Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rooms on Film: In America

thrifty chic in hell's kitchen, nyc
In keeping with my recent post about the insanity of New York City apartments and the lengths people will take to live here, I'm profiling a marvelous 2002 movie that got a fair amount of recognition for an indie. In America follows an Irish family as they relocate to the U.S. (via Niagara Falls) and set up house in a huge old building in Hell's Kitchen, following the death of the one of the children. 

the enormous, decrepit hallway and stairwell
the apartment is a huge loft with a small side room on the far side; there's a retro geographic metal floor divider and a huge skylight in the center of the room
the sullivans work hard to decorate and furnish with street finds, even painting fleur-de-lys on the walls
view from the entrance
possibly the oldest kitchen fixtures in the states
the sullivans's homemaking efforts extend to peacock plumes and theatrical drapes
you're not a new yorker till you've seen a bathtub in a kitchen or a livingroom - got my bonafides a few weeks after i arrived
love how they turned the central pole into a glamorous banquette
facing the entrance
the parents share a sofabed just inside the front door
The girls share the tiny bedroom with the sort of DIY bunk beds made of scrap 2x4's typical of rundown NYC spaces. Especially artist lofts. 

And then there is the artist neighbor/landlord (?), Kwame Mateo. A volatile foreigner himself who is also dying of AIDS and desperate to live as fully as possible:

Only in New York. 

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