The New York Times writes about long time Riverside Apartments resident Brad Smith:
New York Times: Mr. Smith, who turned 79 on Thanksgiving, has lived at Riverside since 1960, when he rented a three-room apartment for $68.33 a month. His quarters, for which he now pays about $365, are extremely modest in size. Yet he counts himself fortunate, and not simply because his apartment is so inexpensive.
“When I moved in,” he said, “I did it just because the place was such a good deal. But given the history of these buildings, I find it incredibly moving to live here.”
Mr. Smith moved to New York from Kalamazoo, Mich., in the late 1950s to pursue a career as a classical singer. A baritone with a full-throated speaking voice, he studied at the Manhattan School of Music, and though the career never materialized — “I didn’t have the fire in my belly,” he said — he sang at every church that would have him. The list included St. Bartholomew’s on Park Avenue, a Baptist church in New Jersey and a Greek Orthodox church, where the words to hymns were transliterated because Mr. Smith couldn’t read Greek.