Inside the Actor's Studio Apartment
... and reflecting
... because that just seems like something to do at the end of the year.
As the year ends I have been thinking a lot about space.
space to fill
right space right time
lack of space
what space do I belong in?
My Christmas present this year was a desk. My roommate thought that might be a better solution than the “Do Not Disturb” sign I considered hanging around my neck when I was working at the kitchen table and not necessarily in a suitable mind-frame for socializing. I now have my own workspace.
Space is such a precious thing in New York - we share what little there is with so many other people. It makes me hyper-aware of where I am at all times. On a basic level, I have to pay attention to where my elbow is and where my purse is swinging to avoid injuring innocent bystanders on the subway. On a more complex level, it is easy to be plagued with jealousy or lust for another person’s space. It’s easy to want things in New York. That amazing apartment you walk past everyday on your way to work, that person’s shoes, his body, her career, that cupcake, that orchestra seat, their lifestyle...
I have been in my apartment in Harlem for a year and a half now, and for 18 months have resisted buying anything that might make it feel more like a home than a temporary space because I haven’t been able to shake the thought from my mind that “it will just be harder to move.”
I’m reluctant to put my feet down and really assume ownership of my space because I have been envious of some other person’s space or have been trying to uphold some fantasy version of my life.
But now I have this desk. My very own space. And I am realizing just how very special that space is.
My apartment is not worth a lot of money. It’s messy more often than not, furnished by salvation army and curb finds, sometimes without heat and hot water and not a stranger to neighborhood violence.
But there are these amazing creative and talented people who live there - and I can come home every night and find inspiration in them.
And these awesome guys that live a few blocks away from us! They’re funny and talented too, and some of the best people I know!
Also... there’s this great coffee place that just opened up next door to us and the owners are already planning poetry readings and open mic nights - it would be so cool to put something up there.
New York is magical because so many different people come together in the same space. We’re forced to share apartments, seats, taxis, cafe tables and bar stools so we also have a shared experience. When I think about all the amazing things that have happened in all the nooks and crannies in New York it blows my mind. Dorothy Parker wrote in hotel rooms, Dylan played in dive bars, Arthur Miller grew up on E 110th street...
Space is what you make it. Seize your own. It is special. Because it is yours. Fill your space, not someone else’s. Put your energy towards that, and you can make it whatever you want it to be. If someone else has taken your space away from you, take it back. Or maybe you are learning that there is someone you really want to be an essential part of your space. Let them in.
Your shoes? Your studio apartment? They are essential because that is where you are.
I am making my space. It is my somewhere to start.
What is special about your space?