Best Residence for Aging Bohemians (2008)


Nobody moves from WESTBETH ARTISTS HOUSING until the Big Agent in the Sky makes the final casting call. As the population of the subsidized complex has aged, the building has been declared a NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community). When we moved here at age 47 (after a decade on the waiting list), we felt young compared to our neighbors, who are still writing, painting, and performing into their seventies, eighties, and nineties. If you can get accepted onto the waiting list as an artist, then stay relatively poor, you may win the housing lottery—admittance into the last outpost of Greenwich Village bohemia, in the now-tony far West Village. Just beware the power-crazed tenants council, which the old guard follows with cult-like devotion.


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