Once breakfast is done, Altenberg usually heads to the gym (hence the 1,500-calorie breakfast) then spends the rest of his time working and hanging out with friends around the city.
"When I first moved into this place, I had to create a new definition of home," he told me.
A self-identified homebody who loved organizing social gatherings and entertaining friends and family in Wisconsin, Altenberg obviously doesn't play the role of host much anymore. Instead, living in a small space has encouraged him to constantly explore new places and he's learned to call the entire city his home.
Though New York's tiniest apartment has come with its fair share of challenges — it's nearly impossible to maneuver through the space without knocking into something, and Altenberg has inadvertently made entire shelves collapse just by reaching for his coat rack — it's had its perks, too. Ultimately, Altenberg feels like he's upgraded his life by downgrading his square footage.
He edited down his material belongings to fit in two boxes before move-in, and he's embraced the freedom that comes with such minimalism.
"I have hardly anything to take care of — I'm responsible for so little and I love that," he explained. In a city so consumed with material wealth, it was refreshing to see someone completely unencumbered with "stuff."