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What do you do?
I work at a clothing store called Assembly New York. I’m a vintage buyer there. I’m a jewelry designer. I’m a filmmaker. I’m going to LA on Friday to the Independent Spirit Awards for a film that I wrote. And I’m a stand-up comedian.
How long have you lived in Brooklyn?
I grew up in Manhattan, so I’ve lived in New York City my whole life. But I’ve lived in Brooklyn since 2005.
Why did you move to Brooklyn?
Because Manhattan is really stressful. My mom moved to Brighton Beach in 2005 because she used to live on the Upper West Side, and she felt like it had lost all of its character. My mom’s kind of a hermit and she wanted to live somewhere really eccentric, so she moved to Brighton Beach. I lived with her for two years, and I tried to live on the Lower East Side for six months but I hated it, so I moved back in with her. Then I moved to Williamsburg for about a month, and then I moved to Greenpoint.
What’s your favorite thing about the apartment?
It’s quiet. Where I grew up in Manhattan was next to a nightclub and it was horrible and stressful. And it’s near the train. And I face the backyard, so I feel like I’m not in a city. My whole life I idealized living in the woods. Also, I grew up on 72nd Street, which is all stores—kind of like Union Square—so I’ve tried to make my apartment away from the “city.”
At Home with Carlen Altman