem he'd written called "Public Storage Blues."
Haden-Guest currently is an art columnist for the Financial Times. His drawings have appeared in the New York Observer, and he has published articles in the Sunday Telegraph, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Sunday Times, Esquire, GQ, The Observer, Radar and others. One of his most notable books is "The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night," which chronicles the last days of the famed New York nightclub.