These Nine People Gave Up the Middle-Class Dream. Was It Worth It?

When I first started asking around about group houses with kids, I was referred to Esteban Kelly, who ends up being my host at this West Philly group house. Kelly is, at 34, one of the coolest grownups I’ve ever met. A tiny Jamaican-American originally from New York City, he has a maniacal laugh and a polished hipness, complete with vintage glasses, that make him appear about seven years younger. (By the end of my stay, Esteban will be going full Cool Dad on me, urging me to deal with my 1099 tax situation and recommending the accountant he himself uses, as a contract worker—“Oh my god,” he raves of said accountant, “he is a total freak!”)

When I arrive at the house, which calls itself “InSoFar,” I’m met at the front door by Esteban’s partner, a lean, angular Spanish teacher named Stephen Holt, and their three-year-old daughter, Anaïs. The dutiful, clearly exhausted father gives me a tour of the house and we happen upon a game of cards on the expansive second floor. I sit down next to a half-finished glass of wine on a red shag rug and watch the game; it isn’t until the doorbell rings and Anaïs toddles upstairs to announce the arrival of our pizza that I’m asked, sort of languidly, who I am and who I’m with. When I tell them, there’s a murmur of recognition. Oh, right. They got that email.

Read the full article at Talking Points Memo


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