From Realtor.com: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/commune/?is_wp_site=1
By Clare Trapasso
September 21, 2016
Several years ago Aurora DeMarco, 53, was having health problems. The divorced masseuse and hospice care provider was stressed, depressed, and overwhelmed by all the upkeep of her three-bedroom condo in the tony Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope, known for its majestic brownstones and trendy boutiques. And she hated that simply meeting a friend in one of the nearby artisanal coffee shops had become “astronomically expensive.”
“Life was a grind,” says DeMarco. “It was a lot of money, time, and effort to maintain that lifestyle.”
So two years ago, DeMarco left it all behind.
In the glorious ’60s, we might have said that she turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. Or maybe we’d just cut to the chase and say that she joined a commune. In fact, DeMarco did the modern-day equivalent: She joined “an intentional community,” a group-living arrangement that in some ways harks back to the heyday of hippies. It’s becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle choice for more mainstream residents as rents, home prices, and the cost of living just keep rising.
She now pays $810 a month for her own room in a 10-bedroom house in New York City’s Staten Island as part of the Ganas community. The 75-member group is spread out over eight buildings in the neighborhood. And the best part for DeMarco, who still works outside the community, is everyone shares in the burden of cooking and other daily chores.
“I feel like I have a support network,” DeMarco says. “I’m not so much on the hamster wheel.”
DeMarco is one of a growing number of individuals in recent years who have sought out intentional communities, where people with the same ideals live and work together to achieve them. Some indeed fit the classic ’60s definition of communes—where members have jobs in their communities and share finances, lifestyles, everything. Others are modern varieties of co-housing communities, such as eco-villages where participants strive to be more environmentally friendly.
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