I tend to romanticize art scenes like Paris in the 20s, or New York in the 70s, and my wife likes to remind me how all my favorite artists back then were basically living in squalor. One time I was looking at photos of The Factory, and she said, “Probably wasn’t any toilet paper in the bathroom.”
Another time we were visiting Manhattan, dreaming of what it’d be like to live in the big city, and my friend Drew convinced us to cab over to Brooklyn to attend a party some young cartoonists were throwing. These guys, at least a half dozen of them, were living in the same apartment above a fried chicken place. Their windows looked right out onto the elevated train. One guy was on the couch, eating cereal with his feet up on on a crate, and the bottoms of his socks were black with filth. I don’t think we stayed long.
I was reminded of the filthy socks when reading about how Frances McDormand makes sure the fellow actors in her troupe stay in decent, clean hotels.
“We’re avant-garde,” she said. “It doesn’t mean we have to be unhygienic.”