By Seth Fera-Schanes
The terms lot size, plot and acreage are not common vernacular in New York City. When looking to rent an apartment, one will most likely encounter NYC apartment terminology including junior one bedroom, 3 room apartment (and we don’t mean three bedrooms) and access to outdoor space. Outdoor space might very well mean the fire escape is outside your window, an unfinished roof where the fire alarm was turned off and some 10ft by 10ft concrete square behind a townhouse.
However, when living in New York, one starts to embrace these small spaces and come up with solutions that will brighten even the smallest of pre-war walk-ups.
Stroll down any street around the city and then look straight up at a fire escape. There is an 85% chance you will see a few potted plants resting on the stairs or platform. Herb gardens are the most common and if you want to start one you can always pick up a few plants at your local farmers market in late spring and early summer. If you need pots and soil, I would suggest heading over to the Kmart in Penn Station. They have a small gardening section and the prices are a tenth of what you would pay at your neighborhood all purpose store. Note you will have to drag a 20 pound bag of potting soil on the train but the cost savings are worth it (trust me, I have done this more than once.)
Aside from herbs, a succulent garden is a low maintenance, low space and all around fun option. There are so many varieties of succulents and you can literally cram them all in a small space and they seem to thrive. For around $3 a piece you can mix and match shapes and heights and come up with a really nice little garden. Also, tending to your New York City succulent garden is quite therapeutic and will let you take care of something that won’t expire if (i.e when) you don’t water for a few days. So get started on making and caring for your own garden to provide a little escape from the city that surrounds you.
Categories: New York City