Monday, August 6, 2012
They can't live without each other
From the NY Times:
They have no children, no linear career histories, no readily disposable savings. The four men, all heterosexual, approaching 40 and never married, have lived together for 18 years, give or take a revolving guest roommate, cohabitating in spaces like an East Village walk-up, a Chelsea loft and, now, a converted office space in Queens.
Their latest home, which they have nicknamed Fortress Astoria, takes up the second and third floors of a slate gray concrete block building with floor-to-ceiling windows on 31st Street. The setup is ideal for four bachelors. Bedrooms do not share common walls, and there are communal spaces both upstairs (huge television, sofa) and down (kitchen). There is a lovely garden out back tended by Mr. Theerakulstit.
The apartment presents itself as a mix of man-child fantasy and discerning urban sophistication — Peter Pan meets the man cave. Action hero figurines, many still in their boxes, are displayed over the doorways, while film snob DVDs (by directors like Akira Kurosawa or Preston Sturges) line the shelves. There are expensive Mac computers in the bedrooms, and the kitchen holds an impressive array of spices (turmeric, pink peppercorns, cardamom), not one but two mortars and pestles, designer Japanese knives and a seltzer-making machine.
But dinner on a recent night was takeout pizza and garlic knots, served on paper plates. And in one of the downstairs bathrooms, a chopstick serves as a toilet paper holder.
Sociologically, the men represent the apotheosis of two trends in American life. While Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg may be promoting the idea of tiny apartments for singles, the most recent census figures suggest that many people do not want to live alone; they prefer or need the company: The number of roommates in nonfamily households in New York City increased by more than 40 percent between 2000 and 2010.
In NYC, it actually is illegal for more than 3 unrelated people to live together. Whether this makes sense or not, I'll let you decide.