While Sampson Dahl’s ex-girlfriend thought the old laundromat she was considering as a potential new apartment was “disgusting,” she saw the potential for a great live-work space. She moved out a month later. “I don’t think a space should be a perfect representation of what we expect a simple mind to look like,” Dahl tells CNBC Make It. “I think a space should be an imperfect representation of the people who are in it at that moment of life. their lives.”
The 27-year-old production designer is no stranger to living in commercial spaces; He used to live in a warehouse in Chicago, so he knew that when he went apartment hunting he wanted to repeat that experience. “I like the freedom of a commercial space, although there are definitely less tenant rights,” he said. “Somewhat feels more ethical about moving into a vacant store that has been sitting empty for years than renting an apartment in a residential neighborhood you’re unfamiliar with.”
Dahl found the old laundromat in Maspeth, Queens, on an online forum in 2019 and has been living there ever since. Dahl found the old laundromat in Maspeth, Queens, on an online forum in 2019. The laundromat has been out of business since 2005.
When she first moved in in March 2019, the rent was $1750 and she paid two months’ rent in advance and a security deposit of $875. In 2021, her rent went up to $1850 and on average she pays $120 for electricity and $60 for internet. Dahl is in production design, and one of the perks of the job is access to a lot of free furniture after projects are done, which he uses to decorate the space.
“This space leaves some [mis] hoarding trends, but I try to be as decorative as possible,” says Dahl. “While most of the stuff is technically junk, and a lot of it was free, I try to select in whatever way is most comfortable for me.”
For Dahl, his favorite part of living in the old laundromat is the sense of community he gets from his neighbors because it reminds him of his childhood. The 27-year-old grew up in a Texas commune that he described as “not a cult.” [sino] a non-profit humanitarian organization that did disaster relief and helped the homeless.” “I think that really shaped this kind of open door policy that had and sustained my adult life. This is how we always suffer my mom, ”she says.
It is by this philosophy that Dahl has managed to make his living space open to others. He even has his fridge and community swing out front. That sense of community has proven essential for Dahl, especially after he was mugged in the neighborhood a couple of months ago. “People take care of me more than I take care of myself, and that’s a real community. I knew the real community when I was a child, and I know it again now, ”he says.
Dahl has the space divided into different areas such as “songwriting” and “piano station” as it is meant to be a place where creatives can come together. Dahl has the space divided into different areas like “songwriting” and “piano station” as it is meant to be a place where creatives can come together. Although Dahl loves the space he created, which also includes a songwriting and organ station, he says he only lives there because it’s what he can afford right now, but hopes to move out and keep it a collaborative studio space. .
“It will simply be an open store for anyone who wants to come in and learn to paint or continue a painting or learn to record a song or continue a song. It’s for beginners and people who already have a passion for what they do,” says Dahl.
“Living in a storefront has taught me wit in a way I have never known before. I really can’t be too picky about what comes my way; I just have to do my best. And that’s the greatest skill I could ask for, I add. “It’s nothing I can teach myself; It’s something you can only learn from life. That is really in line with the philosophy of life that I have.”