Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Be Their Guest

Laura's place in New York's Little Italy has a dingy blue bathmat, and she wears a Santa hat. Don's pad in Hell's Kitchen is all white, a cloud with four walls that could be perilous for those with muddy feet and a taste for red wine. Cristina's NoLita studio is flooded with natural light and includes laundry facilities, but the bed is a box spring on the floor. Ricky describes himself as "very talkative" and says, "I LOVE MY WIFE!!," a red flag in a shared-apartment situation. Marissa invites guests to crash on her green pullout sofa in the East Village. It looks cushy, yet I worry that my sleep would be dogged by dreams of swimming in a giant bowl of split pea soup.

Now, Rad's House I could do: The private room in a two-bedroom apartment near Tompkins Square Park comes with fresh towels, kitchen privileges and a pair of brothers who play drums, eat bagels on Sunday and charge less than $100 a night.

I discovered these assorted sleeping arrangements -- and voyeuristic snapshots of New York apartments -- not on a "Roommate Wanted" corkboard at a local market but on Airbnb, a nearly year-old Web site that opens doors previously closed to outsiders. The site works like Match.com for travelers, pairing those who need a bed with those who have one to spare.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

As We Forgive: The Mirror of Christ's Love

"This April marked the 15th anniversary of the horrific genocide in Rwanda. But what is happening there now is nothing short of a miracle.

'Can a country known for radical brutality become a country known for an even more radical forgiveness?' That’s the question BreakPoint’s own Catherine Claire Larson asks in her new book, As We Forgive."

Click here to read more about Larson's book.