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Photos by Ivona Bilicic, Jen Wittlin and Antonio Macedo
In one corner of her apartment hangs a
tapestry from Istanbul that has rows upon
rows of books on it.
“If you walk into my house, you would
think that is the library when you walk in
the door,” she said. But there is no library;
the tapestry just makes it seem like there
is until you get closer.
“It makes the space look so much bigger.
It’s really important to have those
optical illusions in a small space because
you don’t feel confined.”
Kirschner has been collecting and arranging
the objects for decades. But it’s
not just the objects that make Astoria
home for her.
She has spent 21 years living in her
apartment. She stayed for this long because
she loves the neighborhood,
Kirschner told me.
“I know my neighbors by name. You
know the store owners. You don’t have
really anymore,” she said. “I live in a
neighborhood where people are here
for many years.”
And though she’s drawn to time, some
of her displays don’t last. “I’ll change
things probably on a yearly basis,” she
said. “I rearrange.”
It also goes back to her rule on no
hoarding. “I may give some objects away
because I've gotten some other objects.
It’s a delicate balance not to be a hoarder,”
And it also goes back to the respect
toward her objects she possesses: “You
have to work within your space, so if you
can't honor the object then what's the
point of buying it?”