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TikTok’s most popular apartment tour series has struck again in Hell’s Kitchen: this time making a star not just of musician Willow Avalon‘s home, but of Bowie, her pet possum. What may well be the West Side’s only tame marsupial, and his collection of clothes, managed to overshadow her two-bedroom, two-bathroom pre-war walk-up, her outside space — and even her $3,000-a-month rent.
Willow, a self-described “Southern Belle raising Hell,” was approached by the host of “this generation’s MTV Cribs,” Caleb W Simpson, known for surveying strangers on the street about their rent before embarking on impromptu apartment tours of some of New York’s quirkiest homes. Caleb previously profiled Hell’s Kitchen local Alaina Randazzo, who made waves for the creative use of her 80-square-foot apartment.
This time Simpson found plenty to show in an antique-filled spacious apartment. “I moved out when I was 15, so I’ve had a lot of these pieces — mostly all old dead people shit,” Willow explained joyfully as she led Caleb through the wood-paneled, $3,000 a month pre-war space. The apartment features an antique typewriter — “ I write my songs on it,” said Willow — and an impressively large collection of 1940s medical encyclopedias that she had studied thoroughly enough to explain the basics of a tracheotomy. Her most treasured possession? A rare Stainer violin with a rattlestick tail inside.
But the star of the show was Willow’s possum, Bowie, who has his own sleeping nook and even his own set of wardrobes (and accompanying outfits) to match Willow’s sartorial collection: “I figured since I had so many wardrobes, it was only fair,” Willow told Caleb.
Willow frequently dresses Bowie to go out on the town in Hell’s Kitchen, styling him in a cowboy outfit for Halloween and in a simple summer scarf for a walk around the block. She’s equally kind to the accidental pets that take up residence in her home, having recently relocated two mice from her apartment to Washington Square Park, but not before naming them and setting them up with a farewell snack pack made up of the kind of food they would steal from her cupboard.
The apartment tour — which has already garnered a viral 10.9 million views on Tiktok — has brought a new level of visibility to the Georgia native, whose debut single, Drivin’ was released in 2021. While she’s had to fight off trolls accusing her of being a trust fund baby (to which Willow’s father released a cheeky response video touring their family’s modest rural home), she’s also gained a new cohort of fans interested in keeping up with the eccentric performer — and Bowie: “I’m happy knowing people like you exist in the world,” said one commenter.
Baby possums, known as joeys, live in their mother’s pouches until they can thrive independently. In the wild, the omnivores, known as possums or opossums, eat snails, insects and fruit, and are nocturnal. Urban possums are particularly keen on garbage. Their lifespan is relatively short, at an average of up to four years, although some have lived to as old as eight.
Despite possums having 50 teeth, owners say they are cuddly and like to snuggle up to humans — as Willow, who has raised Bowie from a joey, has shown on her own TikTok posts. He likes to be close to her in the apartment, unless he is sleeping in his own nest beside her bed.
@willowavalon The sheriff is intown #fyp #cowboy #possum #halloween #newyork ♬ original sound – Willow Avalon
Back in Hell’s Kitchen, Willow told Caleb that having two bedrooms and two bathrooms for $3,000 a month to share with Bowie meant that she’d “never leave — I’d sell a kidney!” Bowie was unavailable for comment.