Editta Sherman, a 96-year-old portrait photographer, announced back in October that she wouldn’t leave her rent-controlled apartment above Carnegie Hall, which the state wants to repurpose for educational facilities, for less than $10 million. Who can blame her? As you can see from the photo, the apartment is amazing, and Editta looks fab in it. Plus, she’s lived there for the past half century — as long as Madonna has been alive! — and only pays $530 a month. As her old friend George Gershwin might have said, they can’t take that away from her. Or they ought not to.
But today the Post reports that the state has served Editta with an eviction notice. Sure, the paper reports, they offered to relocate residents “to equivalent or superior apartments in the neighborhood, paying any differential in rent for the remainder of their lives.”
But is that good enough? No. Because Editta’s battle is not just about real estate. It is not about an old lady’s right to live out her days in peace. It’s not even about standing tall against developers a.k.a. The Man. Editta and her apartment, with its checked floors and cast-iron staircase and grand location, are one of the last beacons of hope for all creative-class New Yorkers. They symbolize the Great New York Dream: That we will someday land the perfect, beautiful, cheap apartment in a great area that we will live in forever. Without that dream, New York wouldn’t even have a creative class. We’d all move to Pennsylvania.
Thankfully, Editta knows the importance of her position and is up to the challenge: “I’m never leaving,” she told the Post today. “They’ll have to drag me out. They’ll have to use their bare hands.” Shine on, Editta.
Granny is Mad As Hall [NYP]