NYC is a complex and mixed city, a city known for its diversity of race, religion, and people from all over the world. Within this city’s diverse demographics, there is a group of women over 65 that have been able to remain unperturbed, and they’ve been observers of the city’s constant change. They created homes without families and they’ve been able to age in place. Many of them inhabit rent-controlled apartments and that’s where they’ve lived for the past 30 or 40 years. I became intrigued by the lives of these women. I see myself in them. I’m aging in a foreign country that has become my home and I’ve been able to develop strong friendships comparable to the ones back home. But, as I age in this foreign place, the dilemma of aging alone hits hard and I can’t help but wonder if by wanting a family of my own I’m just trying to fix an unknown future. Getting to know these women and seeing their homes, I see women comfortable with who they are and the decisions they’ve made. Meeting them has taught me that whatever I decide it will be OK. Home is many things but ultimately is what we do with the space we inhabit and how we make those spaces our own. Through these strong women, I have found strength in myself too, to embrace what remains unknown.
Kassoundra is originally from the midwest. She arrived in Manhattan in the 60’s and was part of the underground scenes. She herself is an artist. Seven years ago, she ended up in the hospital, an ordeal that will cost her not only rent-stabilized apartment where she lived for 30 years but also her freedom when the court-appointed her a legal guardian.
Lynn lives in the house she grew up but is unable to keep up with Connecticut’s expensive property taxes. She might be forced to leave her house for some smaller and cheaper.
Eileen is a retired secretary. She used to work for an insurance company.
Consuelo Reyes. Born in Manhattan, she grew up in Connecticut suburbs. Consuelo runs a non-profit that focuses on alternative medicine to cure cancer named FACT. (Foundation for alternative cancer therapy.)
Kathlyn is the president of her block association.
Jill is a ghostwriter and loves red.
Betti Smith, originally from Virginia, she has lived in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn for more than 40 years. Betty lost her only son when he was 44. Her husband passed away two years ago.
Helen is a practicing psychotherapist. Her husband past away seven years ago. That’s her dog Bella.
Ellen is from New York. Ellen is a master puppeteer and has designed many window displays for department stores.