I’m sure you all know about the sky high prices of renting (and buying) apartments in New York City. New York City residents have the option of using a broker, thus paying a 15% commission of the entire year’s rent, along with a one month security deposit, and another one or two months of rent before moving in. Or if they don’t want to go that route, they could search Craigslist for either apartments or rooms to rent, if they want to save some money and have a roommate.
Now I thought I would try taking a roommate a while ago, but I was immediately turned off by people who could barely put a coherent sentence together. Also, I learned that I’m way too old for this kind of thing. I mean it’s one thing to be fresh out of college, with dreams of “making it” in the Big Apple. At that age, living in a basement apartment with several roommates while taking an entry level “glamour” job in advertising, public relations, or publishing no doubt is seen by some as edgy and chic. I know this because I’ve lived in Manhattan for most of my adult life. The expression “bridge and tunnels crowd” was made up by Manhattanites who look down their noses at people who live in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx. (But then again, I don’t think it applies to residents of Brooklyn Heights and Astoria these days.)
These are some of the same people who will pay more than ten dollars for the privilege of waiting on several block long lines in 10 degree weather to see the latest movie. These types will also take a summer share in a Westhampton pig sty of a house, or sleep in the garage of that same disgusting house just to say they vacation in the Hamptons.
Anyway, the reason I thought of all this today is because I just came across blog called The Worst Room, run by a homeless man that shows what your money will get you (or in this case, won’t get you) if you want to rent a room in New York City. Get a load of some of these rooms:
“Loft bed setup with workstation”
(The Breakfast Nook)
I don’t have to remind anyone here that New York has always been a blue state. But New York City is the bluest of the blue. In most of these social circles, it’s just a given that you’re a liberal Democrat. I remember one time going out with a neighbor of mine and her friends back in 2003. At the restaurant, my neighbor started by saying “Now we’re all Democrats here,” at which point I interrupted her to announce my conservatism. And her answer was “That’s OK.” They were all very excited about having the choice of either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as the next POTUS.
I’ve had as neighbors well to do married woman with one or two small children who worked high powered jobs. If I’d bothered to ask them at the time about their politics, I’m sure they would have said “Of course I’m a Democrat! Why are you even asking me?” But I’ve always wondered if they saw anything wrong with working 60 hours a week for the privilege of living in a fancy Upper East Side high rise rather than staying home with their children. Did it ever occurred to them that they might not need two salaries in the first place if they weren’t taxed so relentlessly. Then again, something tells me that their brains don’t work that way. After all, being a high powered working woman with one or two kids while living in a pricey Mahhattan sky rise is “chic.” You’re “having it all.” Staying home with the kids would be “wasting their education.” And let’s not forget the whole feminist/pro-choice issue. In New York City, it’s automatically assumed that you’re pro-choice. I mean what other way would there be for these women to have the same sexual freedom as men, right? Maybe that’s why they put up with the 60-80 hour work weeks, the punitive taxes, the big bad co-op boards (a subject of an entirely different post), and the subway.