Private outdoor space, such as balconies and terraces, are valuable assets to highrise urban dwellers in New York City -- at least, on paper. Whether or not they are actually used to enjoy the outdoors is another issue entirely.
"In the real estate market, outdoor space is gold. It's expensive, it's rare, and it can add enormous value to a home.
You would think then that people would not only want it, they would love it, use it, even flaunt it.
But New Yorkers have complex relationships with their outdoor spaces. At this time of year, as the weather grows warmer, their true feelings about those spaces are particularly manifest. Some residents are readying their flower boxes and painting their trellises, while other are doing what they always do - turning their backs on their balconies, which have become storage areas for things like rusty bikes and old doghouses."