Taylor Mead unplugs an appliance so I can get in the door. The apartment has a single working electrical outlet, on the wall behind the refrigerator, right next to the entrance. It's a classic tenement flat: two small rooms, tub in the kitchen, gentrification imminent. The first thing I notice is the narrow foam pad where the 77-year-old Mead sleeps, on the floor between the fridge and the bathtub. In his 23 years in this apartment, he has never owned a bed, but until recently, the foam pad was wedged into the smaller second room next to a hillside of undifferentiated junk. Now that room is empty and slats are visible across the back wall where all the plaster fell down. The former Warhol "superstar" shows me the termination notice ordering him to leave by October 7, "as you are committing or permitting a nuisance." They cite "floor to ceiling garbage," the fire hazard, the vermin. Now the date's come and gone, and he's worried. He's on a fixed income. Where would he go? Besides, he's lived in 30-odd New York apartments and this is the one... More >>>
By photo: Robin Holland
This is no longer a city where one can live without a plan: the artist at home.