Ask most any New Yorker what they give up to live in the Big Apple, and you’ll probably get a laundry list. Most amenities our suburban neighbors take for granted are downright luxuries for us NYC residents. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to find conveniences like a doorman, washer/dryer, or private outdoor space –– all offered in a single apartment. For this reason, we often narrow our wish list and come up with one or two amenities that we prefer not to live without.

I polled a group of longtime New Yorkers and introduced the following scenario –– They would live in a third-floor co-op apartment in Manhattan with the option of one amenity: a doorman, private backyard or terrace, dishwasher, washer/dryer in the apartment, gym in the building, or pool in the building. I found it interesting how people’s priorities differ, and an amenity about which you would expect most individuals to care little ended up being the one feature they chose.

For me, I’d have a tough time choosing between the washer/dryer and the outdoor space. Currently, I’m one of the select few co-op owners with a washer/dryer unit in my apartment, so schlepping to a laundromat would be a pretty harsh lifestyle change. But then I think, if I were fortunate enough to have the option of living with a killer private outdoor space –– especially since I own a 75-pound dog –– I’d take it. Who doesn’t crave an outdoor area in New York City?

The people I asked didn’t have any issue deciding. They were absolute in their choice for that one must-have amenity. Read on for the single luxury these New Yorkers don’t want to live without.

Outdoor space

“I would say outdoor space. It was a pre-requisite for my apartment, and I would feel claustrophobic without it.” –H.H., 18 years a New Yorker

Washer/dryer

A washer/dryer in my apartment would be huge. Otherwise, I’d send out my laundry because it’s such a hassle. –N.S., 12 years a New Yorker

That’s easy…a washer/dryer. –S.M., Lenox Hill, 15 years a New Yorker

Gym

I’d love to have a gym in my building so I wouldn’t have to walk home all sweaty after a workout. –M.S., 24 years a New Yorker

Pool

“I would say an indoor pool because I can’t get to one. And in the winter, I wouldn’t want to go out in the cold and go to a pool. I love to swim, and I’d walk up and down 20 flights if I had a pool in my building.” E.L., six years a New Yorker

Doorman

A doorman is something I use every day to receive packages and perform other tasks, so I think I’d choose a doorman over most anything else. M.J., eight years a New Yorker.

Oddly enough, no one cared much about a dishwasher. Perhaps that’s because many New Yorkers dine out or order delivery, so they keep cooking to a minimum.

If you could select one apartment luxury, what would you choose?

Subscribe

Become an insider