Taylor Swift's "Cornelia Street" Landlord Didn't Even Know Who She Was at First

While he claims he knew her music, he "just didn't match the name to the song."

By Elyse Dupre Aug 28, 2019 12:06 PMTags

In her new hit "Cornelia Street," Taylor Swift sings about the beloved street in New York where she once rented an apartment. The tune appears to be a nod to the early days of her relationship with Joe Alwyn. As she looks back at those memories, the 10-time Grammy winner sings she'd "never walk Cornelia Street again" if the two were to ever split.

However, it looks like the man who rented out the Greenwich Village pad didn't even know who the artist was when she first showed interest in the apartment.

"I'm afraid to tell you this, but I will tell you this: I really didn't know her," David Aldea, a former Soho House executive, tells Vulture in an interview published Wednesday. "I'm just not a pop culture guy, and I even said to someone, 'I'm meeting a person named Taylor Swift who wants to rent my home.' Now, mind you, I knew her songs because I had them on my running playlist. I just didn't match the name to the song. I know, it's silly."

Of course, he soon realized he was dealing with a pop superstar. He then showed Swift the apartment, and the "Lover" star knew it was the one.

"She walked in, and I'll never forget this—she said, 'Oooh, it's so crafty,'" he recalls to the outlet. "And in Taylor-speak, that means 'I like everything.' She asked if she could rent not just the house but my style as well. So, towels and dishes and glassware and furniture and just kind of ‘Take your clothes and go.' So I did. She was an absolute delight to deal with."

In fact, Aldea has picked up on several references to specific spots within 5,500-square-foot townhouse in the tune. For instance, at one point, Swift remembers sitting on the roof.

"She was probably talking about the outdoor space off her master bedroom, because I had that set up as sort of an outdoor living room," he says. "And there's artificial turf on the ground and stuff, so it felt like you were outdoors but indoors, and there was a fireplace outside. It was very, very private."

Swift was frequently photographed outside of the apartment during her time there. In fact, Aldea says "it was a zoo on the street for probably the first two months" after the public learned she lived there.

Overall, he's just "honored" she wrote a song about the special place. 

"Cornelia Street" is from Swift's seventh studio album Lover. For a deep dive on all of the songs' lyrics, click here.