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Illegal Living: 80 Wooster Street and the Evolution of SoHo Paperback – July 1, 2010
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More About the Author
Born in Brooklyn, Roslyn Bernstein moved to Long Beach, New York in 1948. She was raised in the West End of town, a short walking distance from the city's boardwalk, which runs for two miles along the ocean side of this barrier island.
A poet and journalist, she has been a professor of Journalism and Creative Writing at Baruch College, CUNY, since 1974. She also teaches at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Roslyn Bernstein earned a BA at Brandeis University in Political Science and a MA and Ph.D. in English at New York University.
She has served as the director of the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence Program (www.baruch.cuny.edu/wsas/harman )at Baruch College since it was established in 1998. Roslyn Bernstein's faculty bio can be found on the Baruch website at:
In 2009, Roslyn Bernstein published Boardwalk Stories, a collection of 14 linked tales set in the years 1950-1970. www.blueeftpress.com
Praise for Boardwalk Stories:
New York Times Metro writer Alan Feuer ("Finding Life on the Water, and Off," 8/16/09) wrote that Boardwalk Stories "uses [Bernstein's] sunburned memories of childhood as their narrative core."
Roslyn Bernstein has just written(July 2010), Illegal Living: 80 Wooster Street and the Evolution of SoHo, co-authored with the architect Shael Shapiro. More information on the book, the biography of the first successful artist coop building in SoHo,NYC can be found at: www.illegalliving.com.
The book was published by the Jonas Mekas Foundation.
Praise for Illegal Living
"They say real estate makes you crazy, and the artist-developer George Maciunas was wonderfully crazy, inventing the artist's loft and changing the face of SoHo forever. Illegal Living brilliantly captures the birth, middle age and --some would say --death of SoHo, a portrait of an entire way of life through a single building."
Christopher Gray, the Streetscapes columnist for the New York Times.
Top Customer Reviews
Like many artists of the era, Maciunas trained in architecture, later entering the avant-garde Fluxus arts movement that included Yoko Ono, John Lennon, and scores of artists who would move into Soho. He would go on to buy 10 more buildings, turning all of them into artist co-ops, and I stress co-ops, because this was about profit. This was a time before the easy-credit loans, and Maciunas needed to line up buyers in order to close the deals. The upfront purchase of the floors, and the low monthly maintainance, would pay off the loans. By the 1980’s, many of the artist would cash out.
There were several more of these artist cooperative buildings in the area, including White Columns (which has since moved) and 112 Greene Street. Originally, the city allowed each factory building to have only two people living there, and the building had to post a sign that said A.I.R. meaning “artist in residence,” to let the fire department know if someone might be sleeping up there. But the new Soho buildings had many residents, and this led to years of wrangling with the city. I can’t really blame the building inspectors; the neighborhood’s police and fire service was meant for industry, not residents.Read more ›