Location Carnegie Hill
Rent $1060 (rent controlled)
Square feet 650
Occupants Linda Danz (songwriter-painter); Paul Fairall (singer-songwriter; security guard, Queens Wildlife Center)
You’ve been here 35 years!? [Linda] You can get up now.
You’re right near the Russian cathedral with the onion domes. Your lobby has silky veneered furniture, thin lamps, all so crisp and polished. When I was married the first time, a million years ago, this [the room with the bed on the floor] was the dining room. I used to be married into a wealthier family. He was a biophysicist, I mean biochemist. It’s been a long time. I moved in here when I married him. Then the apartment was completely decorated by his Park Avenue mother. His father, a psychiatrist, he’s dead now but this story is so cool. Remember Rosemary’s Baby, Dr. Saperstein who put a spell on her? That character was based on my former father-in-law. I met my first husband at a fraternity party at NYU. I went to FIT. 1967.
Who was the second husband? Him. Over there in the chair. The building changed a lot since it went co-op. There used to be artists and actors. They got bought out. I could have been offered $50,000 or something at the time. It seemed like the most stable thing to stay here. I grew up in the projects, the Jacob Riis Houses. We moved up in life to Astoria, the Woodside houses. Paul and I met in Paris 14 years ago. [Paul] I was in a band, Swimming in Sand, traveling around Europe. My hometown is Leicester, England. [Linda] I came over to Paris with the good friend of the friend he was staying with. It was absolute chance. [Paul] She had a sense of humor that was cracking me up. [Linda] Within days, I brought him back to the apartment I was staying at and seduced him. Friends were proud of me ’cause that’s what you’re supposed to do in Paris.
Just like in New York. Everybody has sex in apartments, all day long. I just came from an assignation. I’m going to another one tomorrow. [Paul] I went back to England. [Linda] The morning after. I said if you’re ever in the city, give me a call. [Paul] It was three weeks. I’m being cool. It looked like the band would be coming to New York. [Linda] A lot of phone calls. We actually watched The Wizard of Oz on the phone. That bill was about $400.
When people are in love, they spend money. [Linda] We still do that. Yes, just the same as before. It’s better. There is a 12-year age difference. Paul is younger. [Paul] But we both have the same Chinese animal sign. [Linda] The year of the boar.
There was a rocky period. The first five years. They were hell. We didn’t know each other. [Paul] I have an ego the size of a planet. [Linda] The first two and a half years, I had a roommate in the back. There was a bit of tension between Paul and my roommate. [Paul] My parents were going to come visit, stay here. [Linda] So the roommate moved out.
Everything is played out in this space. [Linda] Dish throwing, door slamming. A lot of storming off to my aunt’s in Astoria. [Paul] I didn’t have anywhere to go. It was a bit oppressive.
You’re here all day? [Linda] I have a constant stream of people coming to sit for me. I was fired a year and a half ago. I was a magazine designer for years. Being fired changed my life. I’m completely overjoyed. At first it was that shock, There aren’t any jobs for a 55-year-old woman in the city—at least not what I had. I see our future as successful songwriters. [Paul] There are her unemployment checks. [Linda] I’ll get another 13 weeks. [Paul] Then the universe will take care of us again.