Wednesday, June 26, 2019

I Am a Rent-Stabilized Tenant in The New Yorker

[Photo from Sheila's apartment last October]

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 started sharing them with EVG in July 2017.

Susan's feature is the subject of a Talk of the Town piece in The New Yorker this week titled "Rent-Stabilized and Nervous in the East Village."

Here's an excerpt from the piece by Paige Williams:

On a recent Sunday, Schiffman walked over to a building near First Avenue. A woman named Jenny was waiting for her on the fourth floor, in yoga pants and a hoodie imprinted with the words “Locals Only.” Schiffman took in the incense and the wood carvings from India. Jenny, a chef and an astrologer, divulged that, in the sixties, she became a “militant vegetarian” after an acid trip during which God said, “What are you doing?” as she cooked a cube steak.

“Why did you move to the East Village?” Schiffman asked. Jenny answered with a story that involved 1971, Keith Haring, “a bunch of hippies,” aids, macrobiotics, Madonna, Oprah, and “Pluto going into Scorpio.” Jenny said that when she first moved in the apartment was “all brown and lime green. Two dancers from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ lived here.”

Schiffman plucked a Nikon from her backpack and started shooting — moody light at the bedroom windows, a bouquet of bodega roses. Jenny checked an astrology app and said, “Oh! Melania Trump’s gonna have Uranus on her sun.”

You can access all the I Am a Rent-Stabilized Tenant features — 29 with No. 30 coming soon — on EVG here.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Shiffman. I love this series. Thanks to EVG for getting it out there!


The overloaded plug socket is a bit scary.

iamarentstabilizedtenant said...

Thank you to evgrieve + evgrieve readers for all of your support + interest. I love this neighborhood and have for a long time. It is an honor to be allowed into your homes, take photos and hear your stories. With deepest, heartfelt gratitude, Susan

franceonisland said...

I love this series!
And, as we EV Grieve blog readers already know, this blog is cooler than The New Yorker magazine. (Nice of The New Yorker to try to catch up!)

Anonymous said...

Yes RS is a great idea whose time is still current to our economic and sociologic situation in NYC from which the EV benefits greatly. Having lived in a RS for over 40 years I consider myself extremely lucky because without it I would have to move to "who knows where" and I don't want to live there. I live here and love it.

But most of these RS apartments are in old buildings, and I do mean old...100 years old in many cases. Landlords don't always bring the buildings up to code due to lack of tenant complaints, ignorance or greed. RS tenants have excellent rights and should discuss them with their landlords to make the buildings safe...or safer. That overloaded outlet is one such instance that could cause a fire and then this building and all the RS apartments in it are gone forever.