Howls Replaced By A Writer Who Yelps

IMG_0226Meredith Hoffman Jane Kwett gazes down at 12th Street from her new home, Allen Ginsberg’s apartment.

Jane Kwett, a marketer for Yelp who prefers Kerouac to Ginsberg, is the new tenant in Allen Ginsberg’s old apartment.

After the landlord raised the rent in her West Village residence, she found the Ginsberg apartment online and thought it looked like a great deal for $1,700 a month. She moved into the apartment at 437 E. 12th Street, last Thursday. Now Ms. Kwett, 26, often writes by the very window where Ginsberg sat, but the books he wrote are missing from her shelf. She said her favorite part of the apartment is the light that comes in through that window, which is “very iconic Ginsberg.” Calling the space “my apartment,” she admitted she thinks less about Ginsberg now than when she first moved in a week ago.

“I do think it’s funny that people are so interested in the apartment, but I can understand, I mean it’s the East Village. It’s the ultimate hipster apartment and I’m not at all a hipster. Though I don’t know if there are too many ‘angelheaded’ hipsters in the neighborhood anymore,” said Ms. Kwett, quoting Ginsberg’s “Howl.” 
With her light blonde hair and relaxed California demeanor, Ms. Kwett could hardly strike anyone as a hipster.

This is the first time that Mr. Ginsberg’s apartment has been available on the market since his death in 1997. Mr. Ginsberg’s partner, the poet Peter Orlovsky, who died in May, lived in the apartment until about a year ago. Then the renovation process began.

Real estate agent, Daniel Dmitry Kramp, who rents out apartments in the building, said he usually finds renters easily, but Mr. Ginsberg’s apartment has attracted obsessed fans.

“One woman I can’t name called five times to get the apartment and kept saying, ‘I’m in love with Allen Ginsberg, I need to live where he lived,’” said Mr. Kramp. The woman didn’t make enough money to qualify for the apartment.

IMG_0247Meredith Hoffman Ms. Kwett, a marketer for Yelp, now resides in Mr. Ginsberg’s old apartment at 437 E. 12th Street.

He said Ms. Kwett got the apartment because she was “the fastest” to give him the paperwork to apply.

But renters have another chance to live in Ginsberg’s old home, since it was actually divided into two apartments in the renovation. Next week unit 23, the 550-square-foot space next to Ms. Kwett’s will hit the market for $1,875, Kramp said.

Calls for the apartment have already begun.

“It’s a first-come, first-serve basis, for who gets the apartment. It’s not who loves Ginsberg the most,” said Kramp.

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This post has been changed to correct an error.