What “the strangest apartment in New York” looks like (7 photos + 2 videos)

25 February 2024

New Yorker Sampson Dahl 5 years ago found himself a rather strange apartment: he settled in a former laundry room. There is a small kitchen and a workstation for processing and recording music. Sampson works as a production designer and has the opportunity to furnish and decorate his unusual home for free.

When Sampson Dahl was looking for an apartment to rent in New York, he came across an offer to rent a former laundry in Maspeth, Queens, on an Internet forum. His girlfriend called the place "disgusting," but Sampson didn't care. He moved there in 2019 and began calling it home.

At the time, he was paying $1,850 a month. His rent has since risen to $1,900. On average, he pays $120 a month for electricity and $60 for internet.

The former tenant of the space, which stopped operating as a laundromat in 2005, added a small kitchen to the space, which Sampson found room for a sink, stove and toaster oven.

Sampson Dahl, 28, has been living in a former laundromat in Maspeth, Queens for five years.

Sampson had previous experience living in a warehouse. Therefore, looking at the former laundry, he decided to repeat this experience, which, in his words, gives “freedom.”

Working as a production designer for television and film gives Sampson access to a variety of interesting decorative items and furniture, and he uses this opportunity to decorate his home.

He came across this place, which went out of business as a laundromat in 2005, on an online forum.

When the Writers Guild of America strike occurred, Sampson had to come up with an alternative way to make money. He immediately thought about the appeal of his unusual apartment and how this appeal could be used.

“I started paying a lot of attention to the space, so I was hosting shows, events and intimate get-togethers almost weekly,” says Sampson. “It was a great opportunity to become more immersed in the space.”

Although his venture was not particularly profitable, the money received from entrance tickets was enough to pay the rent and continue to live alone.

When he first moved in, he paid $1,850 a month. His rent has since risen to $1,900

Sampson told CNBC last year that he only lives in the former laundromat because it's affordable housing. But now he's considering a change.

“I would love to live across the street. I’ve been looking for years and always have my eye on this block,” he says.

However, living in a more traditional apartment doesn't mean he'll forget about the laundry room. Moreover, he does not rule out the possibility of renovating it and using it as an event space.

Working as a production designer for television and film gives Sampson access to a variety of interesting decorative pieces and furniture.

“I don't want to stay there forever. “The best case scenario is that I’ll go away and not think about it for a while, and then I’ll come back 10 years later and it will be amazing for me,” Sampson continues. “My goal for this space is simply to preserve it, not to turn it into an operating business.” I don't mind using it as a storefront, but I think the neighbors will appreciate having a space that brings a different vibe. The neighborhood in which I live gives me a certain rhythm of life. Most of my neighbors are pensioners.”

On average, he pays $120 a month for electricity and $60 for Internet

What Sampson likes most about this unusual home is its inherent calm and stability.

“In a country that values commercial success and economic growth, it is rare to enjoy tranquility in a place like this,” he explains.

The future of the apartment remains uncertain. But if the one who will manage it further shares the mentalityIf Sampson doesn't care, he won't be too bothered by her atypicality.

People on social media commented on Sampson's creativity and how much love he put into his home: "You can tell he's a movie guy. The housing looks like all those New York apartments from movies and TV series,” “There is something romantic, filled with love, about this place,” “Very inspiring.”

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