I don’t remember exactly what it was that I was researching on the web (it’s really hard to tell), but somehow I stumbled upon this article and was totally intrigued. All this time I’d lived in New York and never knew such a place existed. The Webster is a women’s only housing facility smack dab in the middle of the city. Residents at The Webster have their own furnished room with a shared bathroom, get a warm breakfast and dinner daily, have access to an insane garden as well as roofdeck, and can use any of the common areas (including library, TV room, recreation room with piano) all for under $1000 a month! For those of you not familiar with NY housing costs, $1500 is the typical entry point for a studio apartment (that I can assure will not have a roofdeck or garden).
There are some stipulations, however. No male visitors are permitted in bedrooms and elevators and are confined strictly to the downstairs recreation areas. To be a “guest” in The Webster, ladies must be either be students working fifteen hours per week or be working full time. You can find out how to apply right here (they don’t use email!).
I know my parents would have sent my application in for me if they had known this place was an option. Not only because my father will believe I am a virgin until I pop out my first born (and even then will probably believe it to be immaculate conception), but also because it is a serious piece of mind. My parents helped dole out the extra cash so I could live in a doorman building during my first summer in New York City. Knowing that they could check in on me with the help of my doormen put them at ease when they (heaven forbid) could not reach me on my cell phone.
Webster isn’t the only type of facility like this in the city. There are a few others scattered throughout Manhattan and one of the most famous, Barbizon Hotel, was featured (though called something different) in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Sylvia, Grace Kelly, Liza Minnelli, and Joan Crawford all actually lived there in real life!
It sounds totally retro, but also kind of awesome at the same time. I can’t help but think how different my life might have been if I had lived in an apartment complex like this.
So, girls’ night?