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More Space, Same Address – The New York Times


With new apartments only an elevator ride away — or even just a walk down the hall — many tenants are finding they don’t need to hire movers. Instead, they are simply carrying their belongings to their new homes themselves.

Moving in any manner wasn’t something, Maria Liesen, 26, and Giacomo Novelli, 25, ever expected to be doing so soon. After all, they had only taken up residence in a one-bedroom apartment at 525 West 52nd, also in Hell’s Kitchen, in September.

Recent transplants from Chicago, they had still been exploring New York’s museums and cocktail bars when the coronavirus hit. Their place had felt plenty big when they had the whole city at their feet, but “the world got a lot smaller when we had to stay indoors,” said Mr. Novelli, who works at a trading firm.

At first, he set up two of his big trading monitors on a card table in the living room. Ms. Liesen, a tech program manager at Amazon, would go back and forth between the sofa and the bedroom floor with her laptop and phone. But Mr. Novelli has a booming voice that’s inescapable, said Ms. Liesen, even if she is in another room.

“I would hear: ‘Buy! Sell!’ ” she said.

Realizing the pandemic could go on for many months, they decided they needed a long-term solution that would provide more separation during the workday. Mr. Novelli called the building’s leasing agent and asked whether any two-bedroom units were available. At first there was only one. Then there were three. In the end the couple selected an apartment on a higher floor, with higher ceilings and an expansive south-facing view.

All that, and they pay only about $200 more per month, Mr. Novelli said, because he entered rent discussions with a firm price in mind.

“The supply and demand factors were in our favor,” he said.


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