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Fred Hersch

Fred Hersch

My neighborhood is the epicenter of the shopping mall,” Fred Hersch laments. He is referring to SoHo-specifically Broadway between Prince and Spring Streets, one of New York’s most congested thoroughfares. “The weekends here are frankly atrocious,” adds the pianist, bracing himself for another holiday season in lower Manhattan.

“When I moved here 25 years ago,” Hersch says, “there were artists and galleries, all kinds of eccentric shops. Now it’s Victoria’s Secret and Zales and Eddie Bauer and Crate & Barrel. A block down the street, Bloomingdale’s is opening where Canal Jean Co. used to be.” But Hersch’s gorgeous, meticulously appointed loft, which he will soon be sharing with his partner Scott, provides a sanctuary-and a rent-stabilized one at that.

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