Your New Life Awaits
Offered by David
What is BuyMyLife?
BuyMyLife is an online marketplace that enables people who are relocating to buy or swap lives by selling or exchanging leases, property, household goods, local knowledge and contacts. It's like Airbnb forever.
Who and where are you?
My name is David Art Wales and I’m selling my life in NYC for US$10,000 + 10% sales tax.
I moved to the Big Apple from Sydney as a naive young artist 30 years ago with one suitcase and next to no contacts or knowledge of the area. Not everything went according to plan - I made mistakes and paid my dues - but over the course of three decades, I built a successful business, made quality friends, and lived the life you see in these pictures. In a way, I became a New Yorker. Recently I decided to move back to Sydney because my Mum’s getting older and I want a change of pace. This means I no longer need my NYC life and I can pass it on to someone else who'd like a turn.
What is for sale?
For US$10,000 + 10% sales tax - not much more than a broker's fee - you get two things:
1. A portable piece of art you can live in: My Manhattan apartment's contents, which cost around US$20,000, and the ability to move into my 34th-floor apartment by taking over the lease and paying my preferential rent of around US$1,000 p/week (US$4,000 p/month). The building's management have generously offered this as an option to anyone who passes standard requirements. The building is on West 33rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, a block from Vessel and situated between Hudson Yards, Chelsea and Hells Kitchen.Sip cocktails while you take in the view, use the stylish rollaway desks to create a hot start-up, head to the penthouse gym two floors up, and become who you want to be.
2. You also receive a set of tools that will give you a 30-year head start on becoming a New Yorker, as well as the right forevermore to say you bought a life! By "New Yorker" I mean a self-made person, which you can be anywhere: You're driven, you have chutzpah, and you've a better chance than the average Joe of building the life you want. I'm offering every scrap of knowledge and savvy I gained over three decades in NYC: lessons learned the hard way, strategies for self-management, ways of coping and achieving goals. For 12 months you can email me questions whenever you like and I’ll respond within 24 hours.
Together these are a turnkey ticket to the world’s greatest city, or a readymade lifestyle that can be shipped and lived in anywhere, from Dublin to Dubai. You're also welcome to buy the apartment's contents without the email help line –– the cost is the same.
What is not for sale?
You're not buying the apartment because it’s a rental. What is possible is to take over the lease on my apartment in the luxury Midtown West NYC building shown in the gallery, so you can waltz right in and leave everything where it is. Or you can move it all to a different NYC abode, or ship it to another city or country.
So exactly what’s included?
- About US$20,000 worth of carefully curated collection of furniture, lamps, books, chachkas, kitchenware, bed linens, groceries, and booze.
- The ability to take over my lease paying a grandfathered-in, below-market rent of US$1,000 p/wk (This is only possible because I've lived in the building for 14 years and have a great relationship with the fine people in the leasing dept).
- My accumulated knowledge of how to build a fine life in NYC or elsewhere will be provided in the form of a dossier and a 12-month email help-line.
- Playlists crafted specifically for the apartment.
- See Optional below.
And for those planning to live in New York:
- An introduction to the leasing office in my luxury Midtown West NYC building.
- Free access to the gym, social lounge, and communal roof deck shown in the gallery if you take over the lease.
- An introduction to three of my good friends (shown in the Gallery) who’ve agreed to lunch with you. They may even become your friends!
- Links to the delivery menus and restaurants I prefer with my favourite items indicated.
- Endless advice on where to eat, drink, take coffee, boulevardier, socialise, and edify yourself.
- See Optional below.
Who on earth would want that?
- A person or couple who are moving to NYC for work or study and want to hit the ground running.
- An entrepreneur planning to incubate the next big NYC start-up or creative shop in their living room.*
- A C-Suite exec with a relocation package who's moving to NYC and wants a soft landing.
- People who welcome new experiences and indeed new belongings.
- A person or couple with a crazy dream or a practical sense of the absurd.
- Anyone who fancies having a Manhattan pied e terre.
- Folks who love the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History and long to live in one.**
* During the day, the office portion legitimately constitutes 50% of the space, meaning it's possible to claim half the rent as an expense on your taxes if you work at home full-time (Having employees helps). I can say this with certainty.
** FYI that museum is a 10-min subway ride and the MoMA and Whitney are even closer.
What makes this apartment and the stuff inside it special?
By the time I relocated to the Buy My Life space in 2006, I’d already made modest progress running a small business called Ministry of Culture out of my dingy downtown Manhattan living room. Moving everything from that shoebox apartment to this luxurious, sun-drenched space was a calculated risk. The rent was five times higher and I raised the stakes further by furnishing it exactingly and having an MTV technician create hidden lighting that emphasised the view. As I’d hoped, living and working here changed everything. Ministry’s small team and I lifted our game and the resulting word of mouth brought in bigger projects. I also started throwing swank cocktail parties that created fun new social and work connections. While the team were being flown around on projects for Amex, Nike and Google, my editor and I ran the show from the plush home office. Our best year saw the Ministry gross close to US$1M. So, are you ready to become a New Yorker? 😉
How will Buy My Life actually work?
By March 1, 2020, whoever Buys My Life will have provided a non-refundable deposit of 20%, being US$2,200. They will have also indicated whether their preference is to take over the apartment's lease or move the contents to another location. March 7, 2020, is the handover date so the remaining US$8,800 is due. Buy My Life is a work in progress so I'm also amenable to other ways of making it work.
Below is a list of items included in the sale, many of which appear in the pics.
Note that some items shown have been upgraded, like the Apple iPod / speaker.
LIVING ROOM / OFFICE
- Custom translucent roller-blinds in office & block-out roller-blinds in bedroom
- Orange MCM Knoll-style couch
- Eames Moulded Shell Arm Chair (not a repro)
- Philippe Starck Gnome stool / side table
- Sculpture: “Piyukherts” by Lynyrd Paras, 2012
- Saarinen Tulip chair (repro)
- Orange bouncy chair
- West Elm Oak table
- Wall-mounted Samsung flatscreen Smart TV (52" approx.)
- Various designer cushions (Jonathan Adler, etc)
- Blue Dot coffee table / magazine holder on wheels
- 2 x Wenge finish Room & Board work stations w/rollaway desks
- Matching Room & Board dark wood entertainment centre
- 2 x sets of mini Bose speakers
- Various coloured glass & plastic ornaments
- Movie posters for “Blow Up” and “Bullitt”
- Various designer storage containers
- Room & Board cast iron bed with large, matching, wheeled storage tray undernath
- Pillow-top mattress (cost US$1000 at Macys)
- New quality bed linens and pillows
- 2 x Room & Board bedside tables
- Wall-mounted full-size mirror with walnut frame
- Various designer and vintage lamps
- Various fully functional antique fans
- Approx 6 Ikea Billy bookshelves
- Large collection of books, mainly art, design & literature
- Lots of peculiar antique knick-knacks
- Various designer storage containers
- Laundry hamper
- Jacques Tati “Mon Oncle” movie poster
- Vertical wall-mounted stainless steel wine rack
- Space-age toaster, Bullet blender, functioning orange vintage Crock-Pot
- Full set of quality kitchenware (pots, pans, cutlery, cookware)
- Le Creuset 6 liter casserole dish (Flame colour)
- Le Creuset 6 Flame coloured kettle (Flame colour)
- Fridge and cupboards full of groceries
- Various bottles of booze for cocktails
- New shower curtains and floor mat
- Various toiletries
- Collection of men’s colognes
- Antique toys
- Watch collection (antiques and replica luxury timepieces)
- Pieces of my own art
- Video production equipment
Described by visitors as jaw-dropping, gobsmacking, ridiculous, and drop dead, the view from our 34th-floor window covers the south-facing wall looking out from the living room/office and bedroom. It features the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, sailing boats on the Hudson, all of Downtown Manhattan, and endless sky - a rarity in NYC. Over the past decade and a half I've enjoyed our vista every day as it never wears off. You can see how long the line for cabs is outside Penn Station or check the weather by what pedestrians are wearing. Your line of vision extends all the way to Hoboken and New Jersey, allowing you to observe entire weather conditions roll in over the city, bringing rain, wind, and sometimes snow, then roll off slowly into the West. They say you live longer with a water view and having lived here, I have to agree. In addition, as you exit the building, the Empire State Building is on the left and Vessel's on the right.
I was David’s video editor at Ministry of Culture for six years. He ran the business out of the apartment and it was without question the nicest place I’ve worked. The living room effortlessly transitions from workspace to swank lounge or party space at the drop of a hat and he's spared no expense in making it as beautiful, functional and comfortable as possible. I miss the incredible view with all its moods, the sunlight streaming in, and the feeling of openness that comes from being up so high.
– Cory B
David often traveled for work so over the years I've stayed and worked in the space a bunch of times. The super comfy bed, endless closet space, and hundreds of books on art and design always left me wishing it could be my permanent home-office. The thrill of looking up and seeing that vista never wears off, whether it's 3am or 3pm, and the building's close to everything: stores, museums, cafes and restaurants. The subway's on the same block – unheard of in New York – and the panoramic view from the penthouse gym makes you WANT to work out!
– Stephen B
I lived in David's home office for a month while he was traveling. I loved watching storms roll in and the giant sunbeams shine down through the clouds and spread over Manhattan afterward. Even in the dead of winter, the giant windows and sunny southern exposure mean the apartment's never cold. The furnishings are all A-grade and posh, like a nice hotel, and the communal roof deck's perfect for working outside or dining al fresco after a hectic day in the city below.
– Kisa L
David sublet the apartment to me legally through the building for three months while he was away so I could finish writing a book. He has a keen eye for design and understands how to make a space sumptuous but welcoming, and having rollaway desks kept me productive. It has the feel of a junior suite in The Standard or a similar upscale hotel - the type of room that'd set you back $800 a night, only you live there.
– John F
Staying in David's Manhattan flat is like living in one of those movies set in New York that makes you want to move there. Every item's been chosen with precision, from the Eames and Philippe Starck seating to the vintage knick knacks. Throw in the 24 hour doorman, private gym, and communal roof deck, and you get a cool and comfy cabinet of curiosities.
– Naomi L
It was always our dream to spend a winter in NY so we sublet the Sky Crib, as we called it, for a months-long working honeymoon. I'll never forget the first night snow fell. We stayed up drinking whiskey, watching snow flakes dance over the city. The next morning every street, building and car was covered in a soft white blanket. One time during a blizzard the entire view went white for two days, and throughout it all the apartment stayed warm and cosy. Our whole stay was beyond romantic and made for an unforgettable start to our marriage.
– Chantal & Dennis B