I don't really know how this happened, but the apartment I grew up in and where my parents still live is in the Habitats section of the New York Times today. When the Times approached my parents, they thought it was a joke - someone was surely punking them, since the entire apartment is held together with duct tape and is far from a showplace. What the place has is charm - and lots and lots of layers of history.
My mother immediately started to obsess about the worn out slipcovers, the questionable plaster situation in the bathroom, the carpet that has been dying a slow death for years.
"Ma, they just want to see how real people live. Just make the bed and do what you normally do."
"I just hope they don't look too closely," my mom fretted.
Then the team from the Times showed up and they couldn't have been nicer. They made my parents feel that the place they dreamed up and lived in and worked on for nearly thirty years is every bit as beautiful as an immaculate Park Avenue apartment. Sometimes it takes an outsider to help you understand that what you have created is special.
This apartment has always been the sixth character in our family play. It has its own idiosyncrasies, its own agenda, its own personal history. It evolves, it grows old. It has shaped us as much as we have shaped it. I am keenly aware of its influence every day in my own love of layers, color, and objects imbued with history and meaning. I want to share this article with you because it says so much about who I am, where I come from, and what I value - and also because MY MOM AND DAD ARE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES FUCK YEAH!
(I know I should be modest, but this is just too fun not to share. I have a feeling you'll forgive me this once for bring a Braggy McBraggerson.)
Photographs by Marilynn Yee for the New York Times.