The Bowery, in lower Manhattan, is one of New York’s oldest neighborhoods. It’s been through a lot of iterations. In the 1650s, a handful of freed slaves were the neighborhood’s first residents. At the time, New York was still a … Continue reading →
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety nine percent, invisible, I'm roman Mars. The Ban in lower Manhattan is one of New York's oldest neighborhoods. So it's been through a lot of innovations in the sixteen five he's a handful of freed. Slaves were the neighborhoods first residents. This was Aqua New York was still a dutch colony called New Amsterdam and the lower he said of Manhattan was farmland by the early eighty hundreds, the neighborhood was a bustling thoroughfare with elegant theatres and taverns and shops by lady Teen, hundreds and become a severe place full of saloon dance halls and prostitution and by the nineteen forties, the Bowery had become New York Skid row the place. We're down and out. Men can go in rent a cheap room for the night in one of the neighborhoods many flop houses Of course there is no room for a skid row. The lorry side of Manhattan and the Bowery like the rest of the area is full of expensive places to live in fancy grocery stores
but back in ninety. Ninety eight, before the last of the five thousand, is closed, its doors Dave, I say and Stacy Abrams and made one of my favorite radio documentaries of all time about one. These places these is there a new there are making a time capsule, but I dont think they knew just how fast and complete transition New York was about to make, even though Most of New York City has moved on from these kinds of voices and stories. You'll, never forget them. After you hear Nathan, Smith's riveting, guided tour of the Sunshine Hotel. What come on in if you got the red money day being been aided and abetted hotel! Normally people come in. They stay put I had to get up for some reason or another people come in they like to stay for years.
You know another way they like to give you aggravations ability, if you like, aggravations, the Sunshine auto it's a lovely I didn't like me bad scratch here. Yeah route is on the wrong in nice, lays short of bronze, and you need to lay ahead down for a couple of hours. We hope to make your stay pleasant, but don't ask me: what's houses soap we now have. Is We do not have those luxury. One is the ideal. Many times are not the kind of all tell everybody give him a welcome too. Very nominal value, all sad example. Ok, this way self away, then the other. This is the last Let's walk into the sunshine alternatives. I am the last of the lives of everyone.
Nathan, multilateralism, it ok, what's up, God was ended, mama. My name is Nathan Smith, the manager of the sunshine, or what am I good for you made the landlord I have this tell and ninety ninety probably looks the same as it did. Nineteen twenty, like almost all loves the lobbyists on, Second, floor of a narrow lightness. It's just a large room with wooden floors on a couple of chair. I sit in a cage up front run The joint there's only one tell if, over the entire hotel gipsy, pretty busy lodge agony, a Temple Do me a favor. Said his mother,
we're gonna think about doormat dumb. John, you gotta, see me thirty five to slice up we're going tat what they will do pass the lobby you'll find the living quarters one hundred twenty five residents this hotel. The sunshine is one of the last places in the country where people live in cubicles made it's a little hard to imagine for those of you living in more fluid circumstances. Picture law way with a series of doors on either side. These are the Cuban for by six no window, the cubicles only seven feet. I saw this chicken while along the path to keep the guys from climate next. Really it's like living a bird cage Henry
a woman I live whom thirty six a basically it's like the size of like a jail prison cell. It's that life and bed matches in a blanket without screen, while on the top. And basically I'll. Let you read it very tiny. It's so small. You have trouble making the bed I've been in prisons, jails, I've been upstate downstate, my selves will fight speaking to my room, so it's not the one. Where else can you find room in New York for ten dollars? if it wasn't for this hotel. A lot of these guys wouldn't have any place ago. All you have to do is look around. Like already see guy day with the snow, the guitar any better. The day the.
Hey baby all day in a corner of the hotel, looking out the window and play Please, I'm gonna kill him your engagement, thing about that, he always plays the same. Solve, may thereby severity joining my whereby tyrant, bigger biggest, I don't forget the tuna had my mind. There are used to work as a bad boy. You don't move, but he had a mental breakdown and ended up nice guy industry. A you know you buried under between these ever Joe commonly Osier, Yoda bicycle Sancho Bed, so we went together. That's how he started. There were thirty years, What am I plea. Some?
all the rest, lean on you for another laid out for me with your call. Sunshine is the less on the one hand, it probably is closing, come to living inhale, augean, twenty five dysfunctional guy. Clan together in this old hotel and it is pretty ages. There was some hotels on the Bowery I've had everything preach to Morrow, you wouldn't believe the character. Hey you displeasure forest see then little elfin white guy walking through the lobby He only knew others does love display this last issue. Maybe
Barbara he's sues everybody in town. I think he soon the Pope now or run malfeasance or Father O Connor LAB is when it is, then why? What village? Again you will call twenty five day, then he has thrown cancer and torture as the commission is demanding James diminished. Seven years is man's life. My adopted five, then he looks live like a famous small boys, Vincent Ginger, anti rumour has it that guises uncle all the while I jail. How is it that when I didn't want to bother my family s voice so died, then send stance- and I will be- I die about boys, gesture,
Concern you, then, is to love bird. She spends all Danes cubicle taken care of by these ten years. Our places slides take each other one that is very. Cannot they got it made like Germany be alone realize you need something you know now you do everything or you know when I make that tell me some. Again Anthony. Tell me: what's going glaring Coppola cubicle coldly Everyone here was a very ugly because he waits for twenty. Sometimes I knock off twice actions can worthy ravioli is for five people, think
I'll be in a coal rather care. That is a lot of rub. Their Anthony's and often came to the Bowery is a teenager. About twenty years ago, when I first met Anthony with normal sized person, but something above his place caused him to eat me as he's gotten so large, doesn't fitness clothes anymore just walks around? rather than the sheep and almost never leaves a build? Why should I go away where I came from one area to open up the window turn on a little higher and I guire I've been trying to get Anthony to move to a hospital, but he won't go too much like home too much like hole. You better places people get to be like family. You wanna leave wet with this young feller, we'll watch
That's Bruce, though, run on delivering two bags of chinese food Fanny fat. That's another part of life in these old hotel you see up here in the sunshine, with totally isolated from the rest of the world, so we create our own little society. Anything you want! You can get them another time. We have a long shark, a drug dealer guy with does other tenants laundry for a couple of bucks, a room, cleaner and brew. Some runs errands for tips. All day Bruce sits in the lobby waiting around and as soon as somebody call them that both the option that eighty two children, one roll away to back monarch non filled her large basque region, one pageant, sank back then it bearing up tee to service role.
Bruce out of the man that- and I am running out what can like going into bad. It takes constant concentration, constant alert. The main thing is: do the steps Yet the order remember who gave you the money and remember and how much they gave you eleven should cover it's work of constant steps and most of my mental tee to show one relates to Peck's, monarch and walk and all the time you got, people constantly distracting you distractions biggest one on the table to show you get. The store tee. What do you get the story I realise that you gotTa Carson, would be on guard constantly be on guard you're in the house was kept up where everything personally, meat is trying to closely monitor, store. Included how much and Roma seventy ok I'll. Give you a dollar nine
It is then, by under every kind of workers in the south of mourning the world out there, and you got to be money on you, you got it better than you with your own, because, that's? U livelihood you boys, want you could ruin. You got make sure they were at. My reputation is my business. I don't blow it. I dont thirty seven dollars. Certainly there came a tumblr com, Given the rabbi showed your download the power, Could you was twenty or so and twenty it out
so a longshot comes in October. Twenty out, could you naughty now everybody that mug waited wishes day? When I gladly job and use is Arthur Morrison Sixty three. Now I came to the sun hotel. One thousand nighttime sixty It was all about to reward near Bluff Like role, we never glue, no barroom feel nothing but new about DNA caused tobacco and look at you know, read aloud: no you own by his rough liver,
roughly As you see, some historical facts. Join. The sunshine was open and nineteen twenty two by guiding Light Moselle pupil, Diamond night, his son called took over nineteen forty five in when place until a couple of years ago, when he sold it to now they're. Looking to salvation this building landmarks, dad is this the industry, a lot of guys you we can afford players were wise Move Madge will This places layers of the moon, gonna gonna name when about buncher you're gonna need enemy, like all other lapse,
China's amends only establishment, some of the hotels left on the barriers, still whites. Only when I let everyone all races, all ages kinds of stores. We all have one thing in common we're on. We all had a homes, but for some reason we leapt got thrown out. Take me, for example, I used to work in a bank until one day many years ago, I was injured on job. They fired man sometime later my wife, so I came down to the Bowery, and I've been here to tell you in the back yard, some of my guys in drugs, alcohol levels, someone just stop right as others
I'm going to be a me a summer resort. I don't have no have artificial football. Have four basketball courts around oval? Four hundred and forty track track track. And we want to do what they read. I'm having a summary, no legal power. Some of my guys, the sunshine of working and tried say what book some ironing out from law, some dumpty above psychiatric hospital emotionally distraught, people find a home in the Sunshine Hotel, and I found inside me. Why does girl color blackest boycott? Louis motion is Jeffrey name? Is I live in the Sunshine hotel? I profoundly multi billionaires
I believe for my sister and then there are those of us who end up here, because with diamonds and just don't seem to fit in anywhere else. Like my relief clerk vague, we spends his days in a corner, though tell huh stories. Daily racing form depressed, but he wasn't always like. In my case, I started up like a probably so many people, maybe everyone for all. I know with sweet dreams, Yonah Vague, grew up in a high with an alcoholic mother, abusive father, he always felt like a misprint, so he buried himself in philosophy and poetry, books and then set off on the Bowery in nineteen. Sixty two live cheaply while undertaking- metaphysical journey, I had some crazy, soaring ambitions of figuring out everything figuring out everything I was while the old impossible quest for truth. You know like singing from that
What's it all about Alfie who hasn't hundred what it's all about some fierce ambitions along those lines seemed like I was making. Some progress was intoxicating. After while seem like some crazy pipe dream, as they say, There has been a lot more substantial, have he waited and made by far through this three year now and they didn't seem to come up with the answers. The big asses So, where I get off thinking, I had a chance to see One of those stories better left untold to me. It seems that way. Can I get an ambulance to get to the Sunshine hotel two hundred and forty one Bowery. One of my tenants very ill, Mr Marsh Clive. Eighty his own senile don t
by his son about two months ago. You doesn't mean anything but Oreo cookies can't walk to the bathroom, so he goes now he's down eighty pounds now and John Marshall wouldn't last another week here in your condition I called his son last he doesn't carry out. Look out on our side happened. You were very popular with people being dumped. You left your reach out to grab anything I just mean, then lies the animal s crew. Business. The marshal loud and open up what a persona gas mask a clean up, nine could put in a bag. Cubicle is covered with theses, flies smelled smell before using a lotta. You're all over the floor.
Although the milk patents full of all of Europe, the worst part cleaning up room like this, what with God very, has gone wrong They rode wiggers gone late afternoon at the sunshine, my ship, this almost over another sorting, male Rodney deceased. This is the guy the get shot by
maybe this man here in the lobby over five bucks Marcus is gone scoggin! It's like a death house. Ok, several months, I've been here five guys and die. Ok and these guys never leave the building. I mean months and months at a time one guy, I knowed it led disability for one who says dies. I'm gonna die in this place and dont know so scared, If I get gonna loadings, I can't The only thing to do now start like a little chicken start for men here, wake up in the morning and sit in the bed, smoke cigarettes and save myself down with what the hell are you doing what the hell you doing most people, just stones, lay on their bed all day and their cubicle watching tv, listen
generator staring into space or sleeping just keep thy agitating in these little sauce. There are some light overhead coming through the chicken. Why that's their life that the guy will call MAX? Are he didn't? One is full name cubicle one l Max is a thirty year old, russian emigrant scale kid with ponytail and glasses, unlike the other guys men MAX is one of my short term tenets. He left his wife and kids anew, then came a heroin binge too much my chance Get away were anxious, don't have to doing for anyone just indulge the maximum been worried about what anyone's gonna say. I'm gonna fact dollars now that I'm here it's just that we'd, get away MAX's an architect.
And even lilies only better for a short while she managed to make his cubicle homey lit with candles their piles of books on the floor. Coastal zones, there's painting there Saint Jerome was a hermit. You went to the desert lived by himself. A very long time to try to seek knowledge. Achieve illumination. In this sense? That's what I'm doing willingness sound grotesque and joy. Slick that movie the cook the thief, the wife of a lover, expire, So disgusting super tuscan and growth, but they make a knock out of it. I'm kind of making an art not of experience a couple of days later MAX is arrested at the sunshine.
Crash, came up against the wall several times and captain took a mighty. Then that means his room is available, for anybody wants to rent he's just a clean out. Now nothing person he's a clean out. Then I'm going to clean them out until asthma, maybe tomorrow I'll, probably sell it tomorrow. Italian, my one tended leaves another checks in, but the hotel never really changes. The sunshine will always be a dark place. Wake up every morning with chicken wide. Just above you walk, We will all side alone, it's stunningly said place to live. Sometimes at the sunshine. I closed my eyes and drift off. I forget why? Just for a second,
Suddenly, I'm not a flop hotel, but sitting in some family kitchen drinking a cup of coffee. Then I wake up back at the hall just like everyone else here, hoping for break waiting for that day, when I can finally check out the Sunshine hotel for good, I hope you enjoy. You stay a while. You were always tell my ten. It's the same thing when they leave. You welcome the call back any time. Love, but good luck, goodbye goodbye, Where were they going to the next place? I hope it's not the same as this. So it's a little bit, but I always tell him good luck. Good luck! That's all I say, are you going to help a good good, I'm Nathan, Smith? That's the sunshine. Hotel
oh my god, Chattanooga this choo The Sunshine hotel was produced by Dave, I say and Stacy Abrams win in nineteen. Ninety eight, the narrator of this peace and manager of the Sunshine Hotel Nathan Smith died from cancer in two thousand to This documentary was a production of sound portraits which went on to spawn story, quarrel which is dedicated to collecting, sharing and preserving people stories. They probably made you
Friday morning Edition of Fridays, but I'm here to tell you they also have a pot gas that's much longer than what's on the air AIDS hosted by story, core producers who offer more backstory and podcast exclusive and some older documentaries like this one. It's just great. So if you like these things are moving and affecting stories of everyday people subscribed to the story: core podcast, wherever you fine, podcast, more oh about story: core can be found at story: core dot org. Ninety nine percent invisible same Greenspan, K, mingle, Avery, truffle men and me roman Mars. We are a production of ninety one point: seven k, L, W San Francisco and produced the offices of arc sign in
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.