Matt Borondy interviews Toni Schlesinger at the identity theory website about her remarkable book Five Flights Up and Other New York Apartment Stories. Here's Toni on living in New York:
On the most basic level, I love the continuous action of New York. The same way I love being in a dark theater space, a film, a casino, a newsroom. Nothing stops, nothing ends, nothing dies. I love the celebration of artificial life that is implicit in cities, all human-made.
On the most personal level—my life is not about family or houses with kitchens. I am interested only in reading and writing and performing and talking with others who do the same.
On the other hand, I don't know if I really care where I live. It is about who one talks to, what one reads, writes, creates. Whenever I have felt homeless, it had to do with feeling thrown out of my work for a moment. I have only realized that in recent years. But I feel as if I am living on a vast and wondrous estate when my work is going well and I am immersed in this or that story. I am working on a very strange story that happened in New York which will be a book. I spend days reading about a certain street and how they sold spyglasses on the street and there used to be pirates and I go there constantly in my mind. I am also working on a film about a small-town murder. There is a 1920s Tudor house in the story, and that in a way has become my home, in which I wander through the rooms thinking about this and that and all the secrets up the stairs.