You may expect Lockhart Steele, fashionable founder of the Curbed network of blogs (Eater, Racked, the eponymous one, etc.), to have a pretty swanky pad. Wrong! The 35-year-old New Media magnate has dwelled in the same utilitarian style at a one-bedroom rental on Rivington Street since 2001. He buzzed me up recently to have a look around, ask five questions and snap a few photos.
How did you find the place?
It was a long time ago. I worked with a small real estate firm in the neighborhood that I don’t think is in business any longer.
What are the top five things you can’t live without?
I’m not really a collectables or special objects kind of guy. It’s just not my thing. But:
I just got this new sofa from Room and Board. It’s a nice, comfortable place to sit.
My books. I obviously have a lot of books in the place; I love them.
I spend a lot of time lying here watching TV, so the Sharp TV should be there.
Put coffee pot on the list.
What thing in your apartment has the best back story?
The thing with the best back story is the wall, which is directly behind you. It’s a red wall, and it shows photos from when I was traveling in India and Pakistan. When I was traveling in India, I did a two-day Jeep trip where I met a married couple, an Australian and a New Zealander.
Six months later they emailed me and said they were coming to New York on their way to South America, and asked if they could crash at my place for the night. I said sure. But it was the year that we had that big blizzard on President’s Day, so when they got here their flight was rescheduled for something like four days later. They said they’d go to a hostel or a hotel, but I told them not to worry about it, and to just stay here. I had just bought the paint for that wall so they offered to paint it for me. And they did a really good job.
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Which room do you spend the most time in and why?
Well, there are only two rooms in the apartment so there’s not a whole lot of choice here.
Probably in terms of sheer time, the bedroom because that’s where I sleep, and I’m out and about a lot. But when I’m conscious and in the apartment, I’m usually in this living-room area.
Your neighbors—kept close or at arm’s length?
It’s a rental building, so they turn over with some frequency. I’m the only one who’s been in the building nearly as long as I have. I just had two new neighbors move in next door. It’s a small place with only four units, so we all have a pretty good idea of who the other people are.
So I would say close rather than at arm’s length.
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