I wholly support the Old Apartment Rule, partly because I’ve had the good fortune to experience it. For about half of the decade that I lived in New York City, I made my home in a tiny sixth floor tenement walk-up on Houston Street. I first lived there for four years from ’95 – ’99, and in ’97 I got a roommate named Slink from Chicago. I got him on the lease after I moved out, and he has stayed there ever since, although he now uses it for only a few nights a week when he commutes in from a home in upstate New York. (It’s behind the two top left windows in the building on the right below.)
Thanks to Slink, I have continued to return to this apartment on periodic trips to New York, including a year-long stint living there again in my final year in NYC (during this year we formed a band called The Pad whose entire repertoire was songs about the apartment), and I’ve seen it go through a remarkable number of manifestations: as an art gallery, a fashion designer’s studio, a recording studio, a go-go dancer’s lair, etc. (Just your typical Lower East Side progression — remember that we’re talking about 400 square feet here at best.) I am always extremely grateful at the opportunity to return, and particularly to get onto the roof and see Manhattan through 20-something eyes again.