‘He’s about to get squeezed a whole lot tighter.’
When folks from my former homeland, The Great American Midwest, visit me here in New York, they are apt to be amazed by how little space we New Yorkers inhabit.
“Where is the rest of it?” questioned one dearly-beloved sister-in-law, when visiting our apartment for the first time. “This is your kitchen?” exclaimed another equally-beloved SIL. (No, I am not being ironic; I do in fact love these two sis-in-laws, in spite of the fact that their homes are vastly more vast than mine.)
I find this interesting because, on a New Yorker scale, this apartment — where I am sitting right now at my sunlit desk cum china cabinet — is considered rather comfortably large. It’s what they call, in Real-Estate-Agent-ese, a “classic six”. That means it has six rooms: living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, and a “maid’s room”. Honest. These pre-war (that’s WWII, and yet another example of colorful NYC real estate lingo) apartment buildings were built when no home was complete without its maid.
Well, maid shmaid. What I really want to talk about today is the, well, going-backwards-ness of our personal space. As it pertains to living arrangements, that is.