Jack Tame: NZ city living isn't easy

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The dearth of half-decent CBD apartments won't draw me home any sooner. Photo / Michael Craig
The dearth of half-decent CBD apartments won't draw me home any sooner. Photo / Michael Craig

I'm on the couch this week. It's one of those faux-leather settees; bad for spinal alignment and I'm usually so tired I wake in the morning with a cushion zip imprinted on my cheek.

It's intriguing to come home and circulate through my friends' couches and spare bedrooms. I'm not actually that familiar with my friends' apartments in New York. My oldest Manhattan amigo has lived 15 minutes from my doorstep for the past 2 years and in that time I've set foot in his apartment once. Hanging out in people's homes isn't what you do.

Socialising in New York is usually saved for mutual territory; restaurants and bars or parks and public space, because no one has space at home. In a modern city, it makes perfect efficient sense.

In Auckland, of course, it's different. I find it ridiculous now that for my first years here I lived in a poorly insulated, three-bedroom villa in Freemans Bay. I searched around for a half-decent apartment in the Auckland CBD instead, but there wasn't much to go around.

And in the years since I've lived here, despite the ludicrous rise in property values and ever-expanding Auckland sprawl, the CBD apartment front doesn't seemed to have changed a squib.

For young professionals without dependants or commitments, high-density living makes sense. Your pad is easy to maintain and you can step from your door into nightlife or cafes and walk or catch transport to work.

Central Auckland's public space is improving rapidly and New York is proof that good public space will always be used. But, grateful as I am for my friends' couches and spare bedrooms, the dearth of half-decent CBD apartments won't draw me home any sooner.


• Jack Tame is on Newstalk ZB, Saturdays, 9am-midday

- Herald on Sunday

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