Would You Live In A Women-Only Apartment Building?
An article in the New York Times this week about women-only apartment buildings in New York City brought back memories of my first college dorm way back in the mid-’90s. It was the only remaining all-girls dorm on campus and I was in the last class of freshmen to live there before it became co-ed. I didn’t choose the dorm and I wasn’t happy when I was assigned to it; I remember feeling especially frustrated that I’d finally escaped the clutches of my over-protective mother only to be stuck in a place where I had to sign-in every male guest, escort them in the halls and elevators, and make sure they left the building before 11 p.m. Lame! Of course, back then basically the only guys who were interested in hanging out with me were my plethora of gays who liked to watch “Ricki Lake” on my tiny 13-inch TV and gossip about our mutual friends. What can I say? I was a hag at a young age. I doubt it was any coincidence that the next year, when I moved into a co-ed dorm, I finally branched out and actually started dating straight guys who liked making out with me instead of just counseling me on how to wear my hair. All this is to say I couldn’t imagine living in an apartment as a grown woman where the same rules that I had to abide by when I was 18 applied. But abide by strict rules is exactly what the women of Webster Apartments in New York City do. They are forbidden to have male guests in their small dorm-like rooms (there are small, public “beau parlors” on each floor where male guests are welcome to sit with the resident(s) they’re visiting). In exchange, the residents, most of whom are in their early 20s, get “a small single room and shared bath but also a hot breakfast and dinner, maid service, use of a large walled garden and a roof deck with a spectacular view of the Empire State Building” for about $1,000, which is dirt cheap by Manhattan standards. For many newbies to the city, Webster Apartments also provide a safe place to jump-start their new lives and create an immediate social circle/support system. So, what do you think, readers? Would you live in a place where you couldn’t have male guests in your room if it meant cheap rent, two warm meals a day, maid service and an awesome view? I mentioned the shared bath part, right? [via NY Times]