New Yorkers who live above where they work

The Blue Man group and the Astor Place Theater (Getty, Google Maps)

The Blue Man group and the Astor Place Theater (Getty, Google Maps)

Say one thing: the journey is easier.

A new generation of New Yorkers is embracing the once common practice of living above the business they also own, the New York Times reported.

“For centuries, in rural and urban settings it was common around the world for people to live and work in the same place”, Howard Davis, professor at the University of Oregon and author of the book “Living Over the Store: Architecture and urban life local,” he told the Times.

The Industrial Revolution led to a major change in which people separated where they worked from where they lived as a way to show their financial and social status.

Those who lived above where they normally worked were immigrants in urban settings, such as Manhattan and Brooklyn, who could not afford to live elsewhere.
But even shop owners in the 1950s began living elsewhere and commuting back to the city to run their businesses, the Times reported.

The trend, however, has reversed, at least somewhat, with owners and co-owners of a bar, a restaurant, bakeries, a bookstore, a café and nightclub, and a theater, among other things, choosing to live above where they work. .

“People only want to escape when they have a work life that they don’t enjoy,” Daniel Nardicio, who lives above his cafeteria in the city, told the Times.

Paul Longo, co-owner of a bar in Queens, chose to live above his establishment because he believed that the owner would find it difficult to rent the apartment due to the long work hours and bustle.

The Fables own the five-story Hell’s Kitchen building, which serves as their home and also houses the Poseidon Greek Bakery, which the family founded in 1923.

One of Blue Man Group’s founding members, Chris Wink, owns and lives above the Astor Place Theatre, the off-Broadway venue where the company has operated since the early 1990s.

Wink, who owns a duplex in the building, left the group in 2017 and created a house of psychedelic art and fun called Wink World. His apartment, the Times reported, serves as a creative laboratory for the company.

While most people said they preferred living over business, Wink said he wouldn’t mind a change of pace.

“It warms my heart to see a line of people on the street who are excited to see Blue Man Group, but I am increasingly able to see it as an outsider,” Wink told the Times. “I think I would like to live somewhere else.”

—Ted Glanzer

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