My new apartment in New York is about half the size of the last apartment. If you know anything about New York City, especially Manhattan, space is always at a premium unless you’re a multimillionaire. Nothing is as unrealistic in movies as the size of an apartment in New York. Besides the fact that everything is more glamorous in the movies, it’s probably next to impossible to actually shoot any footage in a typical New York apartment. We’d have movies where we saw nothing but the actor’s nose for two hours!

My current apartment is smaller than my last New York apartment as well. In fact, it’s probably smaller than anyplace I’ve lived since I had that basement apartment when I was nineteen. Don’t get me wrong. I like the apartment, and there are a few fortunate things, like an elevator in the building – and a bagel shop that opens at six in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday. Still, I’m doing my best to make efficient use of space. To that end, I’ve designed a bookshelf to fit inside a closet in the living room. The closet has sliding doors and I intend to take the doors off and stash them on either side of the bookshelf.A bookshelf drawn using SketchUp.The shelf was designed using pipe fittings. It was partly inspired by a desk I saw on the Simplified Building website. Here’s another inspiring desk project. If my bookshelf project goes well, I might follow it up by making a custom desk for myself.

The second shelf, which has a relatively small height about it, was sized to hold an HTPC for which I plan on choosing the components today. One gripe I’ve had since the advent of MP3s is that I haven’t had a convenient way to listen to music. For older things, I’ve been using my old audio system, but it seems that the stereo receiver I bought when I had my first apartment at nineteen has finally decided to give up the ghost. I’ll use the HTPC mainly for playing music. If anyone has built one and has any suggestions or tips I’d love to hear them. I probably won’t sign up for a streaming service right away, but I’d at least like it to be a possibility. At this juncture in time, I don’t know where the technology for music is going to go.

I’ll let everyone know how this projects go. I hope to have the bookshelf and computer completed so I can play so music when my family comes over during the holidays.

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