East Village resident Susan Schiffman has been photographing the apartments of rent-stabilized tenants living in the East Village for her Instagram account, I Am a Rent Stabilized Tenant. She will share some of the photos here for this ongoing EVG feature.
Photos and text by Susan Schiffman
Tenant: Deanna Kirk, since 1991
Deanna was born in Manhattan, at Doctors Hospital on 69th Street and York Avenue. She was raised near Columbia University while her father attended school there. Her family later relocated to Long Island.
In the 1980s, Deanna moved to Brooklyn. From 1991 to 1995 she owned Deanna's, a jazz club on Seventh Street near Avenue A.
Around the time she opened the club, she found her current apartment through a friend of a friend. No one in the unit had paid rent in almost four years as the building was in such disrepair.
When the new owners took over, they met with Deanna in the bar downstairs from the apartment. They asked her, "How much do you think is fair?"
What do you love about your apartment?
I used to love my clawfoot tub, that was my favorite thing. But they just got rid of it two weeks ago because there was a leak. Now my favorite thing is the wooden moldings from the 1850s that somebody restored 40 years ago.
I love my fire escape and the trees outside my window, the birds and my view of Second Avenue. I have seen so many things on Second Avenue. I sit here and have my coffee and look out onto the trees that meet my window and Second Avenue.
And I love my friends in the building.
Deanna performs at Nomad, the North African restaurant at 78 Second Ave. between Fourth Street and Fifth Street, every Wednesday night from 7 to 10.
"The thing I love best is the neighborhood feeling. It's only a block away from my apartment. Every Wednesday I can just walk a block to my steady singing event, which is a lot like my old jazz club, which is like bringing my old jazz club back for one night a week. I am singing with Burt Eckoff, another rent-stabilized tenant in the East Village since 1968 on Sixth Street."
If you're interested in inviting Susan in to photograph your apartment for an upcoming post, then you may contact her via this email.