Habitats by Constance Rosenbloom

Image result for habitats by constance rosenblumCollected from the Real Estate section of the New York Times, these articles show you the elegant, or sometimes eccentric flair of the city’s apartment dwellers, and some private houses too. One of them is a white couple in Mott Haven, which is probably the last place you’d see an upper middle class couple in this city. The place is called the “Bertine Block” on East 136th, an area not known for elegance, despite the stately-looking buildings (the housing projects in the area didn’t help things.) They’d lived there since the 1920’s and never left, and as for the thugs in the streets, they left the family alone because they knew they lived there. But the stained glass windows were ruined by bullets.

As for the other articles, they’re not as interesting. One of the problems with the Real Estate section is that it’s all about apartments none of us can afford. Most of the city’s unmarried people live with roommates, and they don’t put much effort into decorating. If they do, then it mostly consists of painting the walls with eccentric designs and/or furnishing the place with dumpster-diving treasures. Then again, the New York Times Sunday section doesn’t market itself to people that have no money to spend, so the elegant fancy stuff is all we see.

Still, sometimes I’d rather see a section titled “getting along in a cramped pad.”

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