Photo of Quentin Crisp by Martin Fishman
Wise. witty and wonderful, England’s “stately homo,” Quentin Crisp was a familiar—and always delightful—figure seen frequently around New York’s East Village during the latter part of the author’s life (1981-1999). Crisp famously made sure his phone number was listed and would accept nearly every dinner invitation that came his way, with the understanding that the tab would be picked up and Mr. Crisp would basically do an up-close version of his famous one-man show. On two occasions I dined with Mr. Crisp at the Odessa Diner on Avenue A and these are memories that I will always treasure.
For the majority of his life, Crisp lived in two small apartments. One, a bedsit in London where he lived for 41 years and steadfastly refused to clean, and one on Third St. in Manhattan that I doubt was ever cleaned, either. (In his autobiography, The Naked Civil Servant, Crisp quipped. “After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.” He says the line about 2 minutes in).
The London apartment can be seen in the above clip from Denis Mitchell’s fascinating 1970 Granada TV documentary, and visitors to the MIX Festival in NYC this past weekend could see a recreation of Crisp’s small New York flat, lovingly recreated by Philip Ward, curator of The Quentin Crisp Archives. More photos at Butt Magazine’s website.
Via World of Wonder