Stockholm and The City

Stockholm and The City

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Over on The Gutter, the new kings (and perhaps queens) of arch anonimity took a poke at the MoMA’s Chief Design Curator’s love for his <a href=low-ceiling studio apartment in one of the 60s era (could be wrong about the year) white brick buildings. You know the ones – they are very tall and very white. They have lots of terraces. The windows are impossibly close together from the exterior. Why? Because the apartments have 8′ ceilings. The curator, Terence Riley, insists that this is actually a feature, and claims it as his favorite thing. (Give back the pipe, Terence.):
Favorite design element in his apartment: I love low ceilings. I have eight-foot ceilings. I like the space that low ceilings make. High ceilings in small apartments make you feel like you are in the bottom of a Cuisinart, with a circular fan above you.

Riiiight. And everyone I know that was forced to move to Brooklyn is just SO MUCH happier there. Really, they wish they’d done it much sooner.

2005_03_THOR-thumb.jpgHaving recently been in a low-ceilinged place, I am hard pressed to find the virtues of the inevitable claustrophobia created by being able to reach up and touch the ceiling with your fingertips. Apartment Therapy hosted a cocktail hour at much-maligned THOR. Drinks were in the lobby bar, and save for the venue we had a really good time. The lobby bar had very low ceilings. Instead of feeling cozy, it felt cramped. Air circulation was bad. None of it was helped by the fact that we were unexpectedly sharing the space with an obnoxious group of people who’d clearly planned to “come to the city” and celebrate someone’s birthday. Bad fashion, braying laughs, too much cologne, all in very very close proximity.

Miss and I enjoyed the frosted glass floor out-cropping right by the window – it was the only place that felt a little roomy. But I could only deal with standing there for so long, looking out over Rivington Street, at the shuttered gate of Rivington Arms and the charmingly un-designed awning of Economy Candy. Standing at the window, slightly above the street behind a pane of pristine glass, angled just so, made me feel like an interloper on a street that’s been part of my life since my High School days.

But back to the low ceilings: I am completely perplexed by the logic of desigining 8′ ceilings for a public space in a hotel. It’s new construction! They’ve been working on it forever (and ever). The mind boggles. Unlike our friend Terence from MoMA I don’t think I’ll ever learn to love low-ceilinged living. My apartment has many shortcomings, but almost all of them are infinitely more tolerable because of its 11′ ceilings.