When I moved into my one-bedroom, 700-square-foot apartment in Hell's Kitchen with my cousin three years ago, my favorite part was the gorgeous view.
Because of our 43rd Street and Eleventh Avenue location, and being on the 43rd floor facing south, I could see the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and everything south of 42nd Street to the Financial District. I could even see New Jersey and on a clear day.
I ended up marrying my girlfriend and kicking my cousin out so that my wife could move in. We tore down the wall my roommate and I had built to convert it to a two-bedroom.
Now that I'm older, the things I value most are the services in the building: dry cleaning, doormen, gym, movie theater, lounge, meeting room, sauna, etc.
The thing I do not like is how we've become so spoiled by the view that the thought of leaving is daunting. But the cost of our rent, which is now $2,920, is something we dread. It has prevented us from doing other things, so we feel like we have to spend a lot of time at home in order to get our money's worth.
Then & Now explores how time illuminates the pros and cons of an apartment--and how what draws people to a place isn't necessarily what keeps them there.