Herself a creative, Virginia Woolf knew solitude and privacy were necessary for many kinds of artistic activity - including creating one's own life. Her book "A Room of One's Own" captures that necessity.
Until the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan closed down, it was where so many names which were to become big such as Patti Smith bunked. Not far away was Greenwich Village, before it gentrified. In my 20s I had found my sense of artistic self in Barcelona, Spain.
Now we have affordable living. That's essentially housing regulated by federal, state and local laws which provides below-market rentals. To get in we have to be of a certain age, disabled or have our income documented as low. Not until I was over-50 had I heard about this option. When I did it dawned on me that I could finally afford to do my own writing and be selective in client assignments.
That was eight years ago. Within months I found out that so many creatives had the same yearning to break free from oppressive rent. I have made friends with musicians, dancers, poets, other writers like myself and a mime. None seems to have aged a day since I moved in. None complains about money since they don't need much. None even reflects on end of life issues. We share what we got with each other. That includes rides for the carless.
Could our life here in New Haven, Connecticut, in proximity to Yale, be the 21st century version of bohemia? I have a hunch it is. Eventually some of us might move on to Ecuador, Mexico or back to Spain.