Not Just a Fence: The Story of a Stainless Steel Status Symbol

Poking her head through the steel bars of her Sunset Park apartment window, she said that “because it doesn’t rust and it’s more comfortable to live in,” the Chinese tend to like steel. “It makes the house look newer and more polished,” she said, adding that “most of the newly renovated homes across the street have these types of stainless steel products.” The steel fence and guards helped her feel safer. (Pandemic-fueled hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased in New York since 2020, and many Asian American residents are wary of the attacks.)

Banerjee, 77, who emigrated from Kolkata, India, in the 1970s, said he always wanted more. “My parents never drove a good car, but I have a Mercedes,” he said on a recent spring afternoon, standing at the top of her door adorned with stainless steel railings.

One of his first jobs was working in a jute factory in India. When he first came to New York, he crashed into several friends’ apartments. He started applying for jobs he saw advertised in the newspaper and ended up being hired as an engineer at a company.

After settling in 1998, Mr. Banerjee bought the house he now lives in, and over the years he has painstakingly renovated every bit of it, adapting it to the vision he had – the rugs, the windows, the garage and, of course, the fence was all replaced. “The fence protects everything. It’s growing in value,” he said proudly.

Hui Zhen Lin, 64, who has lived in her Sunset Park home for 10 years, said her home’s steel gates and railings were there even before she moved in, but they were certainly part of the property’s appeal. “These stainless steel products are great because they are clean,” she said. They don’t need to be repainted like iron and look naturally polished.

Xiu Zou, 48, who moved into an apartment in Sunset Park just two months ago, said he felt more comfortable in a house with a stainless steel door. “They’re good,” she said. “They are better than wooden doors because they are safer.”

Leave a Comment