built-in storage units in studio apartment living room
Photo: D.P. Simmons III

The Housing Gods Smiled

In my late twenties, I lucked into an apartment on a high floor, on the quiet courtyard side of a 1931 Greenwich Village high-rise, with doormen, lots of light, and a rent-stabilized price tag in the $600-a-month range. Sure, it was all of 450 square feet, but it wasn't for forever... right? Who knew then that the average price for a New York condo or co-op would skyrocket up more than 200 percent over the last decade? And so I find myself, in my early forties, still living in what was supposed to be my 'starter apartment.' How have I survived in such diminutive digs? By constantly, alright, obsessively reinventing my space.
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