NYT: On Apartment 3L

Over the years, the real intention of the NYT’s Real Estate section is to ‘normalize’ things like gay marriage (by profiling ‘apartment’ stories about, say, two gay men and the Chelsea apartment they’ve rehabbed.)

Today we have “An Upper West Side Share Where Roommates Are the Selling Point”, about the very tribal nature of Apartment 3L and their (apparently) brave foray (for a couple of years anyways) to allow a goyim into their mix:

Apartment lore has it that 3L started out as a share inhabited by Jewish men. But sometime during the past decade, the lease for the West 92nd Street rental transferred to a group of Jewish women who opted not to install walls — the customary way to cram four people into a two-bedroom.

Instead, they split the bedrooms as sisters might, with twin beds separated by a shared night stand — a tradition that has been passed down with the apartment itself, as roommates, who have been mostly modern-Orthodox Jews over the years, leave to marry or attend graduate school.

As a result, camaraderie is as much a part of the apartment as are the kosher kitchen and the Friday night Sabbath dinners, according to Anna Schon, 31, who moved in five and a half years ago — the longest tenure among the four current roommates.

The other two roommates are Hannah Rosen, 36, who moved in last year, and Temima Loeb, 25, who arrived in May. Ms. Loeb met Ms. Schon at a religious retreat in the Berkshires — they caught each other’s eye because they’re both a hair under 4-foot-11. “And now we share clothes!” exclaimed Ms. Schon.

“She shares all my clothes,” corrected Ms. Loeb, who is known in the apartment for her enviable Anthropologie wardrobe.

Short Jewish women, one with an enviable Anthropologie wardrobe? If this were written on VDARE, it would be called anti-Semitic by the ADL.

Now, for the skiksa:

The monthly rent is $3,820, which the women divide equally. They post room openings on Bang It Out, a Jewish website, and occasionally on housing websites for N.Y.U. and Columbia University, which is how they met their first non-Jewish roommate, Genevieve Curtis.

When Ms. Curtis responded to their ad, they told her that it probably wouldn’t be a good fit, as they keep a kosher kitchen (no ham sandwiches) and are Sabbath-observant (no laptop in the living room on Friday nights). She surprised them by being up for the challenge of the house rules, though it took her a while to get the hang of them.

A former roommate gave her two books on Jewish dietary laws, she said. “I also had the rabbi’s number and would call him from the grocery store and take photos of kosher symbols and text for approval.”

The skiksa only lasted a couple of years:

Ms. Curtis, who now lives in Florida, compared living in the apartment to her time in the Peace Corps in Mali.

“Even though you’re living in a culture that’s somewhat alien to you, you’re part of the family and part of a tradition,” she said over the phone. “I didn’t know when I moved in that it would become one of the best apartments I ever lived in. In the U.S., it’s considered shameful if you live with roommates, like you haven’t been successful. But it’s nice to come home to people. The two years that I lived there, I had academic difficulties, personal difficulties, health problems. It felt good to know that you weren’t by yourself.”

Hmm, why did the skiksa leave? One goyim woman living with 3 stereotypical members of the NYC Tribe… Can you say ‘high maintenance’? Let your imagination run wild:

Consensus is often reached by a house rule: Everyone has to feel comfortable. If one person strongly dislikes something, out it goes, as was the case with a whimsically painted, purely decorative French door that only three of them adored.

A pair of signs protesting “The Death of Klinghoffer,” an opera about a cruise ship seized by members of the Palestinian Liberation Front in 1985 — considered anti-Semitic by some for what they assert is a sympathetic portrayal of the hijackers — serve as a reminder that the apartment can accommodate weightier differences, too.

When the Metropolitan Opera staged the production in 2014, a former roommate protested daily against it. Meanwhile Ms. Schon, who was an understudy dancer in the production, had watched hundreds of performances, and did not consider it anti-Semitic.

After the opera’s run and protests ended, Ms. Schon had the signs framed. They now hang in the living room, with all four roommates’ approval.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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