Full House: An invitation to friends, both old and new
Lisa and Byron are both artists, and have been their whole lives. They first met at an art residence in 1986, were married in 1993, and their family home in a Park Slope brownstone is where they raised their three kids.
This past fall, when their son headed off to university, their downstairs sat empty, so when tuition bills started rolling in, Lisa realized Airbnb was a great solution to help pay for them.
“As artists with insecure incomes, Airbnb is the sure income we have in our lives.”
With a large family, Lisa and Byron wanted to make sure they had the flexibility to accommodate their children’s periodic visits home, or during the holidays when they have a full house. But in the off times, they frequently host guests through Airbnb.
Byron and Lisa are certainly no strangers to opening up their home, as they have been holding weekly dinner parties for over twenty years. “The dinners started for practical reasons because we didn’t have money for babysitters but still wanted a social life. So, we brought our friends to us—and the tradition never stopped.”
It began with a small circle of artist friends, but today the dinners have culminated into gatherings that include regulars, friends they want to introduce to one another, and those they want to get to know better. “It's been wonderful because we've created a community around our family which can be unusual in New York. The dinners are chaotic, but it’s relaxing and fun, and people aren’t necessarily used to having home-cooked meals. They leave feeling connected and wanting to come back often.”
The benefits of these weekly dinners extend to their own family as well. Every Saturday brings Lisa and Byron together at the end of a hectic week. They spend time together planning the menu and invite list, shopping all day, and cooking side by side. “Plus the kids grew up attending all of the dinners and, as a result, they feel very comfortable around adults. It wasn't planned, but they’ve learned to speak their minds, holding court among adults.”
As for their Airbnb guests, Lisa says, “We love meeting new people from all over the world no matter how brief the interaction is. I open up my home for dinner—this is simply an extension of that.”
“There’s these snippets of exchanged lives that make for a beautiful experience. I didn't think about that aspect of Airbnb before I got involved.”
Airbnb teams up with local directors and photographers to bring these stories to life. Thanks to Brian Ferry for capturing this story.