Vacation rentals as a gateway drug

Once upon a time, cities were vibrant places to learn, work, play, and meet Tinder dates.

Then came COVID. The rents many were paying to live in a top tier city suddenly seemed a lot more expensive. People are giving up their apartments en masse: in New York City, there are 85% more properties available to rent this year than there were this time last year.

And of course, if you’re in San Francisco and looking at this outside your window, you might be thinking of getting out.

photo by Jessica Christian of the SF Chronicle

Some have moved in with parents or returned to hometowns. But others…

Friendly advice from the daughter of an accountant

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One of the great allures of coliving is the idea of getting more for your money. If you budget $2000/month to live in a one bedroom in Manhattan, you can expect a shoebox sized apartment somewhere the sun doesn’t shine. But team up with nine other people and start looking at $20,000/month apartments? You can live in a doorman building in SoHo with that ultimate New York luxury: a dishwasher in your very own apartment.

Here’s the catch. You have to find nine other people with the…

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This is part of an ongoing series of deep dives on coliving spaces. To see others, visit the Supernuclear directory.

Founded: 2015
Location: Manhattan, New York
Rented or bought: Rented — one master tenant (me, Gillian) manages subleases
Physical space: 5br, 2.5 bath 3000 sq ft brownstone over two floors with a big living room and dining room
Governance: Consensus if possible, with Gillian having the deciding vote


Gramercy House was started by Melissa, Michael, and me, Gillian, New Yorkers who shared a common sentiment:

By Phil Levin and me

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Our guide to coliving is divided into “The Hard Stuff” and “The Soft Stuff.” The Hard Stuff will appeal to the left side of your brain: Legal and financial structures, finding property etc. The Soft Stuff will tickle the right side of your brain: Managing conflict, decision-making, etc.

We solemnly vow to leave no side of your brain untickled.

We’re also including a series of case studies to help you understand how individual communities run.

= On the newsstand: Articles we’ve written =

Opening remarks from the editors

The Hard Stuff

The Soft Stuff

Why I live with more than my immediate family, and why you might want to too

***We’ve moved this blog to Substack! Find future posts at***

Earlier this year, thanks to COVID-19, I had an apartment to myself for the first time in a decade.

Waking up without roommates or a boyfriend nearby was amazing. There were zero demands on my personal time. I could leave dishes in the sink without guilt. I could watch the entire Tiger King series in 24 hours while relishing a pint of ice cream.

I felt a deep calm. I started sleeping 11 or 12 hours a day.

After two weeks, I’d done no work and my apartment was…

For the last four years, I’ve been gradually whittling away at my possessions to the point I carry almost everything I need at all times. I can walk out of the door of wherever I’m living with just my purse and no idea when I’ll be back.

I’m hardly the only digital nomad living out of a backpack. In fact, there’s an entire subreddit dedicated to the art of this particular kind of travel. But I haven’t met many ‘onebag’ers who are also

  1. Trying to look formal/put together enough for business meetings as opposed to extended leisure/adventure travel
  2. Women

So here’s my VERY detailed breakdown of everything I need for extended travel — or to keep looking put together every day.

This isn’t just for travelers. Living with less can be good for the environment and good for your mental health. In my case, it’s helped me…

I helped set up a commune in New York City in 2015, and have stayed in three others for periods of time in San Francisco. I’ve been so happy with the lifestyle that I’d like to live in a commune for the rest of my life. (This feels like a bold pronouncement to type. Yet plenty of people make life commitments, like marriage, at my age, so I might as well make a lifestyle commitment).

By pooling resources and sharing chores, I save thousands of hours and dollars a year. But the practical benefits are only a small part of the story. I’ve met friends, business and romantic partners through the commune network, and feel like my life is immeasurably richer for having shared it with a larger community. And in a world where we’re going to continue to have more people and finite resources, we could all afford to get better at sharing.

If you’re curious about whether commune life might be a fit for you, I’ve compiled a list of answers to FAQs…

Editorial Note: Gillian Morris has been selected as the moderator guiding the “Discovery Roundtable” at the Travel Disruption Summit, a one-day symposium bringing together thought leaders in the travel industry to New York City on May 23rd. During the event, participants will discuss the opportunities for innovation at each phase of a traveler’s experience, including the early stages of when they first are discovering their destination.

Hitlist inspires and enables you to travel more by sending smart, proactive alerts for when to book trips you want to take.

Why is this important? Because today’s flight search engines are excellent if…

In January 2016, I woke up after a holiday celebration with the kind of hangover that makes a person want to tear her brain from her skull and inject a Gatorade-coffee mix in its place. Browsing Facebook was all my feeble mind could handle. My friend David Spinks had posted his intent to take the month off drinking. I was so on board.

Then I got to thinking: what other changes could I make to improve my health? As a startup founder, I’m always looking for ways to become more effective at life and work. I’d never managed to keep…

When President Trump announced the US will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestinian leaders called for a ‘Day of Rage’ in protest. Here’s what it was like on the ground.

Most of the international community considers bustling, cosmopolitan Tel Aviv to be the capital of Israel. But last Wednesday, President Trump announced his intention to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the religious and historical home of Judaism.

Palestinians leaders reacted with outrage, with the leader of Hamas calling for a ‘new intifada’ against Israel’s government. Muslims across the world worried they could lose access to Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam. A few Palestinian people lit Israeli and American flags on fire, threw stones at Israeli soldiers, and staged protests as part of a…

Gillian Morris

Nomad, nerd, travel evangelist. Founder @Hitlist_app.

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