life in a tiny apartment.

July 3, 2013
bbq (1)

Tip #70: Picnic dinners.


We live in a very small apartment in large part because we live in a very beautiful neighborhood. Last week, when my sister Devan was visiting from Asheville, we took her for a stroll through our neighborhood and down to the river. It doesn’t matter if I instagram the view, or in a yet-to-happen fit of motivation drag my tripod to the river’s edge and snap actual photographs, it’s hard to convey the magic of looking over the New York on a sunny day until you actually see it for yourself. Bringing sisters along who are unabashed about showing their sense of wonderment helps drive the point home.

We get a fair amount of questioning from people who wonder why we pay so much to live in such a tiny space. Without hashing out the particulars, I will begin by saying that we would be hard-pressed to find a more affordable apartment anywhere in Brooklyn, regardless of the size. Rent in New York is preposterously high, and so you have to make choices. For us and for right now, we’d rather pay the same amount for a tiny apartment in our neighborhood than a slightly larger apartment in a different place that would mean longer commutes and fewer dinners by the river.

In an effort to fully embrace this choice, this summer we’re working hard on developing a routine that gets us out to dinner more often. And I don’t mean to restaurants. Working out a little system for keeping our picnic basket packed means that picnicking actually happens. So far so good, and it’s just barely July.

Tiny Apartment Survival Tips 1-69, right here.
A few tips on enjoying barbecue in a public park, right here.

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  • Reply jacquelyn | lark&linen July 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I just love these tips – I look forward to them every week!

  • Reply Lauren Ashley July 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I totally know what you mean, it's similar in SF too. Rent is high, places are small, but I'm so head over heels in love with this city, it doesn't matter. I'm happy just to be here.

  • Reply ChinkyGirLMeL July 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Ooh looks like you made the right choice with that apartment!

  • Reply xoxohannah July 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    While I know I could never live in NYC (I'm dying living in the busy DC burbs…) I can totally relate to this tip. We relocated up here for work and found a great sized home for a good price range but the commute was TWO HOURS each way!! Needless to say now we live in an apartment less than half the size for way too much money but the benefits still outweigh the cost. This place has allowed us to get a dog, cut down commutes significantly and even help us reduce our lifestyle to levels we couldn't before.

    Even though our place isn't as small as yours, I always love reading your tips because they still help us over 300 square feet-ers too 🙂


  • Reply janeray1940 July 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Similar situation with my 250sf place in Santa Monica, CA as well. Years ago when I was apartment hunting, someone gave me the following advice: "Find the best neighborhood you can afford, even if it means taking the tiniest, crappiest apartment." The advice was sound – while my place is the former, it's definitely not the latter 🙂

  • Reply thenerdykatie July 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Can't put a price on living a dream!

  • Reply Elise July 3, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I don't know if it's just me… but people are way too nosy these days. I am in a similar place- we have a really small apartment and live in an area where rent is super high. People always ask how we live in the place we do and I always just tell them it's because we want to. They always seem uncomfortable with us living in a small apartment… Ok, end rant.

  • Reply July 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I lived in a really tiny apartment when I was in college, but I adored it. It was one room with a pull-out of the wall bed and It was just the perfect space for me.

    This is great advice for anyone in a big house, small apartment or even a mansion. I need to pack my basket and be prepared. : ) Thanks!

  • Reply kelly summers July 5, 2013 at 3:18 am

    it's funny how other people have so much to say about our living choices. my husband and i are very intentionally choose to build a tiny home, aiming to ditch much of our stuff and live simpler, more meaningful lives. the percentage of friends and family that have been outright supportive or positive is abysmally small. but what's right for us won't be right for everyone. same with you. thanks for sharing 🙂

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