Brooklyn's Eldert Lofts — located at 345 Eldert Street on the east side of Bushwick — is like a Rent
set come to real-world, vivid, living color. Inside, long lacquered hallways lead to cavernous apartments decorated like hippie bazaars. Brimming with exhaustive vinyl collections and flea-market finds, each space is a curated time capsule; as a whole, "Eldert" (as its residents call it) is a bricolage of the world and history of Brooklyn artists.
On the fourth floor, the musician and photographer Christiana Hank Dot Martin shares a unit with four roommates. She has lived in different Eldert apartments since 2005, when she ditched a West Coast life that was too cushy for comfort for a swan dive into New York reality. When a series of tenant evictions in 2011 led the fractured Eldert-mates to a renewed sense of community, Martin got the idea to shoot a calendar featuring their nude portraits. To raise funds for the project and finance additional group ventures at the lofts, she began an Indiegogo campaign
. Now, she's shared her shots with us.
The calendar is a natural attention-grabber. But, despite the nudity, the project isn't lewd. The naked monthly starlets represent a complex, covert, and incredibly personal history that began with Eldert's transformation from textile factory to human habitat, then continued through a series of contested tenant evictions, and today lives on in the quirky — if not a bit rogue — residential life that is still thriving.
On Eldert's bespoke roof (the tenants worked together to construct their party space after the 2011 evictions), Martin let us in on everything we've been dying to know since we first set eyes the lofts.
Peek inside, but be careful: Eldert is a bit of a never-neverland, and you may never want to come home.