I knew Linda Nochlin for many years from “around”—around the feminist art community, I suppose is what I mean, and also from her days at the Institute. Once, as we wandered to the refreshments area after a talk I gave there about my work, she said, “You always say you’re from Crown Heights, but you never say where.” Perplexed, I answered “Crown Street,” wondering about her unexpected interest in provincial Brooklyn. “Okay,” she said impatiently, “but where? Where on Crown Street? I’m from Crown Street, too.”
I said, “250,” overlapping her own “250.” “Yes,” I repeated more slowly, “250." She stared at me. “No, I’m from 250. “But,” I replied, “I’m from 250.” Silence…
Yes, we were both from 250 Crown Street, a six-story apartment building with two wings and two elevators. “But I never knew you!” I objected. She had left, it seems, while I was too small to know much.
We exchanged a few words about the building and the neighborhood. As I was continuing to chatter on about the place and the great apartment we managed to get after many years, she interjected: “My grandfather built that building.”
MARTHA ROSLER is an American artist.