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Bachelor Living in the Golden Era

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,822
Location
My mother's basement
I was out the door within weeks of high school graduation. Had I stayed much longer, either the Old Man or I would have been dead.

It wasn’t what you’d call an idyllic childhood. I was happy to put it behind me.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,822
Location
My mother's basement
This evening I was searching through an old oak chifferobe I was gifted, like, 30(?) years ago from a friend’s widow. It has drawers of various sizes and a pull-out hanging rod and a mirror that tucks away into its own little drawer. At one time it served as a person’s clothes closet and dresser, all in one. That’s what it was made for, anyway.

These days it seems we are to aspire to walk-in closets the size of those one-room residential units we’ve discussed above.

I get it, though. I have so many old garments that they’ve taken over much of the basement utility room, which is itself larger than those single-occupancy rooms of that bygone era.
 
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Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,250
Location
London, UK
Another option, especially for young men new to a city, was to rent a room at the local YMCA. A room at a typical urban Y could run as little as a dollar a week, which was within reach of most anyone who had a job. Living conditions were spartan to the extreme -- a bed, a washstand, a pitcher, and a basin were often the only furnishings, and the Y guest was on his own when it came to meals -- but the rooms were cleaner and the environment generally safer than a young fellow might encounter in a flophouse.

When I first moved to London in 1999 for work, I came over for a couple of days a week or two in advance to try to find somewhere to live. My dad came with, and he'd chanced across the website for the London City YMCA. When we got there and looked around at what was available, I discovered I could stay in the YM long term (up to three years) for the same rate - bed, board, TV in my room and all bills - for the cost of room only in the area. I had a very happy two and a half years there until the time came to buy. The building is now knocked down, being replaced by a new building which I gather will be more focussed on serving the local community in terms of homelessness and such. I enjoyed it immensely - a sense of community, and at the same time much more privacy than I'd have had in a flatshare. Not to mention it was much cheaper. The other bonus was getting used to living out on my own (I stayed at my parents' right through university, under and post grad) before I also needed to run a home fully.

It was very common for young men alone in a city to spend nearly all their free time at the movies. It was cheap, it was generally safe, and continuous-show policies then common at neighborhood houses meant he could stay as long as he wanted.

I remember a time when our local cinema in Ireland did that. Early eighties. A schoolfriend's family went and saw the last 3/4 and then the first 1/4 thereafter of ET, I remember.


Where it’s fun to stay.

Village People, anyone?

I was usually the leather guy, but if I was good they let me be the "Red Indian" sometimes.

I've sometimes wonder when the "Get out, young man!" attitude started coming into the norm, especially in suburban/semi-rural communities such as mine. In the ye old times, it seemed like young people (rich and poor) in their 20s, people my age, lived with their parents until they got on their feet with their own career, even post-college. In the 1946 movie, "It's A Wonderful Life", young George Bailey is portrayed still living with his parents post-higher education. He doesn't seem to have a career path or any idea of his future, and certainly isn't even on his own standing until his father dies and he has to take on the Bailey Building and Loans business.

Nowadays, it seems that the attitude is that after we leave for college, we're expected to stay gone. We have to figure it out in our own shabby, run down apartment with no expectation of returning home except to collect our things. Anybody who still lives with their parents past 25 are considered free-loading, basement-dwelling losers. Incidentally, I know very few people who actually don't live with their parents, and all of the ones who do live on their own got married young and were able to combine their incomes to do so. Recently I heard a statistic that over half of the people my age group are still living with their parents, the highest percentage since the 1930s. I know that my cousin and I both graduated college a day apart last year, and she and I are both in the same situation: single and working full time jobs while still living with our parents.

In my experience it was partly a class and background thing. Those of us in my middle class (UK middle class, that is) circles growing up in the 80s and nineties tended to move out either at or after university. There was an expectation we'd get on the property ladder asap. Earlier generations in Northern Ireland tended to live at home until they left to set up their own marital home (I have an aunt who never married and lived with my grandmother until the latter died in 2005). More so for women - men were more commonly expected to get out and get on the property ladder. Lots of emphasis on buying your house, as across the UK there's very little legal protection or much in the way of rights if you rent, hence property ownership is fetishised. I can see that starting to change again as 'generation rent' bites. Here in London there are actually a couple of projects already which are a sort of 'aparthotel' type arrangement for individuals of all ages, as a semi-permanent option. I can only imagine this will increase over the next few years.[/QUOTE]
 

MissNathalieVintage

Practically Family
Messages
759
Location
Chicago
I remember reading in the 1940s Good Housekeeping magazine about a mother worrying about her daughter living alone in her own apartment. And in the article it was giving details on why it would be safe and why a mother need'nt worry about her daughter's learning/picking up bad habits from living away from her parent's home.
 

Stanley Doble

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,808
Location
Cobourg
At one time it was common for single men to live in hotels. Nicola Tesla never lived anywhere else, after he left his parents home.
When he arrived in New York in the 1880s there was no such thing as an apartment house. If you were a family man you rented a house, or you lived in a hotel. There were residential hotels that rented rooms and suites by the month or year, and transient hotels that catered to travelers and rented by the night or week.
Tesla always stayed at the newest, best hotel in town. In the 1880s that meant the Gerlach which specialized in "French flats" of up to 7 rooms and cost $800 to $2500 a year. To put this in perspective, there were cheap hotels where you could rent a room for $2 a week or $100 a year.
Later Tesla moved to the Waldorf Astoria, and from there to the New Yorker where he died in 1943. At the New Yorker he occupied two adjoining 2 room suites, one for his living quarters and the other for an office and small laboratory. He was 87 when he died.
The Dakota was the first apartment house in New York. It was under construction when Tesla arrived in the city.
 

Stanley Doble

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,808
Location
Cobourg
Apartments became more common in the 1920s and hotel living less so, in cities. Rooming houses and boarding houses were rather "down market". They were largely gone by the 1970s. In my area they were shut down by local governments claiming they were a fire and health hazard. It was after that, when the homeless suddenly became a problem. Until then there had been practically no homeless problem since the 1930s depression.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
.

I use to live in residential hotels and it is very convenient for bachelor's and bachelorette's. My favorite ones are the Extended Stay Chain, and Hilton Garden Inn Chain. These are the ones that are in the Chicago area.
.

I once considered a Chicago residential hotel lease which ideally suited my bachelor peripatetic nature
but chose a Gold Coast studio at LaSalle & Division instead. The neighborhood was eclectic and interesting,
while the building itself hosted a variety of tenants. After three years the building went condo. I did receive
a first buy offer, declined, moving out of the city back to the hometown, Oak Lawn.
 

MissNathalieVintage

Practically Family
Messages
759
Location
Chicago
I once considered a Chicago residential hotel lease which ideally suited my bachelor peripatetic nature
but chose a Gold Coast studio at LaSalle & Division instead. The neighborhood was eclectic and interesting,
while the building itself hosted a variety of tenants. After three years the building went condo. I did receive
a first buy offer, declined, moving out of the city back to the hometown, Oak Lawn.

I here you, I still pretty much live a peripatetic life, and enjoyed residential hotel living immensely. I had no idea one could ask to sign a lease to be a permanent resident, I may have read this during my research but it slipped my mind. And before this I too lived in a studio for 17 years, the manager asked all the tenants to move out in order to rehab the units.

And while living at the hotel and with all the rioting going on in the city this year, and being a bachelorette my safety was in danger. I decided to move into a suburb closest to the city. And the landlord made me a offer I could not refuse, free electric, free water, free cooking gas, and free heat.

And once the lockdowns are over and I can resume my peripatetic life style, I'll keep my suburban apartment and still rent an occasional residential hotel when I am called a way.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
And while living at the hotel and with all the rioting going on in the city this year, and being a bachelorette my safety was in danger. I decided to move into a suburb closest to the city.

And once the lockdowns are over and I can resume my peripatetic life style,.

The afflictions of Chicago ethnic and racial communities; real and imaginary, boiled over the cauldron
and spilt a blood feud such as to lay rest to further aggrieved historic claim or tolerance of social anarchy.
A more pragmatic perspective will emerge to demand practical accommodation to the realities of life
and attendant civic responsibility since all theories were literally trampled this year.
 

Bushman

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,016
Location
Joliet
I once considered a Chicago residential hotel lease which ideally suited my bachelor peripatetic nature
but chose a Gold Coast studio at LaSalle & Division instead. The neighborhood was eclectic and interesting,
while the building itself hosted a variety of tenants. After three years the building went condo. I did receive
a first buy offer, declined, moving out of the city back to the hometown, Oak Lawn.
My mother grew up in Oak Lawn after moving from Calumet Heights in '63. I learned to swim in the Richard HS swimming pool!
 
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