It's sad these days to walk past 11 Spring Street and not see the windows decorated with identical white curtains, a candle flickering on each sill, making you wonder what and who might be inside. On early evenings, I sometimes stood on the corner and watched those windows, just waiting for a human shape to pass by, for any sign of life. I never saw one.
photo: Goggla's flickr
In 2006, the mystery and fascination about the place vanished when the building was sold via Corcoran for condo conversion, taking away from the city another urban wonder and putting the nail in the coffin of Elizabeth Street, which used to be such a great street, filled with the smell of baking bread and the chatter of Italian ladies peeling potatoes on the sidewalks outside their tenements. Not so long ago, this still was Little Italy, not Nolita.
Today, the building is shrouded for its reincarnation into "three unique residences starting at $6,700,000." And another cog in the evil paradise is set into place.
For a brief moment, 11 Spring was opened to the public by artists from the Wooster Collective. I'm sorry I missed that event. But it would not have been the same--I would not have seen the previous owner's crazy Rube Goldberg devices; he had already dumped them and fled the city. John Simpson. He's the guy who tended the curtains and the candles. No one seems to know why he left town, but I can guess. The city's not the city anymore. No mystery there.