Why did artists choose to live in Greenwich Village?  

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The narrator of "The Last Leaf " offers several reasons why artists chose to live in Greenwich Village. The story was written more than a hundred years ago, in 1907, and at that time rents were cheap in that neighborhood. Most artists struggled and made very little money when...

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The narrator of "The Last Leaf" offers several reasons why artists chose to live in Greenwich Village. The story was written more than a hundred years ago, in 1907, and at that time rents were cheap in that neighborhood. Most artists struggled and made very little money when they were starting out—and even late into their careers—so low rents were very appealing to them.

A second reason was that the neighborhood was very charming to the artistic eye. It was "quaint," with Dutch attics and eighteenth-century gables. Further, the way the streets and squares twisted and made odd angles meant that an impoverished artist could easily evade a bill collector coming to get paid for a canvas or paint.

As O'Henry describes it, Greenwich Village became a magnet for artists, and soon enough of them lived their for it to become an artists' colony.

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