Coming Home in Brooklyn

This week we celebrate our first home, Pacific’s anniversary. Cole, one of our first House Leaders and a founding member of Pacific, shares his experience as a member of the community this first year.

Last week, or I suppose by the time this is published, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine from college visited me in New York. This is something that happens with unsettling frequency when you live here, by the way.


At least once a month you’ll get a text message from someone telling you how they’ll be in NYC in a few weeks and how you should meet up and by the way do you have a couch I can crash on? At first, it’s fun and exciting, because who doesn’t want to show off their new home in the big city, but trust me: New York is exhausting enough without having to entertain guests.

Anyways, this friend of mine was one of my roommates in college. He’s visited me a handful of times since I’ve lived in Brooklyn, as he travels up here from Arizona for business every few months. After watching the Roots and D’Angelo and John Mayer play in Bryant Park, my friend made up his mind: He wanted to move here.

common crown heights year one
Specifically, he asked me about moving in together, seeing as we had already made the roommate thing work in college. It would be so much easier to move to the city if you already knew who you were living with. But he said he wanted to live in the East Village, and I said, well, I guess I could swing that. I’ll look into it. They have good ramen there, and Alphabet City has some stellar drinking bars (drinking bars are like dives but they don’t necessarily have to be dive-y and gross). Plus my commute would be easier.

But then I thought about it some more. I went back to Brooklyn that night, and I remembered how much I really love living in Brooklyn. Crown Heights is, slowly, starting to feel like home. Who needs Central Park when you have Prospect Park?

The next morning, I texted him.

“Hey man, I thought about it a bit and I realized I really don’t wanna leave Brooklyn.”

“You sure? What about East Village?”

“I dunno dude. You can look at places on Streeteasy but you just don’t get anywhere near the quality of place for the money.”

(I played the finances card here. It’s usually more effective than an emotional appeal, Walt Whitman’s musings on Brooklyn be damned.)

“Yeah but that area was sick.”Crown Heights Common Year One

I thought some more, trying to articulate why I didn’t want to leave Brooklyn. I mean, after all, finding apartments in decent neighborhoods here is just as difficult.

“I guess I wasn’t being totally honest. I really don’t want to leave Common. Why don’t you move here?”

Finding a great place to live, a place to settle in, is certainly a right of passage for your typical New Yorker. I don’t call myself a New Yorker just yet, because there are so many different qualifications you need to get that title, but people do seem strangely attached to their apartments once they find one they love. I can check that one off the list now.

It’s obvious, but New York is a meatgrinder. It’s absolutely exhausting, and I don’t mean just because of work. The demands on your time, whether from work or your social life or whatever, are endless. So, when you come home at night, it’s invaluable to really feel at home.

Common gives me that. Common gives me a place that relieves the burden of the day-to-day cycle, Common helps free up the mental bandwidth needed to stay sane. To read books, watch movies, play video games, meditate, ride bikes, whatever.

I’m coming up on a year of living at Common. I moved into their first house, Pacific, right when they opened up. In this year, I’ve met amazing people – made amazing friends, really – and discovered my place in New York.

Crown Heights Common One Year

Bryan, Cole, and Annelie- a few of our first members and House Leaders.

Through Common, I started a book club and read more actual books than I ever did in college. Through Common, my name appeared in The New Yorker. Through Common, I discovered how damn comfortable a Casper mattress really is. But beyond all the niceties of a furnished apartment, and the fun of Common outings to places like Lavender Lake or Night of Joy, it’s the interstitial moments that made me unable to move somewhere else.

community year one

It’s walking home from the Nostrand Ave stop, and seeing the golden sunset play off the red brick of the armory across the street. It’s approaching the house, and seeing warm yellow light glowing from the windows on the first floor. It’s ordering lo mein and dumplings and drinking cheap wine on a Tuesday night, without planning it and without having any good reason but to prolong the conversation among housemates.

Common is, for me, for now, home. I hope it can be home for you, too.

NYC’s Best Fall Attractions

Ahh Fall. In New York, Fall is a full on event. If you’ve never been to New York during the Fall, let us tell you about why it’s one of the four best seasons we have to offer.


Everyone knows about how Winter brings the glitz and glamour with the Rockefeller Christmas tree and 5th Avenue’s window displays; Spring lets our public parks shine; Summer invites you to do everything you could imagine on a rooftop. Yet, Fall is the understated little brother with the most to offer.

Gorgeous multicolor foliage, sweater weather, a slight chill, and a warm cup of something sweet. That’s what Fall is all about. In New York, almost every day holds a diverse event.

For the Film Buffs:

Tribeca ended, Toronto International Film Festival is just a bit too far, but the New York Film Festival is just a few subway stops away with loads to offer. From film premieres to great talks with filmmakers, NYFF has a lot to see. Our pics?

Our pics? Hamilton’s AmericaJackie, and Bright Lights starring Carrie Fischer and Debbie Reynolds.

For a more interactive experience, Then She Fell is like See No More with an Alice in Wonderland twist. Be prepared for a ride!

For the Foodies:

new-york-wine-and-food-festival-nycs-best-fall-attractionThe New York Wine and Food Festival starts mid-October. Take a few classes while you’re there and be on your way to becoming a master chef. If you’re into something a bit more casual, check out

If you’re into something a bit more casual, check out Whiskyfest!

For the Explorers:

Our city is full of hidden spots most born and bred New Yorkers don’t even know about. Why don’t you take an atypical train trip to the Old City Hall Station? Or visit the secluded spots of nature you would expect to see in NYC like Greenacre Park, The Elevated Acre, or Queens Farm.

Looking for fantastic photo opps? The Graffiti Hall of Fame is definitely a place to be. If it’s a quaint scene you need, check out Pomander Walk! Just step outside and explore the city. Let us know what you discover.

Fall at Common:


This fall our community and team raced together on Roosevelt Island, went apple picking, visited New York Comic Con, sang their hearts out doing karaoke, kicked off Octoberfest at Radegast, will bike through scenic Brooklyn neighborhoods together, is creating a Haunted House and so much more.

To find out more about our homes and apply to join our community, click here.

Welcome Home, DC

We’ve been excited and fortunate to expand Common from just one home in Brooklyn to six homes, two cities, and 120 members in less than a year — and we’re just getting started. In December, we will add a third city to the mix: Washington, DC. And we couldn’t be more jazzed about our first home there, Richardson.

Expanding into new cities is an essential part of Common’s not-so-secret sauce. We serve an increasingly mobile workforce, and moving between cities for new jobs, relationships, or exploration is a part of 21st century life. As we enable our members to move seamlessly between Common homes, each new city we add to our network makes Common membership more valuable for everyone. For instance, when we opened our first San Francisco home, our first batch of new SF members included an existing Common member who had recently moved from New York. No lease breaking, no complicated paperwork, no hassle.

richardson shaw washington dc colivingWashington, DC is a logical next step for us.  As a hub for government, technology, and media, DC’s population is mobile and enthusiastic for new ideas.  And DC is also a city of roommates, with lots of residents sharing apartments with others. Through community and convenience, Common makes the experience of living with others a joy rather than a chore.

Shaw is the perfect neighborhood for us to open our first DC home.  Developed through the 19th and early 20th centuries, Shaw has a mix of history, culture, and amenities.  Businesses that have occupied blocks for decades blend in with new bars and restaurants.  Transit is easily accessible, with our home a few blocks from the Shaw-Howard University stop on the green and yellow lines.

Our Richardson home will open in December with 24 bedrooms, each with a private bath. We’ll be sharing more details about the home as the opening date nears.

Want to learn more about living at Common? Join our waitlist for DC and schedule a tour.