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Live Where They Lived

Barack Obama
Where: 142 West 109th Street.
What: A two-bedroom apartment in a walk-up rental building.
Monthly rent: $2,495.
Agent: Dalila Bella, Citi-Habitats.

The future president lived in the smaller of the two bedrooms in this third-floor, $360-a-month walk-up back in 1981, when he was attending Columbia. It’s said that he smoked cigarettes on the fire escape, cooked chicken curry in the kitchen, and listened to reggae with his roommate, Phil Boerner, in the living room. But the apartment was a lemon; the doorbell didn’t work and the heating situation was miserable—the two had to wrap themselves in sleeping bags while they studied. They moved out that spring. Now, though, the rent has gone up to $2,495, the floors have been restained and the exposed brick buffed—and the heat works just fine.

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