Canal and Wooster-firstloft-5 years
85 Mercer Street- 40 years
Painter Part time waitress at Magoos, co-founder of "Appearances" magazine and founder/editor of "Re-view: Artists on Art" magazine.
The vibrant arts community. The building of our lofts to make them livable. The help neighbors gave each other in trading construction skills. Building the lofts together. Seeing each other's art and encouraging each other. Sharing ideas and materials. Knowing everyone when you walked down the street or went to the store for groceries. Having my named called out when I entered Spring StreetBar or Magoo's, or Faneli's,
The danger to women walking dark streets at night coming from waitress and bar tending jobs. We were not supposed to be living here so we could not complain about the street lights being out. We could not call the cops for the same reason.
I still live here but I am getting squeezed out by the super rich. It is just a matter of time. I am stubborn and have tried to stay in the loft my husband and I built and raised our kids in. I thought we could live here until we died. But it is no longer cheap to live here even if you own your space.
Meeting talented people from all over the world and from places in the United States that I had never heard of. They came, every year, the best and the brightest from rural, agricultural and cosmopolitan places and they all ended up here trying to build old lofts into studios and to make themselves famous. Andy Warhol walked and hung out among us, Henry Miller too, Blondy sang at Arturos, Phillip Glass bought my piano when I needed rent money.
I walk the streets of Soho and still see it as it was. Oh, I know it has changed beyond recognition, but I walk with the many ghosts of friends gone and places much changed. Yet it lives in my heart because I gave it my youth and my energy. I suffered poverty and the cold, but always believed in what we all were trying to do: to articulate our artistic and human freedom to the utmost. I still believe that is the role and right of the arts. Soho Lives!