SpaceCategory: General   Apr 11th 2011  02:49PM   0

I was recently at David Barton's Gym at Astor Place. It was like working out in a swanky nightclub. All that was missing was the martini bar. I remember when it was the quaint Barnes and Noble years back, where it looked like a New Hampshire bookshop. The change reminded me of how amazing it is that we are the only animals capable of transforming our environments at will. A spider will never make the same web but that is only because it is adapting to it's changing environment. Human beings have the gift of being able to make a space look however they desire it to look, to the point where the space can have absolutely no relation to it's past.  We are use to this in New York City.  The corner dress shop morphs into the new corner deli. A broken down factory is transformed into a luxury loft complex. 

One of my favorite apartments was my buddy's place in Colorado.  It was an old school house. His apartment still had an original chalkboard and the school bell was still in tact. There was something perpetually charming about the building. I am fascinated by the thought process that goes into redesigning a place -whether to keep a nod to the past or not. Some people want to enhance or preserve the past while others prefer to erase it. Millions of dollars are spent to do both. One person's eye sore is another person's found treasure.  No matter what the debates are about which is the right way, it's all a testament our extraordinary creativity.

We are conscious re-creators - we can't help it. It's what we do. A person cannot move into a place without adding their personal touch. If they don't, it's often taken as sign that something's wrong. We worry about a person who looks like they don't live in a place - who haven't made it their own - even if it's just changing the curtains and coffee table.  Home decorating reality shows get millions of viewers. We are perpetually fascinated with how to transform space. And perhaps home feels like home not only because it is familiar but because it is also our own private playground that we have the freedom to completely transform whenever we desire.

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