Yukie Ohta, a 46-year-old New York–based archivist, is an old-school fan of SoHo, having grown up there in the 1970s. Now she has a created a mobile mini-museum to preserve her memories of the early days of Soho.
Early 1980s in The Village: From sleeping in a closet to having a walk-in closet—at a stupidly cheap rent
Getting a roommate was a practical decision for my landlord—why not make some money out of the unused space? It was a perfect solution for me, too. I was new to NY and had no social life, so living with an elderly woman didn’t cramp my style.
The apartment was so rundown that the floorboards had spread apart and you could clearly see into the apartment below through the wide cracks. They could literally see up my skirt when I walked around above them.
Nothing is easy in NYC—and getting an apartment is really not easy, as I found out when I moved from my beach place in California to downtown New York. I had one day to find my place—a day of lowering my expectations and mentally downsizing.
The mice, oh, those mice. They were true New Yorkers with a dry sense of humor, showing up at the most inopportune times. I lost more girlfriends that way.
Madonna’s story: “The tall buildings and the massive scale of New York took my breath away. I felt alive. But I was also freaked out by the smell of piss and vomit everywhere, especially in the entryway of my third-floor walk-up.”
At Greenwich Village’s Café Wha?, an endless list of young ’60s singers and comedians got early chances to hone their talents. Check out the interesting story of Manny Roth, the “Duke of Macdougal Street“ and impresario behind the club.
My first apartment was so small I had to step outside to change my mind. The year was 1968. The apartment was on Sullivan Street, just above Little Italy, with a live poultry market around the corner.
These were my wild NYU days and I had lots of romantic encounters. My interactions with men in my building, however, were not always so romantic.
I moved to NYC in 1987, and found my first apartment through an ad in The Village Voice—a third floor walk-up, 2 bedroom on the corner of Bleecker & Sullivan, in the heart of the Village. (I had to be told what the “village” was; I was from Michigan for god’s sake.)