September 22, 2012

"Living small in New York becomes an exercise in craftiness, and discovering multiple uses for a surface."

"What others may see as deprivation, Mr. Moore and others have reframed as pride, with Shaker-like design values of simplicity and utility."
But not necessarily Shaker celibacy. In 2009, Kittie Lonsdale, a small-space designer, left behind a 4,500-square-foot home in Dallas and moved herself, her business and her “microsize dog,” a 10-pound Shih Tzu whose raincoats, treats, leads and sleeping box “take up more real estate than anything else,” into a 225-square-foot studio in Tudor City. Ten days a month, her husband joins her from Dallas, the headquarters for his private investment firm.
The linked NYT article is by Jan Hoffman (our favorite NYT writer).

23 comments:

edutcher said...

All the Lefties seem red hot on this kick to turn us all into Euros.

Especially, poor, undernourished Euros.

Bryan C said...

No cooking, no entertaining. It seems living very small is simpler when your apartment is essentially serving the same purpose as your childhood bedroom. Which is fine, but it's hardlynovel.

wyo sis said...

If you have to learn to live small might as well enjoy it. Living large is more fun, but we've done that.

Like most of what goes on in New York I find the whole thing unsettling and unsatisfying.

"Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above."

Robert said...

I see you are interested in small spaces.

Check this trend in England.
http://bit.ly/PK5Xew
Small space in rural Wisconsin?

elkh1 said...

The NYT photo hurts my eyes. Imagine living in a close space like that! No wonder psychos, psychiatrists, and psychologists make such a fabulous living there.

Seeing Red said...

So now we celebrate the individual.

I'm getting confused.

PatCA said...

Seems like they are living in college dorms. I guess the young singles are used to it.

bagoh20 said...

If you forced these people to live like that for free, they would go wild on your ass for oppressing them, but charge a couple grand and they are happy as bugs in a toupee.

That's a lot of sacrifice and waste of useful financial resources just be in a giant clique.

But, hey if that's your thing, go for it. More room out here for the rest of us.

YoungHegelian said...

I've been with 3 other people crammed into a tiny upper west side apartment in a visit to NYC before.

I slept, like the guy in the photo, on a bunk bed with my face 6 inches from the ceiling. Talk about claustrophobic! No thanks!


There was a certain strange charm, however, to hearing through the wall the (very anglo) neighbor chanting Buddhist chants. She would punctuate the sections of the chants by tapping a little bell.

Now, visits to NYC involve a decent size hotel room and no Buddhist chants.

Chip Ahoy said...

A television show I noticed followed a guy who served evictions. A crew. They served a midget due to unreasonably high activity. Upon entering the rented property they discovered the guy had subdivided. In half. Horizontally. He turned the bedrooms into two bedrooms at half height and rented to two midgets, but there were midgets running all over the place. They all had a good deal going there, they all liked it, but there were just too many of them.

McTriumph said...

Patty Hearst learned to love her closet.

jr565 said...

I live in NY in a 2 bedroom apt. It's not 225 square feet, but its not huge. I can't believe the premium NYers pay to live i such tiny cramped places.She probably pays more for that 225 square feet than she does for her huge sprawling house.

I have to move out of NYC.

William said...

If you use a chamberpot and shower at the gymn,, the bathroom can be turned into a closet for your shoes.

Lem said...

Palladians kitchen.

cubanbob said...

"Living small in New York becomes an exercise in craftiness, and discovering multiple uses for a surface."
"What others may see as deprivation, Mr. Moore and others have reframed as pride, with Shaker-like design values of simplicity and utility."

Turning stupidity in to a virtue. Get rid of rent control and other restrictive regulations and landlords would actually invest in livable and for NYC reasonably affordable apartment buildings. My cousin's 450 sq ft upper west side apartment looks almost like a palace compared to the dolled up prison cell.

Michael said...

Professor. You should stay in the Yotel on your next visit to NY. Corner of 42 and 10th. Micro rooms, cabins, ultra cool design. Spanking new for hipsters from all over the world.

jr565 said...

William wrote:
If you use a chamberpot and shower at the gymn,, the bathroom can be turned into a closet for your shoes.

Just have some adult diapers on hand and you can forgo a bathrooom completely .

MarkD said...

There is another, smaller box we all end up in soon enough. What's the hurry?

James Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Truenorth said...

I live in a 225 sq ft studio apt on the Upper West Side. I bought it in 2001 and pay less than $600/mth for maintenance and taxes. Way less than that in the early years. With a small place, I did not have to bear the cost of much furnishing, just a bed, sofa, TV, etc. Cost of utilities is negligible.

In 10 years I saved enough to become financially independent and retire at age 47. Meanwhile, the value of my apartment has more than doubled and is worth more than the average 3 bedroom house elsewhere.

So apartment size and even average cost of living of a particular city is not necessarily relevant to discussions of financial smarts.

Peter said...

Perhaps it's time to bring back sumptuary laws. Government will decide how much space you really "need." Anything above that will cost you.

BUT exceptions will be made for New Yorkers living alone in huge rent-controlled apartments.

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