This is the first installment in an occasional series exploring interesting Lower East Side homes. This piece originally ran in our May, 2014 magazine. All photos by Mark La Rosa.
Tom Cappa has his feet planted in two worlds: His meticulously renovated apartment boasts 21st-century modern comforts and an extensive collection of early 20th-century antiques. A resident of the Seward Park Cooperative on Grand Street for 12 years, Cappa is an avid collector of vintage pieces. His apartment, created two years ago by combining a 2-bedroom and 1-bedroom, pays homage to a simpler time when shoe shines were available on nearly every corner and seltzer came in glass bottles.
Cappa, 46, finds these rare items at auction, on the street, at antique stores and markets, salvage firms and in houses and apartments that are under renovation. He’s collected vintage items for most of his life: “I love the 1920’s, nostalgia and history,” he says. “I [also] love the history and character of the Lower East Side,” Cappa explains. “You’re living in Manhattan with a neighborhood feel that most of Manhattan doesn’t have.”