Cassandra Bromfield was raised in this apartment. Her mother, Elaine Bromfield, was a schoolteacher, and in 1964, she bought this 894-square-foot two-bedroom in South Williamsburg’s Lindsay Park, an affordable-housing cooperative that was then brand new. At the time, Cassandra was about 8 years old; she grew up to become a fashion designer and artist.
“When you look at the Mitchell-Lama co-ops,” which were designed to appeal to middle-income families like her own who might otherwise have left the city, “there was a great deal that they offered,” says Bromfield. “We grew up with a pool; I mean, there were so many amenities when you think about it. There were things they promised—like, the pool was supposed to be a skating rink in the wintertime; that never happened. But we had a pretty good time here.”
Cassandra Bromfield wearing one of her own designs. The rag doll was made by her late friend Adrienne McDonald. “They were called Urban Faeries,” she says, “and she would burn and tie-dye them.” Opposite: Cassandra, front-row left (in glasses), with friends from P.S. 54, ca. 1965.
And she still does. “I’m a person who’s been here since the first brick. I saw those buildings go up. I didn’t leave. I’m still here,” she says in a short 2018 documentary, Into My Life, she fashioned from her mother’s Super 8 home movies and old photographs (you can watch it on pbs.org/pov).
Bromfield’s mother passed away in 2008, and in 2016, she decided that the apartment needed some refreshment, starting with the kitchen. She contacted interior designer Keita Turner, whom she had met at an event in the home of Malene Barnett, the founder of the Black Artists + Designers Guild. But then the other rooms called, as did removal of the popcorn ceilings and putting down a new floor.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
DJ Khaled is not a rapper. But he does always seem to know a guy.
Science of Us: Katie Heaney
The Clock-Out Cure For those who can afford it, quitting has become the ultimate form of self-care.
THE Destroy-It-to-Save-It Plan FOR East River Park
The city’s first real battle over climate adaptation has arrived.
You'd Be an Iconic Guest
A ruthless Instagram interviewer brings her knowing wink to cable.
The Great Indoors
A critic reacclimates to the now-unfamiliar terrain of the dining room.
Political Animals: Olivia Nuzzi
The Crisis Crisis How the White House polices language in Washington—including the president’s.
What Was the Office?
It Was Stressful, Filthy, High Stakes—and Where the Action Was
ANDREW YANG'S INSIDER CAMPAIGN
How did a former CEO of 100 employees become the front-runner to govern a city of 8.5 million? Not simply by being a national celebrity and an excellent campaigner.
The Group Portrait: Little Pot
The activists and entrepreneurs intent on making New York’s new cannabis industry more equitable, less corporate.
Tech vs. Journalism
Silicon Valley feels picked on by “woke” journalists “who can't code." Reporters feel picked on by petty zillionaires with anger-management problems. Inside the nasty clout battle for how the world’s most influential industry gets covered.