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On Hidden Pomander Walk, A Cozy Home Fit For A Fairy Tale

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Two people walk down a path. On both sides of the path are red brick attached houses.
[Miranda and Audrey Gordon stroll down Pomander Walk. All photos by Max Touhey.]

Welcome to a special Micro Week edition of House Calls, a feature in which Curbed tours New Yorkers' lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line.

Miranda Gordon remembers stumbling across Pomander Walk when she was attending a party nearby during business school; she peered in. But the Upper West Side's sweetest, shortest, quaintest street was but a fleeting memory until she was house-hunting at the end of 2013, and a real estate listing cropped up. "That's 'Brigadoon,'" said Miranda, a charismatic Honolulu native who works for a perfume-maker. "That's not real." She and her 11-year-old daughter Audrey were living on a full-floor of a Chelsea brownstone and were looking to buy. Audrey fantasized about the suburbs, going online behind her mom's back and browsing through Scarsdale houses. But when they went to visit Pomander Walk, she "stood outside the gate and saw the little village and had a magic moment. She said 'I want to live here.'

So Miranda put in an offer for about $1,200/square foot that got accepted. They moved on January 30 of last year, squeezing from 1,000 square feet into 700. It was less than ideal, but "the price comes with a lot of intangibles." Pomander Walk is a co-op, and the vetting process is strict. "They want to know you are the kind of person who will hang twinkle lights out your window," Miranda said. (Which says a lot.) Residents of the 27 buildings, which include the 16 that actually line the Walk, are supremely social, with communal parties for Bastille Day and other events. Kids play unsupervised, and pets roam unleashed. And while the Gordon's two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment might not be as small as others featured this week, they've still had to make it work. "There's a very real psychology of people who are willing to live in a tiny space," Miranda said. "People who want cozy are different than people who want expansive."

· Mapping the Shortest Streets in New York City [Curbed]
· Pomander Walk coverage [Curbed]
· House Calls archive [Curbed]
· Micro Week 2015 [Curbed]

Further reading:
· Pomander Walk [Wikipedia]
· Pomander Walk, on the Upper West Side; A Tiny Street Where Interim Became Permanent [NYT]
· A Secret World on the Upper West Side: A Trip Down Pomander Walk [Scouting NY]
· Think Small [New York Mag]