My pops had a taller on the sixth floor of the Seybold for, at least, the last ten years. Cuidado, I'm not calling his workshop a taller to make reference to atelier, the word in French for workshop, but calling it taller because that's what my dad, a Spanish-language speaker that spoke grammatical English with an accent, would call it as well. He didnt renew his lease after the Seybold administration came up with unfavorable lease terms, like for example, that he sign a lease for five years instead of the standard two.
He feels the owners are getting ready to make a move towards transforming the building into residential, instead of, commercial spaces. But, let's be clear: #651 wasn't his studio because he was a tinkerer or hobbyist. Like, it was his refuge because that's where he spent the majority of his day, but dad is an actual jeweler and caster of jewelry. And, his diamond-setting and wristwatch games were super strong; my pops can tell you the province in China where the knockoff Rolex you just bought emanates from. He put two kids through college with the work that he did, but was always very careful to avoid the moniker artisan, or implication that there was any type of duende in his work.
Maybe, this is why, while disagreing with their tactics, my father looks at their play as part of the deal that's dealt when you do business. But, is it? Is it wise to scrub the cultural detritus of a space simply because of commerce? Is it wise to, through inaction and misadministration, allow the tenants of a commercial space you rent to relent and release their leases? There is history in this building, regardless of if the Seybold prompts erasure. And, that history involved it being the building where common slobs went to buy jewelry for their girlfriends and wives, daughters and mistresses, baby dolls, sugar pies.
His work was commercial and soul-less, not snowflake-original and quixotically priced. #651 was just the last ten years of his working life, but he's been in the building for a good 30 years. The years clasp nicely into decades: a decade working with his brother-in-law (an irascible sidekick and nihlist); a decade working with Michael Patel (a PhD in Physics funded by a diamond mine); and about a decade or so working for himself (manufacture, repair, bullshiterio). Actually, because he works in cash, he's always sort of worked for himself, but he's had different masters and has been his own master for spells.
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.