My first NYC apartment rented for $472 a month in 1993. It was 7'10" by 28' in a Chelsea building called The Vidon. "This'll do for a year," I thought as I signed the lease. I moved out 13 years later and I'm glad the walls can't talk. I could never have built my career without such affordable housing. Most of my work on "Avenue Q" was written here, as well as all of my early plays.
I just located its most recent listing.
It's renovated nicely. The flagstone patio I built in the garden is still evident, though untended and thick with growth.
It didn't always look like that. When I moved in, it was a giant patch of dirt surrounded by a useless flagstone walkway. I moved the stones to the center with the aid of my friend Charles.
I gasped at the memories, and even more at the price they're asking for my shoebox now-- $1780 per month. Mind you, the apartment is TINY -- the pics are artfully angled.
How do fledgling artists move to New York City? What happens to a city when it can only import the arts from elsewhere?