A three-story brownstone apartment building in the gentrifying Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York, has been renovated top to bottom and reconfigured as a polyamorist living space. The 15-bedroom building features a rooftop gazebo and a hot tub, with rents ranging from $750 to $1,500, depending on square footage and amenities like having a private bathroom. Each floor of the building is its own separate apartment with communal living space in addition to the individually rented bedrooms.
The real estate agent representing the property, and founder of Open Love NY, Leon Feingold, is quick to point out that the building is not intended as a swinger free-for-all sex haven, rather as a home where polys can live without being unfairly judged by the non-polyamorous. Says Feingold: “Sometimes it’s hard for poly people to find housing where’s there’s no judgments, where people aren’t always asking them to keep the noise down, or ‘who are these people that are visiting you?’ and ‘why don’t you have a normal boyfriend like everyone else?’”
In the five months that the building has been on the market, it has already rented out half of the bedrooms, all through word of mouth and the interpersonal relationships of those involved. As word has gotten out, the response of the media has been predictable, with the New York Post calling the building a love shack and swinger haven, despite Feingold’s repeated assertions to the contrary.
Hoping to cement itself as a centerpiece of the community, the first floor of the building is being renovated as a communal space that will be used for community events, “Anything from workshops, to speakers, to parties, to bar mitzvahs, anything. It’s a really nice, big space down there when it’s done,” Feingold says. Former NYC mayor, Ed Koch once famously quipped, “New York is the city where the future comes to rehearse,” and in Bushwick, we might very well be seeing the future of polyamorous housing.
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