By George Capsis
Arthur Schwartz, who besides being a prolific political contributor to WestView, is currently the lawyer for Cynthia Nixon’s campaign to become the next Governor of New York. As such, he kept e-mailing me he was going to get Cynthia to come to 69 Charles Street for an interview. And bang! The day after the big debate, when Cynthia got Cuomo to lose his cool and explode “will you stop interrupting me?” and then instantly Cynthia came back with “I will when you stop lying.”
So, in just hours after this exchange, Arthur gets her to come the garden at 69 Charles when all the press in the city is looking to interview her with “Boy Cynthia, you certainly gave it to Cuomo last night.”
Our paper was just hours away from going to press, and Kim our graphic designer was giving everyone hell to read and approve the last draft when Cynthia’s very young advance gal (who was having great difficulty in being assertive) and Cynthia, stepped into the garden five minutes early.
As I shook hands I found myself saying aloud “you’re very beautiful”—and she is.
I had prepared an introduction to let Cynthia know what WestView is all about—15 years as the protest voice of the West Village as we lost our hospitals, and now trying to speak for the aged, rent-stabilized tenants faced with the horror of receiving legal-like papers from landlords demanding the apartment for arcane reasons that require translation by an expensive lawyer (we send these tenants to Arthur).
As I sat with her, cataloging the West Village “issues,” I wondered how I might translate one of them into a question ending with, “what would you do about this when you become Governor?” But when I talked about seniors in rent-stabilized apartments being evicted, there was a quick change in her expression, and she spoke rapidly of her and her mother living in an upper west side Manhattan apartment in which the landlord had been charging above the regulated rent and how her mother filed and won.
Her bio revealed that her Chicago born actress mother had divorced her radio announcer husband when Cynthia was only six and she, mom, had been the bread winner, getting Cynthia her first acting job on the TV show To Tell The Truth at age nine.
And then a surprise—Cynthia went to Hunter College School at the same time as my two daughters, Athena and Ariadne, and then Barnard, which I knew well, living nearby and taking classes at Columbia.
We read that Cynthia had two children with school teacher Danny Mozes and that in June of this year Cynthia revealed her oldest daughter is transgender.
But the big question is why did she become political? Why did she keep after Sarah Jessica Parker to support de Blasio when he had little or no chance to win over the very visible, the very audible high nasal whine of Christine Quinn, Speaker to the City Council?
Perhaps because she learned from her mother that even as a woman you have to be in charge of earning the rent and selecting who you want to share your life with.