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De Cardenas’s home base is a one-bedroom apartment on the border of Chinatown and Little Italy that he’s lived in for the past four years. The current setup is more a result of accumulation than decoration. It’s filled with artwork he’s bought or traded from friends, objects he inherited from his mother or stalked on eBay, and leftovers from past jobs. “This apartment’s great, I have no reason to leave,” he says. “Except that I hate the neighborhood. During the San Gennaro festival, the stage is right there, with Goumba Johnny DJing from across the street. It’s the worst.”