When your family lives in a city long enough, you get the really good antiques for free. My mother’s family has lived in New York City for a hundred and nineteen years, and seldom moved, except for a few forays into utopian vegetarian chicken farming, which thankfully failed and sent them scurrying back to Brooklyn before real estate prices got too high for a broke Jew to buy a home. This means I have my great grandmother’s armchair. Its a remarkable thing, swoop-backed, massive, upholstered in a velvet colored like a lip that’s been bitten. In my old apartment, I put it in front of a naked portrait of myself. Without realizing the implications of this placement, I’d often sit in the chair when I had meetings.
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