Arts & Entertainment

Comments (0)

Best Residence for Aging Bohemians New York 2005 - WESTBETH ARTISTS HOUSING

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.
My Voice Nation Help

The last line about the power-crazed tenant council is so absurd and pathetic. The all-volunteer Westbeth Artists Residents Council is elected by a majority of the tenants of Westbeth at annual elections. For the past 26 years it has sponsored free readings, performances and art exhibits, music and dance fesitivals all free to the public and for which in recognition of this work has received grants from the Pollock Krasner , NYC Cultural Affairs, etc. In addition the Council has been in the forefront of the fight to keep rents afffordable (in the face of threatened 62% rent increase) and was recently successful in receiving for Westbeth a 40 year tax abatement. The Council works closely with elected officials and neighborhood groups such as the Greenwhich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Without the Council whose Admissions Committee monitored the artistic credentials of those on the waiting list to make sure that those who move into Westbeth are artists, they , the 47 or is it now 57 year writer of the article would never have been living at Westbeth. Obviously they have also never heard of "Power to the People" which is what the Council and the majority of tenants of Westbeth try to exemplify.