While most people would be willing to sacrifice a few luxuries in exchange for rooftop access, for Colleen Porter of Brooklyn, New York, it was hot water.
“I really love being able to see the skyline and hear the city,” says Porter, of her new pad in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. “As someone who grew up on a farm, it’s important for me to get some sort-of-fresh air.”
Porter spent months searching for an apartment that would have the perfect rooftop view. “Once I found it, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.” But when she realized the apartment did not have a working water heater, she knew she had to make a difficult choice.
“If I need hot water, I can boil a few gallons,” declares Porter, apparently unaware that National Grid shut off gas to the building months ago. “A long hot shower is not as important to me as being able to watch the sunset with a couple of brewskis and my best buds on my sick roof.”
Porter, who’s been living in the unit for just under a week, says she actually prefers living without the basic rental requirement. “Bathing in cold water just pumps up my adrenaline, making me even more excited to go sit on my roof and look out into the night,” she explains, while incorrectly baiting a rattrap. “It’s the Brooklyn lifestyle, y’know?”
“I told her it’s illegal, and these landlords are already involved in several lawsuits,” says Carole Knightly, a longtime New York City realtor. “But she just kept twirling around on that shitty roof.”
Porter recently made a Facebook event for a party called “Rooftop Hang.” The description advertises a party with “lots of roofage, tons of brews, loads of memories we’ll never forget.”
“I just know my roof parties are going to be awesome,” she says, waving to one of the building’s many squatters. “I just hope people don’t get too jealous of my roof life!”