Pod Living

Look what we had delivered last week.

The last time I saw this storage pod was back in November 2010 — as we prepared to shred the basement beyond the limits of a tolerable home renovation period. {“Whatever happened to that basement reno that you wouldn’t shut up about,” you ask?  The big reveal is coming soon.}

Anyway, the storage pod — it’s baaaack.  And it was a little like a game show:  Guess What’s in the Pod!  Or Fordeville:  The Early Years.  OK, maybe more like Hoarders: Storage Pod Edition.

Well, I’m knee-deep in sorting through its contents.  And — lucky you! — you’ll get to see some of the gems that I am not too ashamed to share.  Soon.  Because, when you grow up in New Jersey in the 80s…well, let’s just say that the photos and artifacts are highly entertaining. At my expense, of course.

But in the meantime, some deep thoughts.  Namely, it struck me that the storage pod is a viable alternative for a first apartment.  Yes, really.

If you recall, a few months back, I was on a similar tear.  I shared my total resentment of observations about the Pottery Barn Kids Cottage Loft Bed being both larger and nicer than my first Manhattan apartment.  It’s obvious that the PBK execs followed my every word, latched onto my ideas, and immediately called an Emergency Bed Sales Strategy Meeting to keep the trend going.  Because in the last PBK edition, I noticed that the urban male dweller was not to be overlooked.  Behold, fine hipster twenty somethings with low income and steep city rental tabs:  The PBK Eli Fort Bed.

{Image: Pottery Barn Kids Catalog}


Now you don’t have to do the Walk of Shame from  your hipster girlfriend’s PBK Cottage Loft Bed.  You’re welcome.

“This magical retreat for your child evokes the spirit and appeal of an outdoor tree fort. The twin-sized bed sits above an open play area to double the space in the room. It’s built of rustic-finished wood, with open windows for a lookout and a sturdy ladder for access.”

Ah, yes, like its cousin the Cottage Loft Bed, this is also better appointed and larger than my first actual Manhattan residence.  Move thee to thy nearest young nephew’s house.  Stat.


Get yourself a storage pod.  And move in.

Just hear me out.  Especially if you’re in the Marketing department of 1-800-PACK-RAT.  Get your Emergency Bed Sales Strategy Sales Team in place.  Because I have a whole new revenue stream for you:  The Urban Residential Pod.

Here’s the interior of our storage pod.  It is essentially the same size as my studio apartment in Manhattan, circa 2002.  Truly.  How interesting (aka sad) that both seem to fit the same amount of furniture.  Sadder still, they both seem to have the same view of a wall and minuscule exposure to natural light.

But here’s the rub.

  • The pod is stored in a climate controlled facility.  Whereas in the Manhattan starter apartment, you are opening your windows during a blizzard to bring the temperature down to a breezy 81 degrees.  And then, come summertime, you are taking your life in your hands trying to precariously mount an ancient AC unit in a crumbling old window frame, while hanging from your waist four stories over a busy city street.
  • The pod and my apartment seem to have had a similar neutral color palate. 
  • The pod might have been cleaner.  And more updated.
  • And, the pod is cheaper.  Way cheaper.  We were paying around $90/month for the pod.  And my apartment?  Well, in the year 2000, I was SUPER LUCKY  to have found this rent-stabilized place for a total steal of around $1300/month.

Now, there are some drawbacks with the pod.  Top of mind, of course, there is the issue of some basic utilities.  Don’t panic — I’m not referring to WiFi — because you can totally pick up the storage office signal from  your pod.  I meant the other utilities.  Like plumbing.  And possibly electricity.  But I’m totally confident that PBK will soon have a pint-sized yet high-end solution for you.  Unless the newly established Urban Residential Pod sales team at 1-800-PACK-RAT beats them to market with a utilities upgrade package.  It’s going to be a fierce race to the hipster consumer’s wallet.

Then there’s the socialization aspect.  I mean, it’s probably hard to bring a date home with you to the pod.  As clean and well decorated as you may keep your pod, it’s probably going to be, at a minimum, a little awkward.  The truth is that any woman is going to get a very Silence of the Lambs vibe from this situation.  It’s also tough to keep one eye on the clock all the time while out with friends, making sure you don’t get home after the storage facility closes for the night.

So there’s that.

But these are smallish trade-offs for a clean, secure, spacious and totally affordable urban living space.

Or maybe I’ve just gone completely delirious in my attempt to sort through all of these boxes.


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  1. Deb says:

    hahaha I like it! I would like to have one of these to let the kids play in. “Hey kids GO OUT TO YOUR POD! It would keep them entertained for hours. Or better yet, a time out spot for the husband.

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