This courtyard is the lush central hub of the surrounding Harbor Commons, bound in on three sides by rows of duplexes and triplexes, cutting upward at the sky with the sharp thrift of a minimalist's style, neat lines and bountiful windows, boldened with accents in wood towards the upper stories, stone towards the base, the whole of the compound sealed in by a low stoneworked wall that opens entrance gates to the streets beyond at its two far corners, smaller gates at building back doors.
The fourth side of the courtyard is open to the East River, the ground forming a slight decline, controlled on one side by micro-retaining walls to form wide steps where picnic tables sit beneath the nominative shelter of a trio of dogwood trees, accessible by ramp. The other side is allowed to slope at its natural angle, a wide open yard space, until its cut off at the river's edge, where a massive pair of oak trees stand, a staircase leading away up one of their thick trunks.
The yard itself is carpeted in an organic flow of emerald grass swirled through with wending channels of smooth-paved cement walkways, flowing naturally away from the building's front entrances, where some are arced by trellis, some flanked by hosta plants, fern and lilies, a few laid in gentle switch-backing ramps for wheelchair access, before forking off at matching angles to sites of small garden installments. Bird feeders and baths suspended from the necks of small lamp posts, a rock-lined koi pond, a sleek gazebo tucked to one side in simplistic varnished wood, its southern side overgrown with a mass of thriving grapevine and a caged-in barbecue pit under its sheltering roof. A play area and proper garden are within sight off another branch, until finally all paths spiral in like wheel spokes to a shared common house at the center of all traffic flow.
|Notes & Trivia
- Harbor Commons is a co-housing neighborhood in the Lower East Side. Started as a project after many of the residents of the Village Lofts were served eviction notices for being mutants, the development is, while not loud or public about the fact, a very mutant-friendly alternative to the overwhelming housing discrimination common in the city.
- As a co-housing group, residency is not, ICly, fully open to everyone -- potential applicants must, in addition to the standard sorts of credit/history checks common to finding new housing, also be interviewed by a small group of residents to ensure they are a good fit.
- This is because unlike a traditional apartment, all residents of the Commons are expected to take part in the general upkeep and environment of the place. Residents can contribute to this in a large variety of ways, as applicable to their interests and skills -- anywhere from helping with grounds maintenance to helping take care of the finances and tech support to helping prepare communal meals or organize social events or shop for needed supplies; there's a large variety of chores and work that always need doing, and everyone is expected to do what they can to keep the place going.
- Additionally, there is a small monthly maintenance fee for all residents to take care of the cost of utilities/supplies/maintenance/etc for the shared-use areas.
- Also additionally, while this is not publicly advertised, anyone with strongly anti-mutant sentiments (or, really, much of any bigotry all around) is highly unlikely to be accepted into a unit here -- they do have a telepath or two in the group for vetting potential new applicants and aren't looking to invite trouble into a community with a very high portion of mutants living there.
- The common-use buildings (Common House, Workshop) are accessible via electronic keyfobs all residents are issued. These fobs are also tied to certain things around the building -- you can add money to them on the Commons website online for doing laundry, use them to unlock certain more-dangerous equipment lockers in the Workshop, use them to unlock the movie/games cabinets in the entertainment room or the instrument lockers in the music room.
- Mail delivery for all residents of the Commons does not come to their individual homes but, much like in many apartment buildings, to a set of mailboxes in an alcove at the foyer of the Common House.
- There's not really parking here. It's still New York City. Hardly any residents even have cars; those who do are on their own for finding street parking around the Lower East Side.
- ALL the common spaces at the commons, indoors and out, as well as the riverbank and the two public entrances into the development, are monitored 24/7 via security cameras.
- Though best efforts have been taken in housing design to hide these defenses, the Commons buildings were built with an eye towards barricading them. Retracted metal shutters that can roll down over the windows, thick walls, heavy outer doors with pretty intense locks. Additionally, the fact that it is possible to barricade all the ground-floor levels and then extend walkways between the private houses and the Common House from upper levels is testament to the fact that in the wake of the plague that devastated the city, it's undead as much as living attackers that they've been designed to stay safe from.
- June, 2014 - The Commons opens for its first residents to move in.
- September 8, 2015 - There is a police raid on the Commons in search of a wanted murderer.
- November 16-20, 2015 - During the zombie plague, the Commons is under siege by zombies for days after Workhaus burns down. Several of the residents are killed in the attempt to clear the horde.
- Birdhaus - Ryan, Clarice, Horus
- Unit 1 - One adult, two kids (2 & 8), one dog
- Unit 2 - Two adults, one kid (3)
- Unit 3 - Steve & Savannah
- House 6
- House 7
- Family in Unit 1 - Two adults, two kids (6 & 9)
- Couple in Unit 2 - Two adults, Two dogs.
- Family in Unit 3 - Three adults, one infant
- House 8
- House 9
- Unit 1 - Two adults
- Unit 2 - Three adults
- Unit 3 - Two adults
|Notes for Residents
- Community Events! (Feel free to add your own!)
- Next Community Meeting: Sun, 5 Mar @ 18:00
- Upcoming Community Meals
- Saturday, 11 February, 2017 @ 10:30: Brunch (Jax & Ryan cooking)
- Tuesday, 14 February @ 19:00: Dinner (Rachel & Inès cooking)
- Saturday, 18 February @ 19:00: Dinner/welcome home party for Jax & Ryan (at Workhaus/Hive cooking)
- Game Night: Tuesdays @ 19:00, @Workhaus. Potluck foods for snacks/dinner.
- Commons Rules (as agreed upon in general meetings, open to revision in future meetings)
- Smoking: NO indoor smoking in any common space. Outdoor smoking is acceptable, but NOT in the Garden, Playground, or Gazebo. Respect individual houses' preferences re: smoking in private yards.
- Drugs: Keep illegal drug usage out of common areas.
- Alcohol: No alcohol is to be stored in common spaces (with exceptions for things like cooking wines in the kitchen.) No underage drinking in common spaces.
- Common Space usage - Commonspaces are there for everyone's use! CLEAN UP after yourself and treat communal property respectfully. Casual usage is for anyone anytime but if you are going to need rooms for a large block of time (parties, huge meal prep, guest rooms for overnight/medium-term visitors, etc) please make sure to RESERVE the room via the online community calendar. Tablets at the door to each room have the calendars and will show you if a room is booked or free.
- Strangers on the grounds - The security system alerts anyone who signs up for the alerts to the presence of strangers. Though people are not going to kick people out of the grounds UNLESS they look to be troublemaking, general current consensus is to not allow strangers on the grounds after dusk.
- Chores! (Feel free to add yourself/claim chores where vacant -- names marked by asterisks are taken by people willing to cede/trade them and can be claimed also)
- Common space cleaning (ideally each room should have two-three people!)
- Arts & Crafts Room - Jax, Tag, Steve
- Climbing structure - Horus, Paige, Spencer
- Bathrooms (Basement) - Rachel*, Inès*
- Bathrooms (Ground Floor) - Rachel*, Inès*
- Bathrooms (Second Floor) - Clarice*, Zombie*
- Bathrooms (Third Floor) - Joshua*, Zombie*
- Dining Room - Steve*, Isra*, Heather
- Elevator - Horus*, Paige
- Fitness Room - Flicker*, Steve*
- Foyer - Heather, Paige
- Game Room - Tag, Isra, Heather
- Guest Rooms (Three of them) - Sharkpups*, Scramble
- Hallways/Stairs - Horus*, Tian-shin*
- Kitchens - Jax*, Tian-shin, Paige
- Laundry - Melinda, Tian-shin*
- Media Room - Flicker, Natalie
- Music Room - Sharkpups, Heather
- Playroom - Melinda, Tove, Spencer
- Storage Room - Ash, Savannah*
- Sunroom - Jax, Steve*, Scramble
- Treehaus - Tag, Isra
- Workshop - B, Clarice*
- Inventory management (tracking/restocking for common-space goods like cleaning products, TP, kitchen staples) - Joshua*, Tian-shin*
- Security system - Dusk
- Haunting - Daiki
- Notification list for security alarm alerts - B, Dusk, Flicker, Hive, Jax, Joshua, Rachel, Shane, Steve, Natalie
- Sysadmin - Dusk
- Webmaster - Dusk
- Building maintenance (not personally responsible for FIXING problems, just keeping an eye on them and making sure they ARE fixed) - Hive, Tian-shin (Temporarily Jim, due to Hive's health problems)
- Gardens (choosing crops, planting, upkeep; includes Sunroom herb boxes) - Jax
- Groundskeeper - Jim, Ash
- Finance Management - Hive*, Isra, Natalie all need someone to handle this long-term
- Community Event Organizing - Inès, Scramble
- New Resident Application Handling - Paperwork etc. - Melinda
- New Resident Application Handling - Interviewing (For interviews, need 2-3 people to conduct the interview. Should have at least 1 psi and at least 1 visibly obvious mutant present.) Potential Interviewer Pool - B, Dusk, Flicker, Hive, Horus, Isra, Inès, Jax, Joshua, Rachel, Zombie, Shane, Steve
- New Resident Intake - Welcoming New Folks (Tour, more nitty-gritty details explanation of How Things Are Done Here, etc.) - Dusk, Flicker, Inès, Jax, Rachel, Shane, Steve
||Lower East Side