One would think that I would have been taken aback by the appearance of the building. I think that it would be hard to find a more foreboding building. I once saw signs on the lamppost outside reserving the parking spaces for the crew of CSI. Yes, this is where they hide the bodies.
To add to my discomfort with the atmosphere in the building, it was, at the time, only occupied on part of the eighth floor, a fraction of the fifth floor, and there was a moving company in part of the first floor. The front door was also unlocked at all times.
With my studio on the eighth floor, I had to walk up through the empty building, since all of the freight elevators were broken, walk across an empty wing of the building, with just a lightbulb hanging on a string in the middle. Once in, I would lock the door behind me as fast as possible with my heart pounding. Then I would proceed to my unheated space in the back of the wing.
As the photo above demonstrates, I didn't stay long enough to get the studio organized properly. I had found some shelves and a table in the bottom of the building and had plans for setting up the rest of the studio. However, some complications came up about us renting there, and the situation managed to save me from my bad decision. I don't know how much good work I could have made, as the heavy atmosphere in the building and the exhaustion of being cold all day sucked a lot out of me.
Now, I am happily settled in a studio in Brooklyn that features heat, ample locks and a nice atmosphere. I came away from the old studio with a good dose of wisdom and a great story.