I lived in a four-room apartment in Hoboken for 14 years, then we tried house-living in Michigan, and now we're back in an apartment. I just seem to be one of those people who is an apartment-dweller at heart. When they start talking about the American dream of 'owning your own home' I cringe and think "O-ho, but no...not me!" -- and perhaps you wonder why.
See, a house has both an inside and an outside. An apartment like ours, on the other hand, has no sidewalks to shovel, no driveway to dig your car out of, no grass to mow or leaves to rake. There's no roof to fix, siding to repair, or outdoors-y stuff to patch or paint or nail up, nothing to sweep or de-ice or plow. You don't even have to go outside the building to check the mail, and if anything breaks or leaks or cracks or seeps, you can call the landlord, who also takes out the trash and cleans the hallways and the stoop and the sidewalk.
Yeah, go ahead and call me lazy. I just know my limitations.
But apartments can have other advantages, Sometimes, they're just cool. Our building dates from 1916, and it has high ceilings and enormous (1 x 2 meter) windows. Not to mention that its five rooms are just the right amount of space for us. I'll give you a little tour.
The funny-shaped archway leads into the living room.
Two big windows look out into the back yard.
The table really just collects junk.
We've carpeted the study and the bedroom since these pics were taken.
Morgan's favorite room.
Yes, that's the subway on the shower curtain.
Our Uncle Pindy, who is 87 and has lived in this area his entire life, refers to our building as Mathews Flats. (Most people around here call them 'Six-Families,' since they're three-story buildings with six apartments.)
Research revealed that our building was indeed constructed by G.X. Mathews, who built over 800 apartments in Brooklyn and Queens, according to a June 1, 1919, New York Times article. The Mathews Flats followed the principles of the 1901 Tenement House Act, which insisted that "every room must be light, airy, and sanitary." And our rooms still are--93 years later.