Renegade Cabaret: A response to 31 years of privacy eviscerated in an instant.
Patty Heffley has lived in obscurity for 31 years in her building on West 20th St. On June 9, 2009 that all changed. It was the day the Highline Park opened and thousands of people began to walk along enjoying the vegetation and the views of the city three stories above the street. Very nice for them.
Finally at the end of the path, a gaze towards the last house on the left, and Poof! My privacy is gone. No more walking around unconscious in the loft half dressed. Maybe you can even hear me on the phone or arguing if I get excited. What about my laundry? I have hung it on the fire escape for decades. Now the underwear must hang in the back. Or must it?
When I saw the opening date, I told my good friend Elizabeth Soychak: “We have to do something. We have to respond”. She says “I can sing a few songs”. I say “OK”.
I had these great Party Patio Lanterns from the 60’s which I unwrapped and clipped to the railing. Elizabeth donned a beautiful dress which was gifted from Debra, the former upstairs neighbor. She plugged in the mic and did a few jazz standards. Immediately a captive audience began to pool. Sam Shepherd asked one of the Highline staff, “Did you organize this?” and he answered, “No, it’s just the neighbors”.
Suddenly it came to me and I blurted out: “Welcome to the Rendgade Cabaret!”
Remember, this is not celebration, this is a response. Let’s have some fun…..
So when the Party Patio Lanterns are lit, something special is about to happen.