Thursday, January 21, 2010

Deep freeze.





From the New York Times:

Serious cold, Justen Ladda said, is when the sponge in the kitchen sink feels like wood or the toothpaste freezes or the refrigerator turns itself off, as it did one particularly frigid day last winter. Not that Mr. Ladda, a 56-year-old sculptor who has lived heat-free in his Lower East Side loft for three decades, is bothered by such extremes. “Winter comes and goes,” he’ll tell you blithely, adjusting his black wool scarf and watch cap. (Along with fingerless gloves, long underwear and felt slippers, they are part of Mr. Ladda’s at-home uniform when the mercury dips.)

Mr. Ladda, whose work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, decided long ago to live without central heating. Proper temperature control, you see, would require insulating his wooden ceiling, and ruining its fine acoustics. “I know this sounds really lame, but I listen to a lot of music and it just sounds better,” he said. Also, the rent on his unimproved live-work loft is only $300, well below many people’s winter utility bills.


More HERE.

Slide show HERE.

Could you? Would you?

40 comments:

Cybill said...

Gorgeous blogger Iheartfashion, who comments here regularly has just suffered a terrible loss, read about it here http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2010/01/help-a-blogger-in-need/
Please help in any way you can.

Christina said...

Brrrrr...and, WTF?!

I like saving money as much as the next gal, but dang, being cold all the time at home is sad. My first flat in SF had no heat, and it was a frigid nightmare. We begged that cheap landlord to get us heat...he didn't...and I had to go.

And my music sounds great in my warm, 9-foot ceiling flat!

Arched Brows said...

Could I do this???
I live in Florida -- we had a cold snap last week that had me thinking I need to move somewhere warmer!
But good for him . He'll probably live to 120 and die with a million dollars in the bank.

Anonymous said...

I have. I was younger & angry with the local utility monopoly. It was ridiculous- especially maintaining a clean home (I'll spare ya the details). Louisville KY doesn't get that cold, but that winter was one of the coldest on record. Too funny.
We saved about $500 though, but worth it? Eh.

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Ummm, no way. I like a temperate house 70's year round.

Anonymous said...

nunh-unh

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

Yes. No. Wait, maybe. Wait, what for? So no. I think.

Kelly

Anonymous said...

I keep my place around 50-60. It's really not that bad. I just layer clothes, keep moving, and make excuses to bake. The only drawback is it's hard to talk myself out of my warm, warm bed in the morning.

Courtney said...

I know a guy who doesn't heat his house. It's because he spends his heating money on meth. Everyone has their priorities!

The Blasphemous Fiendess said...

The simple answer is nope.

David said...

Not a chance. They're putting a new furnace in here tomorrow morning and when they're done I'm cranking it up.

Decorina said...

My winter clothes resemble his. The heat is set at 60 degrees. I'm from AZ and am not liking the cold here in Denver - but our bills would be $500/month. Leaky windows, no insulation, a house where every room has 2 exterior (uninsulated) walls...what was I thinking?

Decorno said...

Cybill - is this true? That is awful news. Can you email me? decorno at gmail dot com.

Thanks.

Grant K. Gibson said...

Believe it or not- my apartment has NO heat and its a good thing I am always hot or willing to put a sweater on if it gets really chilly here in SF. People have said that it is not legal for my landlord to not provide heat- but they bought me space heaters- but if I turned them on all of the power would go out and I would have to walk to the basement to flip the breakers. After years of living here- I am SO happy to say that my electrical all got upgraded JUST this week and I now have 3 heaters on low around my apartment. I guess I didn't really realize just how bad it was being in the cold. I am MUCH HAPPIER now!

(Oh and I am not joking- until a week ago would turn the oven to 350 and keep the oven door open all day!)

DesignAddict said...

Read this yesterday. No, would not do it. But then, I am not a semi-starving artist or seeker of ultra-zen experiences. I think zen experiences can be had with heat. It's called the middle way for a reason.

Seriously, some of the spaces ARE lovely, but the lifestyle sucks, at least to me. Works for them? Goody.

severedgrrl said...

Never mind all that- I just want that bathtub.

MoreSkinnyDays said...

Never. I have worked in offices where the temperature hovers around 67 and I have been miserable. I consider feeling cold to be as distracting as having to pee and not being able to find a toilet, living on three hours of sleep per night, or having a dry mouth due to extreme thirst. I'd even prefer to be hungry than to be cold. Adding layers does nothing to help with cold feet, cold hands, and a cold nose. But ... to go the other direction and have a beautiful home that was sultry hot in the summer ...

An Aesthete's Lament said...

His art is ravishing, by the way. Check justinladda.com.

Jules said...

I am very sad to hear about Janet's loss. My husband was laid off last year, so this hits close to home and confirms what I already know: I'm blessed beyond measure. Tragic.

As for living without heat, no, I couldn't do it.

Bailey @ peppermintbliss said...

No No No No No.
I mean the dude sounds kind of charming in his insanity.
But no.

Amanda Calhoun said...

ok wait.
I live in MN... and a common concern here - and it gets really cold here - temps under 0 degrees for a week and crazy stuff like that is pipes freezing. I don't understand how they have running water and avoid having frozen pipes.

I lived in a place once where the kitchen didn't have heat so it was about 40-50 degrees in there during the winter. The fridge turned off, I ate out for almost all my meals and never went down there. I guess you can tolerate it but really, it sucks.

Amanda Calhoun said...

I re-read more closely - they keep the water running? Save money, don't run the heat, make the landlord pay for the water which is free or maybe not? akkk. crazy hippies.

Anne said...

Serious cold is when your olive oil is solid, leaving your milk on the counter because it's colder then the fridge, stepping outside because it's a bit warmer there at times...
My first winter in a large old house in Boston moving from L.A. I was in disbelieve seeing the previous tenant's heating bill. To me it was like paying an arm and a leg for the air you breath. It was between a luxury car's payment and a mortgage and everyone paid it every month. I was used to a gas bill ranging from $9 to $23. It was the longest winter of my life...snowed in May!! That's half way into summer!

Doing it by choice is nice though. Especially on $300 rent.

Carrie said...

I did for two years, but I was living in California so it doesn't really compare. It still sucked a lot, though. My house regularly got down to the 40s and my roommates and I all looked crazy, shuffling around the house in hats and blankets that did not in any way match the clothes we were wearing.

Shelley said...

When I am cold, I feel depressed. I have to have the temp 68 or 69 degrees inside at least! To me, being cold = suffering.

muranogirl said...

Many years ago I was visiting my brother in law in Bologna, Italy in January. He had a 300 year old house with no central heat and a few radiators that were seriously not working.. My husband and I woke up one morning, (my first time sleeping on flannel sheets) and could see our breath in the room.
There's just no way.

Richie Designs said...

I'm a total wuss below 70 and I start turning blue.

sounds appealing money wise but I would die in my sleep and they would say "she was a popcicle" in her last hours.

Jesse Lu said...

I dunno. I live in a little hobbit hole under 500 sq. ft. with drafts everywhere... and although it's not snowing, it definitely gets cold in this little place. We have a space heater... it works wonders and doesn't need to be on for long to take the chill out of the air. Hats, socks, and sweaters also do wonders to keep you warm. Sometimes I grab those cozy items before turning up the artificial heat. If my utilities weren't included in the rent I would definitely grab for the cozies much more often...

atlanticart said...

This gives new meaning to "suffering for one's art."

Anonymous said...

There is some kind of deep psychological trauma going on here...inner child kinda stuff - you know "I don't deserve it", "I've been a bad boy", "I don't really like me". "I deserve to be punished".
Overt self-flagellation.

Get over it and crank up the heat.

Anon.

sketch42 said...

I live in NYC and ever since I had a baby, I am ALWAYS HOT! (its been 1.5 years) I turn off the heat at night because i cant sleep in a room above 70.

Oh also, the heat makes my throat hurt in the morning.

It gets really cold by morning, so I turn the heat back on when I wake up.

Roxanne said...

I really like the theory, though the water thing pissed me off too. I could, but I probably wouldn't

*PrairieGirl* said...

we spent the last 3 years in a 1950s ranch in denver and FROZE. it was a rental w/no insulation, an original furnace & windows...we had to put plastic over the windows to cut down on the breeze (you could see the curtains move). because it cost a fortune to heat, we kept it around 62 and wore lots of layers. i guess when you're in it, you don't always realize how bad it is.
this year, we live in our new (to us) house that's insulated and it's such a change. i've even noticed that our dog's coat isn't as thick this winter. just because you can survive, doesn't mean it's pleasant.

so...short answer. NO.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I read this Times article aloud to my husband who shivered throughout. I love cold weather, but jeepers, no..this is too much.

s. said...

No way. But, I do have a gloriously programmable thermostat, and each night at 11:00 I snuggle under flannel sheets and cashmere blankets and let the temperature dip to 49 degrees. Lets me sleep very well and saves me a chunk of $, but I have to make sure to go to the bathroom at 10:55 because at those temperatures, there's no way I'm leaving bed 'til the heat comes on in the morning.

Reid and Emily said...

One of the kids in this article was one of my former campers. I worked at a summer camp in NJ teaching costume design. This sort of thing seems right up his alley.

And Mark Leslie's house is in my neighborhood and I used to work at the same theatre he did not too long ago.

All of these little connections to your blog, which I have been reading as long as I can remember, are starting to freak me out.

Pigtown-Design said...

I lived in a house in Wales where we didn't have central heat or "instant" hot water. I would huddle in my fur coat, sweaters, thick socks and a big mohair blanket. When it came time to bathe, I had to turn the water heater on a few hours in advance and heat the water. The bathroom didn't even have a heater in it, and the hot/warm water always ran out halfway through the shower. My personal hygiene suffered a bit that winter, then I moved out.

W. J. St. Christopher said...

I'm a semi-starving (mostly because I have no medical insurance) artist, living in a 90-year old home with no central heat or air.

The constant extremes of heat and cold have not made me more creative. Or brought me closer to spiritual purity. Or helped me strike a blow against 'the system'. Or, even made my music sound better.

It just keeps me physically miserable, most of the time. Especially on those days when it's so cold (or so hot, in summer, as I'm in hellish South Texas) that my PC won't boot up.

When that lottery win comes callin', a modern home with all the conveniences is at the very top of my 'first purchase list'.

Oh, it's 40F degrees in this room, right now, having warmed up quite a bit since last night.

I am, most frostily, displeased.;-)

Anonymous said...

I could if I wanted too. But I can't think of any reason to want too.

Bonnie said...

Last winter, half of Mr. Ladda's fur bathrob disappeared. Then Mr. Ladda's nose froze off... not to worry, he just hung it on the wall and marveled at HIS nostorious sculpture. LOL

Nope, the cold isn't for me. Although I have been to places where it is burr rabbit cold, like Aspen and Austria. I grew up in sunny So Cal and still live here. I need to save money too, so I try not to turn on the heat, but once it heads below 65 degrees, I gotta turn it on.... like now.