Brooklyn musician Michael Leviton and his girlfriend Leah Hayes have put their own apartment at center stage, after declaring their old hang, The Sidewalk Cafe, so over. They moved the scene to their East Williamsburg apartment at the end of 2006, calling it The Apartment. Now it's no longer much of a secret, and it may also be so over (though for different reasons).
We were told by a "regular" of The Apartment (who had referred to it as a speakeasy numerous times) that The NY Times would be there doing a piece on the place on January 5th. So at 1am on January 6th we took a trip over to Manhattan and Grand. "No speakeasy here!" we texted our informant. An hour later we heard back: "No, it's not a bar, it's an apartment. You have to call Michael [phone number redacted]." So now we turn to The Times's coverage, which went up yesterday.
The Apartment houses a ton of what we call indie-rock gimmick instruments: a glockenspiel, a melodica, a harmonium, the list goes on. One regular even plays the saw. There isn't much space though, the 200-square-foot living room provides "a coffee table, a desk, two Victorian-style couches." There's also a piano in there, which Leviton plays at the end of each night. Soon though, the space may be void of it all.
Last month, musicians of all stripes were dismayed to learn that the Apartment may soon be making its curtain call. On Dec. 5, Mr. Leviton alarmed his friends and fans with a panicky e-mail message: “Due to emergency/tragedy crazy/horrible problems with our landlord, Leah and I have decided it would be best for us if we could move somewhere else immediately.”
The problems didn't emerge from the whole speakeasy thing, but rather a sudden ($150) rent hike (with only 24 hours notice). The two-some are currently deciding whether or not to stay, while patrons and friends hope they move to roomier digs.
Photo via The NY Times.