People Rent By-The-Hour Spaces To Escape Loved Ones, Homes During Lockdown


Brittney Gwynn, a 32-year-old project manager, was growing weary of her boyfriend after weeks of lockdown in Brooklyn.

“Our love is unlimited,” she told the New York Times. “But in terms of the time we’re spending together, we’re getting on each other’s nerves.” So Gwynn turned to Globe, a year-old app that offers daytime short-term rentals by the hour.

Its main pitch — that people will pay for a quiet space to make calls, do work or just be alone — rings especially true now, as New Yorkers wrap up the 10th week of the state’s stay-at-home order. Gwynn shelled out $100 for two hours in a blissfully boyfriend-free apartment in a Downtown Brooklyn high-rise, where she held a work call for 45 minutes after wiping down all surfaces with an antibacterial wipe.

She happily hung out solo for the remainder of her allotted time. Globe was founded in San Francisco, which is still home to the most Globe rentals — though New York is both its second-biggest and fastest-growing market. Since the coronavirus outbreak, the company reports, it has seen 25,000 new users worldwide. And in New York, there’s now a wait list of more than 10,400 people who want to become guests, according to cofounder Emmanuel Bamfo, no doubt fueled by coronavirus-related cabin fever. About 2,000 people have come off it and been approved to use the app.

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