By Arthur Z. Schwartz
For 40 years, David Heenan, who lives on West 8th Street, near 6th Avenue, has entertained people all over the world with his comedy routines. For 10 years, he was the house emcee at Dangerfield’s, and at NYC Improvisation. Heenan worked with Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and many more. Then, for the next 20 years, he worked on cruise ships all over the world.
All the while, Heenan lived in a one-bedroom apartment on West 8th Street. He had a short marriage and a son, who was disabled. Heenan was successful and bought his ex-wife and son a house in New Jersey, which was a better location for his son. However, he stayed on West 8th Street, drinking coffee every morning at Peet’s, a nearby coffee shop.
Lo and behold, after 40 years in his apartment, the landlord wrote to Heenan, stating that he had “discovered” that he had a house in New Jersey, and asserted that he “really” lived there. The landlord told Heenan that his rent-stabilized lease would not be renewed when July 1st rolled around.
Heenan went to the offices of the Advocates for Justice, told me his story, and brought proof of his ongoing life on West 8th Street. I wrote to the landlord on June 14th and stated that “any effort to terminate David Heenan’s tenancy will be vigorously opposed.”
July 1st arrived, and guess what? A new two-year lease came in the mail!
Another senior has been saved from losing his rent-controlled apartment. The patrons of Peet’s can continue to listen to Heenan’s morning routine.
Arthur Z. Schwartz is the Male Democratic District Leader for Greenwich Village.