New york magazine
the perpetual garret
Where the starving artists slept.
April 11, 2011
Molly Langmuir

209E-001-002
CINDY SHERMAN, 1982
Sherman with her blind pet dove in her apartment at 64 Fulton Street, where she lived until 1983. The shower was in the kitchen and the toilet was down the hall.


203E-021-034
WENDY O. WILLIAMS, 1983
The lead singer of the Plastmatics in one of the sublets she was shuttling between in lower Manhattan. Williams had no furniture or telephone and hadn't bought a pair of pants in three years.

"You know, the primary thing about a New York apartment is that it must be quiet," says the artist Taylor Mead, who has lived since 1979 in a 260-square-foot hovel on Ludlow Street. "And have nice light." New York artists have always been famously accomodating about their accomodations, choosing to live here as spartans or slobs (or both) rather than anywhere else. This is the city at its most romantic--though, as Mead would tell you, romance isn't easy. In 2002, he received an eviction notice. "They had the building fumigated because it was infested with cockroaches." He was allowed to stay, but many of his belongings and work weren't. "Now the apartment is a worse wreck than before," he says. "My ceiling is collapsing, there's no water coming in--but I'm afraid to complain, because they'll inspect it again."

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