Renovated Loft in Former Warehouse


Location Fort Greene
Rent $2700 (market)
Square feet 1500
Occupants Arthur Fournier (director of sales and marketing, Delano Greenidge Editions), Clayton Harper III (software designer), a third roommate

What about the sperm in Williamsburg? [Clay] I made a very discreet decision not to live there. Ever see Williamsburg boys? They're like in Peter Pan, little city of lost boys. Everyone has their loft clubhouses with the action figures, guitars. They're in their work pants saying, "My band just put out a seven-inch." What do they do? Work at a restaurant! You say, "You're 31. You're only going to be able to have a child for another seven and a half years." Williamsburg is a self-selecting sterilization clinic! [Arthur] Those chemicals in the water and the ground naturally decrease sperm motility, which also decreases with age. Now, this is all speculative. [Clay] We're not the AMA.

Did the light go on when you slid open the sliding door to this bedroom? [Clay] No, it just looks that way. I made these doors to the bedrooms. Here's our third roommate's room. [Arthur] We can't talk about his whereabouts.

Clayton Harper III (in the foreground) and Arthur Fournier in Fort Greene
photo: Jay Muhlin
Clayton Harper III (in the foreground) and Arthur Fournier in Fort Greene

Envelopes are scattered on the floor. [Clay] He doesn't come to get his mail, pays his bills online. He doesn't have clothes.

I have chills from the mystery. Clay, you're such a man of the Web—not many possessions except a titanium laptop. Everything's in the computer—600 albums.

Have you ever known any other kind of life? Though you are only 25. Yes. Not everything was in the computer. But then I was living in Texas at my parents'. It was relatively boring, so I bought computer parts and learned to work stuff.

What's the fake Gucci-print golf hat with the big black felt letters: "FAKE"? It looks so Japanese. I made it. I wore it in Japan. They loved it.

Their culture has a celebration of the artificial. [Arthur] No, simulacrum, any attempt to reproduce the real, is despised.

I didn't mean celebration of the word fake. I meant reverence for the created as opposed to the organic. Ahem. What's all the evenly cut grass on the window sills? It's like it's from a juice bar or the grass around that swirling wood reception desk at the Union Square W hotel. [Clay] It's fake, plastic. I got it from a gentleman in Soho. I traded some watches from Japan that have faces on them which are bar graphs made of LED lights. There are five dots in a row. If it's on red, red is equal to a value of five in all the rows, and, well, I had to read the instructions. Trust me, I'm a lawyer. That's the only thing I can say in Japanese.

I don't know why, but you make me think of the Tony Matelli sculpture called Lost and Sick, with the Boy Scouts throwing up their s'mores. Now that I think of it, he lives in Williamsburg. [Arthur] Clay and I were roommates in college. We lived above a pizza parlor in Hyde Park, in Chicago. After we graduated, I moved four doors east of Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam. I was in a Frank Lloyd Wright coach house. I came to New York in July. I was hoping to go to Turkey to live on the second island in the chain of Princes Islands, in the Sea Marmara. But after September 11, I decided to stay on in New York. Clay's been in the city since '99. [Clay] I got this through a broker in June. I like Brooklyn a lot better than New York. Fort Greene reminds me of Hyde Park. Lots of young people with babies, a lot of mixed-race couples. The thing about Fort Greene, people aren't afraid to grow up. They haven't fallen into the yuppie thing. Fort Greene is for practical, responsible, upright people.

What about the other roommate? Does he like Fort Greene? You don't even know if he's really a person. Maybe we just made him up.

 
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