Saturday, February 2, 2008

White-gloved women's residences

In the first half of the 20th century, New York City had a number of white-gloved women's residences, such as the Barbizon Hotel on the Upper East Side, which once housed the likes of Grace Kelly and Sylvia Plath -- before they got married to high society and moved out. Yes, these were the society establishments for glamorous working women who hadn't found proper husbands yet, but eventually the feminist movement began to wither the activity of these residences.

I finally mailed in my Brandon Residence for Women summer housing application this morning -- $1.14 in postage because of the 3-page application, the character-reference letters from two professors, the signed statement from my daddy granting me permission as a minor to reside there, the signed statement from my editor from Seventeen proving that I am indeed interning there full-time, a copy of my passport for photo identification, and a $50 check for the application fee.

The Brandon Residence for Women in the Upper West Side is one of the few girls-only establishments left for young professionals, students, and interns in New York City. They take care of their young motivated residents -- breakfast and dinner is provided in the extremely low monthly residence fee, maid and linen service is available, social events are organized on a regular basis, communal rooms include piano rehearsal rooms and reading rooms, and the front desk and elevator is staffed at all times. It is the perfect living environment for young independent women who are not completely acquainted with the city yet -- and have come to the city to focus on their careers.

I will be calling the residence on a weekly basis, in hope that my carefully thought-out application will be approved. I could always stay at a college dorm in NYU, but I hope to join the legion of women's residence boarders that include Grace Kelly (pre-Princess of Monaco) and Edith Bouvier Beale. That in itself, is a sample of New York City society history.

Miss Couturable
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