Consider for a second where you came from. I don’t mean your mother’s womb, or Ohio. I mean, where did people come from? Where did the Earth and the sky and the universe come from? Maybe it was an explosion of tiny atoms, or the machinations of a celestial being. Or maybe we were all created in Liv Tyler’s West Village brownstone. “This is actually where everyone was a baby. They all started out here as a baby,” Tyler says in last week’s Architectural Digest video tour of her home, wearing a witchy black ensemble, and gesturing elegantly around the “children’s floor” — the series of richly textured gray-blue rooms from whence we all came.
“It looks like everything’s always been here, but actually it wasn’t,” the Creator says wistfully at one point, after struggling momentarily to slide open a pair of pocket doors. In the beginning, you see, “there was nothing here.” And then there was light, and firmament, and baby pianos (“We have four kids, haha”) and collections of typewriters, and landlines shaped like lips (“They don’t make cellphones like that, do they?”). Amen.
Tyler’s world — our world — is one of knickknacks (“I have this crazy crystal”), and creeping vines (“It grew into my neighbor’s house, and actually, they’re my friends”), and windows people knock on instead of using the doorbell. It’s a place of charm, chaos, and — at times — darkness.
She who has the power to Create also has the power to Destroy, as Tyler reminds us when she brings us upstairs, to the attic where we will all eventually end up when our time on this precious, floating brownstone comes to a close. Holding up a perfectly preserved Arwen doll from her former life, Tyler says, “I’ve never shown this to her [Ed note: her daughter, and also us] before because it’s rotting away in my attic, in the dust.” A chilling glimpse at our futures.