There’s definitely no shortage of amazing homes to ogle over from your desktop (especially when on 6sqft), but how often do you actually get to experience one of these places up close and personal? PlaceInvaders is a cool new local startup that gives us regular folks the keys to some of the city’s most incredible apartments. Here individuals are invited to schmooze with fellow NYC inhabitants while also wining and dining on often experimental fare. PlaceInvaders recently brought foodies into Cindy Gallop’s infamous “Black Apartment,” while another event found a group eating delicious moose pot pie (yes, you read that right) in an artist’s loft overlooking the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Image: Diners inside the “Black Apartment” with Cindy Gallop.
PlaceInvaders is the brainchild of Hagan Blount and Katie Smith-Adair, a couple inspired by their love for travel and their insatiable desire for new experiences. They thought PlaceInvaders would be a great way to make travel a central part of their lives, while at the same time sharing their experiences with new people also looking to do something out of the ordinary. “We thought the idea was fresh and would resonate with people,” Katie tells 6sqft. “And everyone loves to see interesting real estate, and not even just super high-end real estate. New Yorkers spend so much time in restaurants and bars, so it can be a luxury just to share a home-cooked meal and conversation with interesting strangers in an apartment that isn’t their own.”
Images: An abandoned penthouse. The site of one of their recent dinners.
The homes that they host in are a mix of spaces found via friends of friends, tips from prior guests, people who reach out on social media, and even through just randomly knocking on doors. Gym founder David Barton’s Chelsea apartment, a graffiti-filled West Village studio, an abandoned Upper East Side penthouse and a beautifully restored 1860s Brooklyn brownstone are just a few of the places they’ve hosted in to date.
“Our first events were in an Airbnb on the Lower East Side and we knew almost everyone who bought (steeply discounted) tickets. We made a simple signup website, and relied on word-of-mouth (still their main source of signups) to sell tickets via Eventbrite,” Katie says. “We typically host two brunches and two dinners over the course of a weekend, so planning for that much work was a bit of a learning curve. I think we ran to the store for forgotten ingredients 10 times each day. The first events had six guests and now we’ve had up to 30. We’ve definitely come a long way.”
Aspiring invaders can sign up online to be notified when tickets to a new event go on sale. And because seating is limited, know that they get scooped up very quickly! Signing up for updates and following them on Twitter and Instagram will up your odds at snagging a pair of seats at one of their dinners.
[PlaceInvaders official site]
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All images courtesy of PlaceInvaders