My wife and I were married straight out of college, in 1978. We were young and naive and unashamedly idealistic, and we decided to make our first home in a utopian environmentalist community in New York State. For seven years we lived quite contentedly in circumstances that would strike most Americans as austere in the extreme: our living space measured just 65 square metres, and we didn’t have a dishwasher, garbage disposal, a lawn or a car. We did our grocery shopping on foot, and when we needed to travel longer distances we used public transport. Because space at home was scarce, we seldom acquired new possessions of significant size. Our electricity bills worked out to about a (US) dollar a day.
The utopian community was Manhattan. [more]