I'm not sure what this says about me (though I'm sure you readers will not be shy about sharing your diagnoses in the comments section): I had a variety of reactions to this duplex penthouse NYC apartment making the blog rounds for having a slide built into it to connect the two floors.
My first reaction was "Hey, neat."
Then, noticing the view of the city beyond the windows, and given that the apartment is listed as being in the East Village, I determined it was that stretch of the East Village around 4th and Avenue D—right next to the PJ's. And suddenly having two apartments combined into a duplex and adding a slide, all within view of several hundred families living off of food stamps in the projects, seemed crass and decadent. I went from a reaction of "neat" to finding the design almost offensive.
Next, looking closer at the windows of the brick buildlings I realized that's not Avenue D or the PJ's at all: Those buildings are Stuyvesant Town aka Stuy Town, the private housing complex above 14th Street filled largely with middle-class families. Suddenly the apartment with the slide seemed within reason.
Finally I read that the apartment in question was commissioned by a professional gambler who made his fortune in online poker. Now the very existence of his place seems capricious, fleeting and serendipitous to me, as if its deed will one day end up on the table as part of a high-stakes wager.
My four reactions to this place may seem pedestrian to those of you who can debate architectural theory with a great deal of depth, but for me it was a reminder of how context—and indeed, perceived context, which is often impossible to predict—influences how a particular design is received.