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"In the spring, a New Yorker's fancy turns to light thoughts of outdoor space," as Tennyson (almost) said. Sure, for many it's a mere fantasy, but we asked five city dwellers: Would you rather have a backyard or a terrace that's off the ground?
- Nature? No, thanks. Terrace, for sure. Are you kidding? The joys of outdoors minus the hassle of maintaining grass and shrubs? Plus, I know from experience just how mosquito infested backyards are. And I have really bad allergies. - Julie, Harlem
- Roof with a view As long as I can have people over and barbecue, I don’t really care! But I love the idea of a high terrace--rooftop!--with a view of the city! Plus I could always plant herbs and lemon trees or something, if I want it a little green. In fact, I can imagine I’d get more sunlight on a terrace anyway. Aren’t backyards in the city always walled in by townhouses? -Christy, Upper West Side
- As good as it gets A rooftop terrace is my dream! I have friends who invite us for a Fourth of July party every year, and it’s amazing. You can see the fireworks reflecting off the windows of the buildings closer to the water. The ultimate city experience. Plus, I really love a city view! - Anne, Upper West Side
- Space for flora and Fido I love to garden. So as long as I got enough light to do that in the backyard, I’d love to have even just a small expanse of green as part of my home. And I could reclaim my dog, who is living with my parents, without feeling guilty! I’d take him for his walks, of course, but a yard would give him just that bit more freedom. When I think about him, it makes me realize how confining city life can be sometimes! - Meghan, Brooklyn
- A smoker’s paradise I’d take a tiny terrace over a whole backyard. Just a little perch outside the apartment would be perfect for me. I’d love to be like a bird, observing things from above, even if it’s just down at my neighbors' backyards down below! And also, well, I smoke, occasionally, so… yeah, a terrace would be great. -Brent, Harlem
- To see, but not be seen If I wanted a backyard, I’d move into a house. A terrace with a view, any kind of view, even if it’s just other rooftops, or people’s third-floor apartments or something, would be cool. The backyards in the city that I can see are all overlooked by other houses. There’s no space in the city for any privacy when you’re down on the ground. You’re like fish in a barrel. - Terrence, Lower East Side
Winner: Terrace, in a landslide!
Verdict: Terrace: 4; Backyard: 1
**Offer your own thoughts in the comments section below. We'd love to hear them!