Photo-Illustration: by Curbed; Getty photo
For Craig Taylor’s latest book New Yorker (modeled after 2011’s Londoners), the author spent over six years interviewing 180 of us, 75 of whom were part of this small volume: a private tutor, a cop, a doctor, a lice consultant, an injury lawyer , a gay rights activist and Salvation Army bell ringer among them. During these 400 hours of interviews, writes Taylor in the introduction, New Yorkers “did their self-mythology on the go… They looked at their lives, told their lives, made sure that it was. already a story, almost before the moment has passed. “Throughout the week, we’ll be highlighting some particularly interesting characters he’s met. Yesterday we heard an elevator repairer, and today is Sondra Shaye, a healer specializing in “space-clearing” New York apartments.
When you walk into a building, there is a lot of energy on the part of everyone who has been there. There are also energies coming from outside. There is also – I know it looks like a movie – but there are non-physical beings that are there. These are the ones that cause the most problems for people, I think. It all affects everyone, they just don’t know it. This is why after a clearing of space, when all that energy is cleansed and a tremendous amount of positive, sacred and blessed energy is brought in, everyone in space feels so much better. If it’s a workplace, they do more, they get along a lot better, they’re a lot happier in a space. It completely changes the environment. You go from a really negative, not great, low vibration environment to a high vibration environment with no negative energy at all.
I get to see people’s homes, beautiful places in New York, which I love. There was an apartment on the Upper West Side, all the way down Riverside Drive, that these people called me to clean it up. There had been a terrible fire there, really serious, two people were killed. The guys that were over there fixing that – they had to do it all over again – they refused to work because they felt something there and it made them feel really bad and scary. And they thought there was something there, whether it was the souls of the people who died in the fire, I don’t know. They wouldn’t keep working until the owner or the real estate agent, whoever it was, brought someone in to clean it up.
They called me and I deleted it. It was my favorite because I could see what this apartment would look like if it wasn’t damaged by fire.
I do this for people who are trying to sell their home or just want their home to feel better. I often do this for real estate agents when they have space they can’t sell. And then it usually sells out very quickly. There was this apartment a few years ago, it was beautiful, a duplex, with a terrace and a whole wall of windows on both floors. He was on and off the market for seven years and he wouldn’t sell. A real estate agent brought me in and I erased it. While I was doing the cleaning, the real estate agent felt nauseous, because she needed healing on the one hand, but also because the vibration of the energy changed so quickly. She couldn’t adapt quickly enough.
It doesn’t happen very often. But when all that positive energy came in so quickly, it probably created something in her body, maybe her balance, and she felt nauseous. She went out into the hallway. She had asked someone to look at the apartment just when I left. They bought it. It sold out fifteen minutes after clearing.
Someone walks into a space, they have an immediate reaction. They feel like, Oh i like it. Or, I do not like it. They didn’t even look at him. This is because they react to the energy of the place. When I do this for realtors and you get rid of negative energy and low vibration energy, they go to the place that already loves it. This apartment makes me feel good.
It’s basically a four or five step process. First, I go in and out of each room. Looks like I’m walking around mumbling to myself. I don’t do a big show like they do on TV. I wear the same thing all the time: khaki pants and a white shirt. I used to wear a lot of necklaces with symbols on them, but I don’t anymore. I just protect myself from EMFs [electric and magnetic fields].
I go to every room and speak to the higher energies. Any negative entity, any low vibrating energy. There could be beings who are no longer in the body but who are still hanging around. Or they could be worse, but I don’t really like to talk about them. But they do exist. There are some scary things. I don’t like to dwell on this because it’s just kind of sensationalism. I don’t want to feed this. There are some scary things there.
There were a few times when there was some super scary stuff that if I didn’t know what I was doing I could have been in trouble. These really negative energies feed on fear. You feel them. They feel awful. I can’t see, I just feel it. I’m almost glad I didn’t see it. It is so horrible. It is very easy to fall into fear. It would scare anyone. Sometimes you feel it good when you walk in and walk through. Sometimes it hurts so much in one place, in an entryway, I do a general clearance.
Those old buildings that were once buildings? Terrible energy. More of them are erased. These places – when people came here, immigrants, there was a lot of hope for something new, but the main feeling was fear, hopelessness, being uprooted from you, a lot of between them fleeing. It was just awful. The conditions were so horrible in these areas. These buildings, if they haven’t been cleaned, they just feel terrible.
It’s amazing how the universe works. I have a friend who works as a nanny. The family she works for has locations all over the world. It is one of the richest families in the world. She told my wife and my mom what I’m doing, and she wanted it done, but it kept getting delayed. He continued to be put on the schedule and then to be removed. I was getting a little bored. She says she wants it. I know it will be a good thing for her and her family. Somehow my friend made her commit to a day. And I went there, and I had no idea what day it was.
Of course, there was a little communication problem giving me the address. I finally got the address, and I still had no idea. I just had the number and the street. Then I get out of the metro, and there are a lot of press vans. I still don’t think about anything, because this is New York. It’s in Manhattan. I’m like, Oh something must have happened. Then there are the cops. Then there are crowds of people. I just look around, I look up. I’m like, As long as we’re all safe here everything is fine.
Then I arrive at the building. I still don’t know which building I’m going to. There are Secret Service guys all over the building, and there are people taking selfies and videos. There are journalists talking in front of cameras and guys in black suits, with black sunglasses and something in their ears. “What is that?” Then I look for the entrance to the building. And this is the Trump Tower. So I’m like, Oh my God. It’s election day. I didn’t know it was election day. It was the primary. It was the New York primary.
So I entered. It’s funny in these buildings. The guys in the elevator, they are very talkative and they like to talk.
“It’s the Trump Tower, isn’t it?”
“Is it . . . ? “
“He is at home.”
“Is he here right now?”
“Oh yeah. He’s upstairs right now. That’s why all the press is here.”
When I got out of the elevator the elevator guy said, “He just saw two flights up,” from where I was cleaning. When I walked into the apartment I said to my friend, “Did you make that connection I just made that second of doing an energy cleanse just below Trump’s apartment on the day?” elections? ”
“Yeah. Oh my God.”
She’s very spiritual too, so she was like, “This is so supposed to be. You need to be here so badly today.
I made the clearance of space, a blessing for their apartment. I felt like it wasn’t an accident if I was there. Nothing is really an accident, but it really wasn’t an accident. So, maybe I’m meant to facilitate the entry of light into this building, and towards it.
But I didn’t want to give it enough light to risk any election success. This was where I had my limits. God forgives. I sent him some light. Apparently her apartment was in the same line. It was literally two flights from where I was standing.
I think I was there to bring healing to the building, to him. Maybe he could be a little less full of spitting hate, maybe a little less divisive. Who knows? I was like, All right, I’ll send some light up there. But not enough light for him to win. It was my agreement with the universe. But the universe does what it wants.
Extract of New Yorkers: a city and its people in our time by Craig Taylor. Copyright © 2021 by Craig Taylor. With the permission of the publisher, WW Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. This selection may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form whatsoever by any means whatsoever without the prior written permission of the publisher.