By Prudence Peiffer
The Slip is a little known Manhattan neighborhood that used to exist a stone’s throw from Wall Street. Coenties Slip, named after the early Dutch Settler Coenraedt Ten Eyck, is as close to the water’s edge as one could get without falling into the East River. In colonial New York City, piers and slips were critical to the merchants, fishermen, and sailors who made a living from the sea trade. This rough and tumble business was populated by the dregs of humanity, but the financial rewards were lucrative. The warehouses populating the slip were a cheap place to live—a major attraction to artists who needed suitably large studio spaces at bargain-basement prices. In the 1950s and 1960s the Slip became home to the who’s who among pop artists, experimental filmmakers, painters, sculptors and textile artists, many of whom became distinguished and were sought after by museums, galleries and private collectors all over the world. For a little piece of forgotten New York City history, read The Slip. Also embrace the book’s stronger message: the artists who live, work, and break bread together, are the ones who become successful. With a little help from friends, all things are possible in the art world.