Book details

304 Pages
Publication date: May 2019
Imprint: Benevento
Christina Horsten Felix Zeltner

City Nomads

How a Family Reinvented Living in New York City

Leaving your comfort zone. Ridding yourself of dead weight. Re-discovering the center of your life—with a small child and two jobs in New York City, one of the most expensive cities in the world. At first, it’s just an adventurous idea. But then it turns into the adventure of a lifetime: Christina Horsten and Felix Zeltner decide to risk a housing experiment and move to a different apartment in a different neighborhood each month over the course of one year—and in doing so, they get to know both New York and their own life from a completely new side …

When they have to leave their beloved apartment on the Upper East Side, Christina and Felix learn that finding a place to live in New York isn’t just complicated, it’s sheer hell: The new apartment in Brooklyn turns out to be a dump, the landlord a ruthless cutthroat, and a new place to stay—affordable, pretty, and central—an unattainable pipe dream. Making the best of their situation, they decide to launch a housing project of a different kind: 12 months, 12 apartments, 12 neighborhoods—from Long Island City, the “village” within the city, to the China and Africa of New York City, through the boroughs of the poor and the uber-hipsters to the forgotten fifth borough, Staten Island. As modern urban nomads, they set out on a housing adventure amidst suitcases and moving cabs, online fraudsters and ever-new neighbors. And on a rebellion against their family back in Germany, who are not overly excited about the whole thing.
CITY NOMADS is the true story of a family that dares to make a new start in the city of cities and, by doing so, reinvents living. It’s motivation for everyone who thinks they are stuck in between all their possessions, everyday necessities, and fear of change. In the end, not only will you have discovered an entirely new world, but a feeling of home that you carry inside yourself.

»An amazing story. […] What a great project!«
Ernie Anastos, New York’s longest running news anchor

»Felix Zeltner and Christina Horsten’s predicament won’t come as too much of a surprise to those used to tales of apartment-hopping New Yorkers. It’s their solution that was extraordinary.«
Ruth Walker, Editorial Director, W42ST Magazine

»For most New Yorkers, moving is a special kind of physical and psychological hell to be avoided at all costs. Having to do so every single month? Best not to speak of it. But talking to Christina Horsten and Felix Zeltner (…) the idea starts to seem downright doable.«
Virgina K. Smith, Managing Editor, Brick Underground


English manuscript

Sample Translation


Christina Horsten

Christina Horsten and Felix Zeltner both graduated from the Deutsche Journalistenschule and have been living in New York with their young daughter Emma for a few years. Christina writes for the dpa, Felix advises media companies on both sides of the Atlantic as a partner of the strategy agency Work Awesome and teaches aspiring journalists in Germany. Living in New York City requires creative living solutions—and the drive to make it in the most exciting city in the world despite all setbacks.