Living Small: A Tiny Manhattan Apartment Becomes a Home

Living Small: A Tiny Manhattan Apartment Becomes a Home

People living in New York City are forced to make the most of small spaces, but it is unlikely that many have done it as gracefully and inexpensively as Mark Robohm, a drummer and Web designer. The tiny home, which doubles as an office for Mr. Robohm, is actually a small studio apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood, measuring just 400 square feet.

Mr. Robohm did the gut renovation largely by himself for less than $12,000. He built an entertainment unit with the drop-down slot for the television over a long weekend for $150. He installed the translucent window in the wall between the bathroom and the living room, which brings natural light into the bathroom during the day and creates a soft glow in the living room at night. He spent about $1,800 on the kitchen, plus $1,000 for a new stove a fact that could make a person who has paid a more typical Manhattan fee to remodel a kitchen (say, $30,000 and more) want to open the window of this little second-story Chelsea walk-up co-op apartment and jump. Perhaps just as impressive, Mr. Robohm lived in the space for the year and a half it took to do the work, a cost-saving move that required him to vacuum the bed before he could go to sleep.

Mr. Robohm received a degree in environmental science from the University of Vermont and has been doing household repairs ever since his parents bought an 1840s Vermont farmhouse when he was a child. Several years ago, he moved to Manhattan, where he rented a sixth-floor walk-up studio on West 22nd Street for about $1,300 a month. He often went to open houses for fun, with no intention of buying. Mr. Robohm doubted that he could really afford to buy any kind of living space in Manhattan. However, one winter day in 2002, when the New York real estate market was suffering fom the effects of Sept. 11, he saw this small studio apartment on West 21st Street.

The entrance was uninspiring: there was a wall four feet from the front door that supported a loft bed and blocked out much of the natural lighting. The ceiling over the entrance and kitchen area was only eight feet high, creating a claustrophobic feeling. The nonworking fireplace occupied the prettiest spot in the studio, by the tall windows that faced the street. But the price ($220,000) was right by Manhattan standards. Mr. Robohm realized that buying the apartment made much more sense than making improvements to his rental unit and then leaving them to the landlord. He took possession of the apartment in the following early Spring, had a party that evening and by 8 the next morning had begun gutting the apartment.

Living Small: A Tiny Apartment Becomes a Home

Joyce Wadler has written a detailed article about Mr. Robohm’s renovation in The New York Times. Interested readers can access the entire article here.

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My Articles for Friday, June 15, 2007

Reade Seligmann testified how he was sure that the DNA tests would clear his name. He broke into tears during his testimony, while he described finding out that he had been indicted and thinking about how he was going to manage breaking that terrible news to his mother. Immediately following the conclusion of Seligmann’s testimony, Nifong voluntarily resigned as the Durham County Prosecutor.

The full video is included.

[tags: Duke Lacrosse players, Duke rape case, Reade Seligmann, Nifong, Nifong ethics trial, Nifong resigns, video]

“Mike Gravel for President: Or Maybe Just Take a Fireside Nap….”

Humorous presidential campaign ad for Mike Gravel. Video is included. Nice for fireside chats, or maybe naps!!

[tags: blogs, Mike Gravel, presidential campaign ads, television, humor, video]

“Steven Colbert: On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

“The only thing worse than an al Qaeda attack would be a gay man stopping that,” quipped discharged gay military linguist Stephen Benjamin to Steven Colbert. And that pretty much sums up the core of the stupendously ignorant Republican position on gay people, as stated in the official military personnel policy regarding the Iraq war on terror.

Photographs and Comedy Central video included.

[tags: Steven Colbert, gay, gay pride, military policy, television, video]

“Michael Moore’s “Sicko:”

Michael Moore does it again!! His new documentary motion picture “Sicko” was the smash hit of The 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Photographs and video are included.

[tags: celebrities, news, celebrity news, Michael Moore, Sicko, movies, video, photography]

Paul Potts, the mobil-phone salesman from South Wales, once again roused the audience members and stunned judges of the talent show “Britain’s Got Talent “with his rendition of another opera classic.

Later, it was announced that he is the winner of this round, moving on to become a finalist in the competition that is searching for an act that will perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance. In addition, the winner will receive a prize of $250,000. That’s a lot of cell-phones!!

Photographs and two videos are included. Enjoy this!!

[tags: Paul Potts, Simon Cowell, celebrities, music, music video, video, YouTube]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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Mike Gravel for President: Or Maybe Just Take a Fireside Nap….

Steven Colbert: On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Steven Colbert: You’re on Notice!

(Click Image for Video)

The only thing worse than an al Qaeda attack would be a gay man stopping that,” quipped discharged gay military linguist Stephen Benjamin to Steven Colbert.  And that pretty much sums up the core of the stupendously ignorant Republican position on gay people, as stated in the official military personnel policy regarding the Iraq war on terror.

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“Sicko” from Michael Moore

Michael Moore’s Sicko: The 2007 Cannes Film Festival Smash Hit!

Michael Moore’s “Sicko”

(Click Image for Video)

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My Articles for Thursday, June 14, 2007

“Goths: Taking the Human Condition for Granted.”

A discussion of a goth persective on living. A music video by London at Night is included.

[tags: goth, goths, music, music video, dailymotion, social, cultural]

“Virginia Tech Killings Report Issued: But Why are President Bush and His Aides Smiling about It?”

President Bush receives a copy of the Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy, on Wednesday, June 13, 2007, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. From left in the picture are, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, the President, and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.

Again, but why are they all smiling? Gross. Very, very gross.

[tags: Virginia Tech killings, Virginia Tech shootings, student killings, President Bush, Virginia Tech Report, Cho, Sueng Lui Cho]

“Victory in Massachusetts!”

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Boston Globe reports this morning that a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which has been advanced by social conservatives, was soundly defeated today by a joint session of the Massachusetts Legislature. The vote was vote 45 to 151, eliminating any chance of getting it on the ballot in November 2008.

[tags: gay, gay rights, gay pride, GLBT, rights, freedom, Massachusetts]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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Goth: Taking the Human Condition for Granted

Gas Town Goth

Mikita Barthman wrote in today’s edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education:

“Although they may look scary, goths tend to be unusually tolerant and peace loving.  It’s a truism that, despite their fringe status, rejection of social norms, and interest in death, most of those who dress in goth styles tend to be shy and withdrawn, though not necessarily depressed.  Anyone can be a goth; you don’t need to run in a pack (goths are traditionally loners).  And, as teenage subcultures go, it’s unusually quiet and friendly.  Goths are generally hygienic; their piercings are clean and discreet; they don’t stick dirty safety pins through their noses or ride around on motorbikes spitting and swearing.

Goth’s consistent popularity does not mean, as some curmudgeons assume, that young people today are becoming increasingly nihilistic and alienated.  Anyone who feels that way doesn’t understand the essence of goth, which is really all about self-acceptance, self-expression, and creativity.  Taking for granted the misery of the human condition, goth turns depression into an aesthetic, a semi-ironic pose — a perfect style for the awkward and self-conscious.  Pale makeup, for both sexes, perfectly conceals bad complexions; goth clothing tends to cover, rather than display.  And although its dark style was originally taken up as a backlash to the colorful disco music of the 70s, it may, in the end, be goth’s most successful feature.  After all, who doesn’t look good in black?”

London after Midnight: Kiss

Some might experience this as somewhat “jolting.”  It’s, as I myself don’t really like to put it, an intriguing perspective, and certainly deserves further thought and commentary.  So, for the time being please consider this a draft posting, which will receive further elaboration later.  Accordingly, at this point the piece is not being publicized.

However, for now, interested readers will find the entire version of Mikita Barthman’s essay at The Chronicle for Higher Education.

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