Good morning! That's an overdue hello. Two weeks ago, I moved from a studio in the Village to the entire floor of a three-family house in a quiet Bushwick neighborhood where Brooklyn meets Queens. According to the languages overheard in a nearby Catholic church I pass on my walks, it's also where Ecuador meets Poland. I hadn't been looking for a new apartment, but in New York, when a good deal comes up, you jump--and order used cardboard boxes (.com).
I'd been to this apartment once before for a party. My friend and former WNYC colleague Carolina Miranda, a writer and arts critic who I know and love as the brains behind C-MONSTER.net, lived here with her husband, street artist El Celso. I was so charmed by it -- the room-after-room railroad layout, a so-bad-it's-good mix of 1970s linoleum patterns, chunky door casings painted orange and shellacked like mad, the older Sicilian couple from upstairs who ventured down for the fun -- that months later, when I heard the news and got over my selfish disappointment that she and El Celso were relocating to Los Angeles, I found myself wondering: Hey! Should I move into their place?
First, I should say that having working with extraordinarily talented Carolina, I knew that the New York art world was about to suffer a huge loss. Who else goes to art shows and combines solid reporting with ridiculous hilarity while writing about the overstimulating architecture of cruise ships, "testosterone art that's also huggy," and a Frida Kahlo-like sculpture that is a carnal strawberry? Los Angeles art world: you scored. In fact, I think we all score. Los Angeles needs more arts coverage, and New York publications need to run it.
So, I moved. I definitely scored. Thank you, C-Monster and El Celso! The Sicilians upstairs who own the building have covered what I fondly called the Linoleum Palace with a new wood floor. I mean, wood-floor-printed vinyl. Same thing! I'm finding all sorts of touches left behind, like rubber fishies strung from the low-hanging chandelier (below) in the dining room that became my bedroom (I added necklaces), and a patch-up job in a kitchen cabinet that puts to use some of El Celso's discarded artwork (bottom). My friend Jill Singer, design writer and co-founder of Sight Unseen, gave me her knock-off Tulip table from IKEA (above) when she found an original. (Who knew that the Saarinen original has the most beautiful silky touch!) Things are coming together. Boxes are collapsed. Internet is installed. I can now find my keys. I just have three more rooms to furnish, or a roommate to find.
I don't normally post filtered photos here. Realism > fantasy. But these pics are conveniently snagged from Instagram, where you can follow me all dreamy and sentimental at lizarnold. More soon.
P.S. I haven't forgotten about the 10-year-old's posts! Approvals and such.