64 Square Feet: Writer Lived Inside Astor Place Cube in New York City

64 Square Feet: Writer Lived Inside Astor Place Cube in New York City

Gregory Han
Oct 1, 2013

The Astor Place Cube, also known as the "The Cube" or by its official name "Alamo", is an iconic outdoor sculpture by artist Tony Rosenthal. Located at the busy intersection of Lafayette Street and 8th Street in New York City, it's hard to miss. But even locals may be shocked to discover someone may have been living inside the 64 square foot steel cube...

Searching for a little solitude in New York City, and wearied by the constant bombardment of social technologies, email, and other modern day distractions, 37 year old writer "Dave" was drawn to the calm in the eye of the storm offered inside The Cube. The inside was secretly converted into the most compact of residences (even by New York standards), with about 512 cubic feet of usable space within, as shown in the short documentary Man In a Cube, revealing the ultimate in small space living.

Lined with acoustic foam to dampen the noises of the city outside, the hollow interior was converted to offer Dave all the basic amenities for cooking, sleeping, writing, exercising, and even a bathroom, all from within a space which resembles a deep ocean vessel. Dave even outfitted a bicycle generator and hooked it up to a car battery to power up interior lights and his small collection of gadgets. For all intents and purposes, this resourceful individual staked out an apartment, albeit a very small one (and possibly illegal), where nobody knew one existed.

Dave is supposedly moving out of his extremely small space "apartment", crediting a 60 second meditation technique*, which has given him a coping mechanism to counteract the technostress which initially drove him inside the Astor Place Cube.

*Is this real or just an elaborate hoax as some readers suspect? Some suspicious and astute readers have noted the meditation technique promoted at the tail end of the video was produced by WHIL, a program founded by Dennis "Chip" Wilson (also founder of Lululemon), and this whole small space living story was staged.

(Images: Beyond My Ken/Creative Commons; screencaps from Man In a Cube)

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