A Room For 3 – DIY in Manhattan

Manhatten for a minute… 6 weeks of minutes in 2013. How DO you make it work, on a limited budget, for a limited time, with (incredibly) limited space?

1. Find a generous sister (or other such apartment-dwelling friend). Make sure you all REALLY like each other.

2. Bring a saw, a drill, and screws with you in your backpack on the MegaBus from Philly to NYC. (Don’t tell anyone you’re doing this.)

3. Buy 9 2x4s from Home Depot. Forgo the delivery option and choose to carry these home… 20 blocks… with your special person and your interminable will.

4. Get 3 blocks. Put the oh-my-god-why-are-these-SO-unnaturally-heavy logs down on a trash can. Contemplate your (quickly evaporating) options.

5. Discover 4 beautiful, brightly colored Loft Fairies flitting about the Upper East Side. What is a Loft Fairy, you ask. A Loft Fairy is an incredibly generous personfairyperson who, for some unknown reason, is wandering around right next to you and asks you if you want help. You respond by wiping the sweat from your brow and saying, “Well. Kind of. But we are going 20 blocks.” If you have found a true Loft Fairy, she will respond by saying, “Oh, we don’t mind. We’ll help you carry your lumber. It’s no trouble at all.” Stare blankly. Watch 4 Loft Fairies flit over to your 9 2x4s and pick them up.

6. Join the Loft Fairies! By all means! And quickly! We have 20 blocks to go and this lumber isn’t getting any lighter!

7. After three flights of stairs, deposit the lumber in your kitchen. Go to sleep.

8. For the next round of lumber, you can gather from a few options: (a) Home Depot for another hellish trip (b) street treasure lumber along the way (c) continual (and readily renewable) lumber supply on the street right by your apartment. Collect, variously, from all three until you have amassed the necessary supplies.

9. At this point, it gets technical and boring. But, more or less, make sure you have some of the following: a bench from Pottery Barn (via street treasure find) that weighs much more than it should and is found way too many blocks from your house for it to be practical to carry, someone who can saw through 2x4s with a tree saw, a Davy, common sense, and the determination to do it again when you get it all wrong.

Fine points to consider from #9:

Do I carry home the way-too-heavy bench? YES. Always carry home the bench. It is and will forever be invaluable.

Why don’t I just use a saw meant for lumber? I don’t know. You just don’t.

What is “a Davy”? A Davy is a delightful creature, much like a Loft Fairy (but less colorful). He usually arrives from New Jersey via car. He brings with him a much-needed air mattress and good advice during construction. He can be thanked with vegetables (that he won’t eat, but should) and special lollipops.

What if I don’t have common sense? Eh, it’s fine. You’ll be fine. It’s always fine.

What if I don’t have the determination to do it again when I get it all wrong? This is the ONE thing you must have. You will NOT get it all right the first time.

For steps 10-THE END refer to the pictures below. Fill in the gaps with your imagination.



  1. Jane Lapointe

    The one in the stripes is MY loft faerie and I am so proud of her!

  2. You raised her well! I’ll never forget that night. It’s such a wonderful story to tell. 🙂 Thanks for reading my post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: