When I first moved to New York I came across the golden unicorn of Brooklyn apartments: a former warehouse in the center of Brooklyn with impossibly cheap rent. It had four bedrooms and a communal space that was larger than most two-bedroom apartments. The apartment was home to countless events, from poetry readings to one-off plays, rock concerts to book release parties. But what made it special was the parade of artists, writers, musicians, entrepreneurs, and scholars who moved in and out over the years.
Aside from leaving behind a trove of eclectic books and furniture, each resident added his or her social connections to the apartment, creating something like an informal, slow-motion networking event. Living there or knowing someone who did was like a friendship cheat code. If you weren’t a jerk and had a modicum of ambition and talent, you could immediately develop a base of creative friends and collaborators that would have otherwise taken years to build.
Sadly, the apartment is no more — tripled rents and greedy landlords, blah blah blah. But despite rampant gentrification and condos sprouting up all over Brooklyn, the dream of a creative utopia is still out there.
Enter here&now, a new co-living project coming to life in Bushwick. Before you roll your eyes and tweet shade, hear us out. This isn’t the stereotypical one hundred people paying 60% of their income for a glorified army barracks. here&now has created something approaching the platonic ideal of creative co-living.
Other co-living companies lease their buildings, so they have to jack up the rent and squeeze as many people into as little space as possible just to break even. There’s little money left over for good stuff like decent fixtures or common areas that don’t feel, well, common. The folks behind here&now can keep their community small because they own their building. Just 18 people live in their pilot property — all in their own private, furnished rooms. And they share sweet amenities like a roof deck, cold brew coffee on tap, shared bicycles, and much more.
But what makes or breaks a co-living space isn’t the quality of the bed sets or provenance of the coffee; it’s the residents! That’s why here&now is cultivating young creative types, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, social activists, and freelancers allsorts — the kind of people who grind it out on projects they love rather than submit to the daily grind.
And you won’t just be awkwardly nodding to each other in the hallways. here&now puts together events to cement these bonds, like a weekly Sunday dinner where residents and their guests can swing by and enjoy a bite to eat with new friends. Most families now don’t even do this, let alone co-living spaces!
Life in this urban paradise starts at just $1400 per month — less than most studio apartments. That includes rent, utilities, wifi, housing supplies, cleaning, coworking spaces and a lot more, all just a five-minute walk from the J and Z trains in Bushwick.
Get this: the minimum commitment is just four months, giving you the flexibility to move on to wherever your path takes you. This also keeps here&now from becoming a rotating door hostel, so you’ll be plugged into a stable community of people who get it done and have fun doing it.