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The Locals

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Taylor Mead
Lower East Side

How long have you been downtown?
Fifty years. I lived in the West Village in the forties and fifties, and I’ve been on Ludlow for 30 years.

Where everybody knows you, even if not all of them have seen you in the old Warhol films.
Yeah. I love my small fame.

What would you say makes a great neighborhood?
Cheap rent. You know, in the early sixties, a three-room apartment was $15 a month. The rich have taken over; I went to the museum to see a movie about Candy Darling, and we went to the bar next door, and it was $18 for a Bacardi and Coke. The thing is, where I live, I’ve painted myself out of my apartment. I can’t, uh, function here. As a friend of mine said, “You can’t be an artist without a loft.”

So your apartment is full of canvases?
Yeah. And debris. I have several thousand pages of poetry sort of strewn all over the place.


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