The first thing I notice is the overwhelming smell of incense. The apartment is smoky, which makes a neon sign on the ceiling that reads "The Dream House" (back-to-back in forwards and backwards script) appear fuzzy. Six or seven people are standing or sitting around the carpeted rooms in various meditative poses: gazing at video installations, lying back, sitting with crossed legs on meditation pillows.
"Dream House," an unassuming third-floor apartment located off Church St in TriBeCa, is that rarest of all things: a place dedicated to relaxing in an area full of over-stimulated, overextended New Yorkers. For a small donation, visitors are invited to spend as long as they like in a series of purple-lit, incense-filled rooms, listening to spacey minimalist music and absorbing the effects of the space's immersive light installation.
It's an art installation that you could sit in for an hour without realizing you're even inside an art installation. It feels like a place far removed from 2016, a world away from this city of pricey restaurants and boutique gyms. It's a throwback to the legendary, artist-friendly New York of yore, back when creatives of all kinds were free to pursue art for art's sake without all the dream-crushing real estate pressures that make it downright impossible today.