We landed on another planet when we pulled up to the WeWork/WeLive building last Sunday morning, unloaded the first round of belongings, and were greeted by cheerful young staff wearing black tee shirts emblazoned with ‘Do What You Love’. WeWork/WeLive is a millennial community, the reinvention of 1980’s shared workspace and short-term furnished apartment housing done up in Ikea euro modern design, completely high-tech with its own app, unit level secure internet, 55″ TV, and integrated Bose sound system. There are lots of cushy common spaces, communal kitchens to supplement apartment galley kitchens, many planned activities to attend, and a laundry room complete with a Foosball game. This is not where aging baby boomers come to hangt. But, then, John and I are not typical baby boomers. We’re outliers from the norm.
Despite a few move in glitches, the staff is supportive and accommodating. After all, this isn’t just an apartment building, it’s a community, where you just don’t rent, you’re a member. The nine floors of apartments are organized into three sub-communities. Each community has at least three common spaces (one on each floor). Welcome mats, bathroom rugs, even the tee shirts like the 24×7 staff. These send a variety of positive messages designed to make you feel good about who you are and where you are, even if you are the guy looking disheveled in his wrinkled clothes, flip-flops and bad hair, grumbling to himself as he pokes his glasses back on his nose while he walks down the hall.
Actually, most everyone looks and acts completely normal, even if the laundry room can take on the aura of a sorority or frat house on Sunday night. I saw two guys in suits just yesterday and spied several others who are definitely on their way to 50 or 60.
As we end our first week here, we find it’s very quiet because of the thick concrete walls that once were business offices. We like our sleek space full of built-in closets, cubbies and cabinets. On November 1, we will transfer into a full one bedroom apartment to prepare for John’s post surgery need for a separate bed for a while. In the mean time, we are in an oversize studio with ADA wide access and walk in shower (I love this shower beyond belief for some strange reason). Our time living on Dolce Vento taught us how easy and cozy small-scale living can be. We don’t miss our stuff warehoused in those nine crates.
Boatless, over the winter, John will continue his consulting business and I’m helping an artist friend build an inventory of her life’s work and, hopefully, do a bit of writing work. Never idle, just switching gears.