Tanya Balsley

Tanya Balsley
Tue, 10/23/2018 - 10:35
When did you live in SoHo?


Where did you live in SoHo?

133 Wooster

What was your occupation when you lived in SoHo?

kid and teenager

What do you miss most about SoHo in the 1970s?

we had free run of the place. rode unobstructed down the empty sidewalks on our bikes and built cardboard clubhouses in corners of empty lots. the dumpster treasures that i'm sure have informed my life esthetic. it was almost like a rural childhood. we were the kids of urban homesteaders and played unsupervised and unrestrained.

What do you miss least about SoHo in the 1970s?

the garbage trucks would park on our corner some nights for what seemed like hours with their engines running. we were on the second floor and the windows were all leaky so the engine noise and fumes would fill my room. that and the constant fear of stepping in dog shit on the way to school and being 'that kid'. and a lot of the culture of the artist parents was super self involved and self indulgent on the whole. they exposed us to their bullshit and didn't prioritize our emotional or physical safety. that sucked.

If you no longer live in SoHo, why did you leave?

i've lived in vermont since i left brooklyn in 1993. i was definitely a soho child but i was never a natural city person. i remember i was in love with and sad for all the city trees that struggled to survive the noise and filth and for as long as i can remember i lived to get out.

What is your most vivid SoHo memory?

the smell of damp bricks and machine grease that hit me every time i entered our building. it gives me chills to think about it. that's still the smell of home for me.