Clermont Avenue studio apartment, Brooklyn, 2002
New York City
1999 - 2006
1999 - 2006
My only New York City address for seven years was on Clermont Avenue in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. My first apartment was known as a “single-room occupancy,” or SRO, in a four-story brownstone building. The owner and his family lived on the first two floors. The remaining floors consisted of two apartments with a shared bathroom on each floor. My third-floor studio apartment had a door-less small side room that served as a bedroom. I shared the bathroom in the middle of the hallway outside of my apartment with Carla who lived in an identical apartment that faced the street. There was also Frank and his partner/friend Laura in one of the two apartments on the fourth floor. Frank was the oldest tenet in the building by 23 years.
Soon after the landlord sold the building to a real estate management and developer company, all of the tenants began experiencing decreased services and verbal pressures to move out of the building. I became a housing advocate for the tenants in my building, leading the battle for our rent-controlled homes under New York City housing laws. In the end, the housing court officials found the developers guilty of misconduct and negligence. Franks' living arrangement was permanently secure as long as he remained in the building. Meanwhile, I was awarded the renovated garden apartment at a severely reduced rent as part of the settlement.
It was a luxury living alone in a rent-controlled apartment for most of my seven-year stint in New York City. The isolation afforded me the mental capacity for self reflection and artistic development behind the hand built plywood desk.
This is a collection images while living in New York City from 1999-2006.
Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn, 2000
Morning paint, Manhattan, 2001
Ideogram by James Rosati at World Trade Center, Manhattan, 1997
Extreme BMX demonstration, Manhattan, 2001
Martha Stewart would stand here, Manhattan, 2003
A dollar bill and a stack of napkins, Manhattan, 1999
Windows reflecting sunlight, Manhattan, 2003
Couple at the Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn, 2000
The setting sun on 9-11-2021, Brooklyn, 2001
Homemade pipes, Brooklyn, 2006
Shadow of a sign and red wall, Brooklyn, 2001