Location Prospect Heights
Rent $1765.56 (rent stabilized)
Square feet 750
Occupants Curran Reynolds (drummer, Wetnurse; publicist, Earache Records), Annie Thorkelson (artist’s assistant), Mandy Miller (business manager)
I was thinking on the way over, what if I came to your apartment, and the door was open, the curtains were blowing, and no one was here? Inside, there were colored maps on the walls, but Turkey was in dark green and scattered among the partly burned papers were brochures on plutonium and how to make a nuke. Then you’d have a room just for missiles. I’ve been reading too many newspapers lately. How did you all get here—you, Mandy, who graduated from Vassar, and Curran and Annie from Sarah Lawrence? [Annie] I found it in May 2000 with two other roommates who are gone now. We started looking in this neighborhood because friends from Sarah Lawrence had moved to Underhill Street. That’s one block closer to Park Slope. We used the same realty place, Washington. It’s funny how most of our friends live in Brooklyn, mainly Fort Greene, Clinton Hill. [Curran] I’d rather live here in a heartbeat. We’re sort of the buffer between Crown Heights and Park Slope. It’s not so stiff here. We can have wild, loud parties.
I got off the subway at Eastern Parkway. It’s so elegant and beaux arts with the wide avenue and the museum. Then there’s your street, with the four-story buildings, glass-and-ironwork doors, exotic names. [Curran] Martinique, Paradise. [Annie] I feel really, really safe here. People are hanging out all the time. Everyone’s really close. I like when there are a lot of people around. I grew up around Columbia.
You’re a few blocks from Five Myles, Hanne Tierney’s performance space. She, by the way, has done amazing things in the neighborhood. Every time there’s an event, she’s got someone from the community playing a cello, another one working the door, keeping jump rope under control. [Curran] That theater is like in an old renovated garage, a most unexpected place. There’s a lot of stuff tucked away here. [Mandy] Tom’s Diner on Washington. [Curran] Allegedly it’s the Tom’s Diner in that Suzanne Vega song. It’s an old song. [Mandy] From like ’89. [Curran] The diner’s quaint, with a capital Q. [Mandy] Tom opened it in ’36. This neighborhood used to be Irish, Italian, Jewish. [Curran] Now, at first look, it’s all Caribbean. There’s the Jamaican bakery. I eat beef patties there.
And Zuny’s Beauty Parlor on Washington, “Where You Get the Personal Touch!” Who lives in this building? [Mandy] Mostly middle-aged women. [Annie] Some are kids our age. [Curran] There’s another guy on the block in a band called the Rapture. Wait, I’d rather plug my band. I’m in Wetnurse. I’m a drummer.
Drummers are such active personalities. [Mandy] I’ve always found drummers a little less snotty. Other band members are so like—oh. [Curran] Mandy’s a DJ. [Mandy] I make music. I can’t spin records. [Curran] My first band was called Cervical Caps. We named it after we heard about it in health ed. That was in Maine. My mom moved me and my sister there; first, a bunch of apartments in Portland. Then we lived in a blueberry field near Camden. We had to heat our house with a wood stove. That was when my mom would buy me Rolling Stone. I was 10. It would take me two weeks to read a whole issue. Now I’m faster—two minutes. This is the seventh apartment I’ve lived in since I graduated in ’99—and the best. I was all over Williamsburg—some truly strange places like Sunset Park, this industrial park right on the river. No one was there for blocks and blocks, just a prison and three strip clubs.
Did the prisoners come in shackles? No. I didn’t see any. I only lived there three weeks and called it quits.