Susan Hyman, Flutist

Resident at Westbeth since 1974

The year was 1974. I was living in Queens. My boyfriend, Jacob Shweisky, was living on the Lower East Side, across the street from the Hells Angels. I knew Shelley Seccombe. We were both teaching at the Spence School. I was teaching flute, and she was teaching violin (photography came a bit later). Jacob and I had dinner with Shelley and her husband David at Westbeth, where they lived, and we enjoyed a small tour of the building. We both thought it would be wonderful to live in Westbeth. I knew percussionist Bruce Smith, who also lived at Westbeth, from the Queens Symphony Orchestra. Bruce asked me to play in a concert at the old Westbeth Community Room. Bill Canaday, a Westbeth resident, had written a piece for flute and percussion. Bruce and I performed that piece many times.

Shelley knew that Jacob and I were looking for a place together. In my Queens apartment, the banging on the walls and ceiling were increasing as I was practicing and teaching at home more and more. Shelley suggested that we put a sign on the bulletin board looking for a sublet. We did and got a sublet apartment. We moved into Westbeth in June 1974. I put our names on the list, and eventually we got our own apartment. We always felt so blessed and lucky to be a part of the Westbeth community, and to raise our family here.

Photo credit: Julie Dubow

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