James Dean’s New York City apartment
What’s better than a piece about classic Hollywood Icons and their old pads?
The bull horns and matador cape were of special meaning to Dean. He had read the novel Matador by Barnaby Conrad, and for a while was obsessed with dramatizing it as an internal monologue without words, using just a few props. Dean also loved to play his bongo drum along to jazz records late into the night. He hung with a small, close-knit circle of actor/artist friends. Among them was a young Martin Landau.
I have always been drawn to small spaces. As a kid I dreamt of being a lighthouse keeper– alone in my solitude with only a pipe, books, guitar, and the pounding waves. When that didn’t happen, I longed for an old aluminum-clad Airstream– retro-fitted to match the aesthetic of my mind’s eye.
With small spaces, an intimate life is thrust upon you. You learn to pare down to the essentials, and become a master editor– selecting the best, leaving the rest. Existence is more about enjoying what you have, rather than craving more. Because at the end of the day– the things we possess end-up owning us.