Monday, April 11, 2011

The Evolution of the New York Apartment Kitchen

From Justin Davidson's "Sardine Life: what a century and a half of piled-up housing reveals about us." New York Magazine, April 11, 2011, page 34:

"Soho filled up quickly, and the idea of the loft spread, reinterpreted as a marketable token of the unconventional life, promising to lift the curse of the bourgeoisie through the powers of renovation.  Realtors began pointing out partition walls that could easily be torn out.  Lawyers, dentists, and academics eliminated hallways and dining rooms, folding them into unified, flowing spaces.  Happily for those with mixed feelings about the counterculture, loftlike expansiveness overlapped with the open-plan aesthetic of new suburban houses.  Whether in imitation of Soho or Scarsdale, the apartment kitchen migrated from the servants' area to the center of the household, shed its confining walls, and put on display its arsenal of appliances and the rituals of food preparation (not to mention the pileup of dirty crockery).  Cooking became a social performance, one that in practice many apartment dwellers routinely skipped* in favor of ordering in, going out, or defrosting a package -- but at least the theater stood ready."

*Not the UrbanFoodGuy.  Order in?  What's that?
These are both pictures of my kitchen from a few years back when it was brand new and not lived in.  It's much more lived in now!

1 comment:

Kurt Brown said...

Wow! Back before the dishwasher was fully installed :)

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