By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
You said that you found your apartment when you started talking to a woman with a schnauzer. By the way, that reminds me of a friend who was talking about someone who was such a cheapskate. The friend said, Oh, he's such a schnauzer. He meant to say schnorrer. Anyway . . . [Lee] It was last year. We knew we wanted to live in the West Village. We were sitting on a stoop. A lady was walking her dog, the schnauzer. I asked her, How did you get your apartment? She said, Do you want it? I'm buying a place. [Dana] Lee will talk to absolutely anybody. The other day he saw this pregnant woman at the Duane Reade. He yelled: Boy or girl! Before we got this apartment, Lee created flyers that had a picture of us. He was ready to paste them all over the Village. Fun-loving couple who like to go on walks, good restaurants, seeks one-bedrooma stoop would be good. But we never needed the flyer. [Lee] We have His and Hers closets in the bedroom. They have lights. When I looked for my apartment on the Upper East Side six years ago, I saw two, three a day. I just did telemarketing, one out of every 10 million will lead you to something. It's like sales, you've just got to make phone calls.
Your father is in sales, too? His whole lifepens, mugs, little tchotchkes! Ever try these?
You're holding out a small dispenser that ejects what looks like a rectangular piece of plastic film. Put it on your tongue. It's a mintamazing! I grew up on the borderline of the Bronx, very small apartment. My grandmother owned a corner candy store in Brooklyn. They lived above the store.
People like your grandparents didn't walk around saying it's impossible to live in New York. I really wish we could afford a loft. Times were different then. They were just happy to be a family. Here's a photo of me and Dana at Halloween. [Dana] Lee went as Lite-Brite, the toy. I was a Solid Gold dancer, that '70s show. I'm from San Jose. My dad teaches first grade and all the kids call him Steve. I came to New York to be a dancer, lived on Bleecker and Thompson with three other girls in a one-bedroom for five years. It really didn't get old until the last few months. [Lee] Dana and I met at an Internet trade show. She was working at the help desk. I couldn't find the meeting I was supposed to go to. I walked away. I couldn't stop thinking about her. I went back, begged her to have lunch. We had the worst Chinese food ever. Then one night we tried to meet at a restaurant. I couldn't find her. [Dana] Then he did. [Lee] After that, it was dynamite. I proposed to her on the roof last March. She was staring at the Empire State Building.
You have all these happy endings in your life. I'm pretty happy when I wake up every morning. We love this neighborhood. [Dana] I always wanted to live in the Village growing up. I saw it in movies, Chorus Line, When Harry Met Sally. Remember, he drops her off in Washington Square Park?
When I think of the Village, I think of Dawn Powell throwing one back or e.e. cummings typing without capital letters or, well, I guess it depends on one's point of reference. I knew that Poe lived down there.
Oh, him. [Lee] There was someone famous on our block, I saw a plaque. Crane Hart?
Hart Crane. I like living around artists and poets. I hope it rubs off on me. I like to think I'm creative.
Are any artists left around here? You said your neighbors are lawyers, admen. There are still some. And living down here, you can be a little freer in your thinking. It allows you to learn more about yourself and what you're capable of. [Dana] And every day is going to be completely different than the next day and . . .