Member quarantine diary: Ashley in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


What’s it like living in New York City? During quarantine? In a coliving home?

We caught up with one of our members, Ashley Dreiss, who lives at a Common home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on how she’s adjusted to her new lifestyle and navigated staying at home during the COVID-19 shutdown.quarantine

Hi Ashley! First off, tell us a bit about yourself and your pre-quarantine life in NYC.

I’ve lived in NYC for the past 8 years and the past two years have been at Common. After receiving both my Bachelor’s and then Master’s in Clinical Psychology, I was searching for an affordable apartment that had more amenities and perks. Although I swore I would never leave Manhattan for a Brooklyn apartment, the amenities, cleanings, and quality of the Common apartments blew my expectations out of the water for what I thought I could afford! Before the shelter-in-place order, I would commute from my Brooklyn apartment to work as a teacher at a special education school for students on the autism spectrum. Now, my apartment has turned into my workspace, as we’ve pivoted to remote learning and staff meetings through Zoom calls.

How have you turned your room into a safe space to both work and relax?

I highly recommend intentionally setting aside some space for relaxing. The alcove in my room is my favorite spot to unwind or get prepared for a busy day! I’ve turned it into my own calming corner with incense, candles, and crystals. Especially since we’re spending more time at home than ever before, it’s so important to carve time and space to unplug from work and distractions.


What does your free time look like now that you’re spending more time at home?

Common used to host yoga classes in the common space of my building for NYC members twice a week. They were always a highlight of my week, so I was worried about falling out of rhythm during quarantine! I was so relieved to find out that the Common team kept the same event time and instructor through a virtual event invite. It’s so comforting to have the same cadence and routine when everything else is changing.

I’ve also taken advantage of some other virtual craft and workout classes that Common has offered to help me step outside of my comfort zone. For instance, I normally wouldn’t take a macrame class, but I figured I’d give it a shot! Common provided all of the materials, and I was able to learn a new skill from my bedroom. One of my roommates and I also took a sushi-making class right before quarantine started, so I’ve been able to practice making my own at home with the tools and lessons from that class. At this rate, I’ll come out of quarantine with quite a few extra crafting and cooking skills.quarantine

What’s it been like living with roommates during a pandemic?

Living with roommates in a city is definitely not a unique situation, but navigating this set-up while quarantining presents a fresh set of challenges. My suite specifically has 5 bedrooms, but since a few of my roommates left the city once the shutdown happened, I was only sharing the apartment with one other person and then by myself for a short time. A friend of mine in the building that I met doing yoga, was in a similar situation, so she transferred into my suite. The two of us are able to have as much space and privacy as we need, but it’s nice to have another person to spend time with and unwind after a long day.

Looking for other ways to navigate quarantine with roommates?

We’ve created the ultimate roommate social distancing guide and interviewed our members for their advice to help you distance yourself in a fun and safe way. Stay up to date on our Instagram for even more updates and roommate tips!

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