It was probably only a matter of time until something like this happened, but there it was, right in the middle of last week’s Village Voice real-estate listings: SOHO/JONATHAN LARSON’S APARTMENT 2BR/5 RMS. NO FEE. That’s Jonathan Larson, the playwright whose Rent immortalized the plight of the overpriced-tenement dweller, being used to justify a $3,000-a-month price tag.
His old apartment still overlooks a construction pit on one side and the Sanitation Department on the other; its gray metal door is brightened (somewhat) by a small window with a metal grid over it. His old refrigerator – with a Rent bumper sticker – still has a jar of jam and some half-used mayo in it. The floors are still rotten, the sink is still rusty – indeed, pretty much nothing has changed, except the market and the unfortunate fact of Larson’s death, to justify the 150 percent increase over what he paid a mere two years ago.
But if landlord Dino Evangelou worries about bad karma, he’s not showing it. “They won’t stop calling,” he reports, with a smile.