Would You Rather?

Which would you prefer: A small, private outdoor space off your apartment or a big, communal roof deck?

By Lambeth Hochwald  | February 12, 2018 - 3:00PM

It may be frigid outside but it’s never too early to think about that most coveted of New York apartment amenities: outdoor space. But if given the choice, would you rather have your own small patch of open balcony, air or access to an oversized, communal roof deck? We asked five New Yorkers about their ideal.

Privacy is my priority

“I’d choose a small private space over a shared space any day! While a great roof deck can be epic, so can the amount of noise, trash, and insanity if you happen to get the type of neighbors I term ‘neigh-bros.’ I outgrew the frat bubble when I graduated college. I have no desire to pay a fortune for an amenity I can’t use or have to deep clean beforehand.”—Kryss Shane, Harlem (pictured)

Kryss Shane

My own no judgment zone

“Would I rather have a tiny private balcony or a shared roof deck in a building where I’m always considerably under-dressed and every building blocks direct sunlight? I’ll take a tiny private balcony for sure. At least I’ll be able to step outside and drink a cold one in my robe with no judgment.”—Kimberly Phan, Financial District 

Letting her herb garden go

“I’ve seen rental ads advertising ‘private balconies’ and they’re actually just ‘private’ fire escapes that are ‘great for growing vegetables.’ Um… I tried growing basil on my fire escape and birds ate it all within two hours. When I saw all of them destroying my hard work, I thought to myself, ‘I wonder if I’ve ever seen the same pigeon twice?’ I gave up my Pinterest-inspired gardening hobby and bought $5 basil at Whole Foods. That’s why I’d prefer a roof deck, especially since I’ve noticed that tenants don’t tend to even use them.”—Rebecca Millman, East Village

Rooftop views make for party vibes

“I love a good rooftop for the views and vibes and a good rooftop party. I have my entire apartment to myself. I can stand to share a larger outdoor space.”—Stephanie Sica, West Village

I'll take a sliver of peace

“As much as ample space is a rarity in New York City, it would be life-changing to have a small private terrace. It would be a relief to know that amidst the circus that New York can be, I’d have a secluded, (somewhat) quieter outdoor space to spend time.”—Deniz Sonmez, Upper West Side


The verdict: Roof parties are fun, but a small outdoor space is far preferable for a (slight) majority of these New Yorkers.



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