Sunday, May 17, 2009

Small brains pay big bucks for small pads

From the Daily News:

A Manhattan man's 210-square-foot pad on the upper West Side earned the title of New York's smallest, coolest apartment from apartmenttherapy.com.

Kevin Patterson, 32, snagged first place in the "teeny tiny" division for his itsy-bitsy home on West End Ave.

"I moved here from a place that was four or five times this big," he said, explaining that he then sold off most of his belongings to remodel the studio into a mini-gem.

Patterson, a project manager at a real estate development firm, makes the most of his $1,550-a-month space with creative hidden storage and careful use of color, lighting, and mirrors.


You can get a 2-3 bedroom apartment for that rent in Queens, depending on the neighborhood. So happy to not be a Manhattan slave. It seems like poetic justice though considering the dude works for a developer.

34 comments:

georgetheatheist said...

You think this is small?

The next time you birds, er I mean esteemed readership, are in Philadelphia, you must pay a visit to the restored Eastern State Penitentiary - the "Alcatraz of the East" - now a museum and, get this, artist gallery! I spent a good part of a Sunday touring this Big House two years ago. Eastern State housed Willie Sutton ( you can see the cell from where he made his short-lived escape) AND Al Capone.

Go to www.easternstate.org. and click on "Online Tour" and then Item #7: "Al Capone's cell". Scarface sure had great taste in furnishings, no?

Yada yada, Warden!

Jason said...

Holy crap! That is alot for rent, especially a 200 sq. ft. apartment.

I recently moved from a brand new 1200sq. ft. 1-bedroom apartment in Grand Haven, Michigan that I was paying $550/month for, into a smaller downtown loft (700 sq. ft @ $625/month)

I could not imagine getting any smaller than 700 sq. ft. I am cramped as it it, yet it is cozy. The prime waterfront location in the heart of downtown makes up for the small price increase I pay.

Rent in Manhattan is apparently absolutely insane!

Anonymous said...

The difference between the Al Capone cell and the doofus apartment is that one is paying money to voluntarily stay in there, and the other was forced into it and wanted nothing more than to get out.

steve said...

I'll paraphrase this retired fdny lt. that I coincidentally just read commenting on this article....I wonder if they asked him about that air conditioner blocking his access to the fire escape before giving him his award.

italian girl said...

There's gota be something wrong with this guy. No one coulf be THAT happy living in a space not much larger than a prison cell.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed that building codes allow this. Talk about greed. What was the space before? Someone's walk in closet, bathroom?

Of course the ugly reality is that this is certainly not the "smallest" apartment in New York.

That "honor" would go to some of the crash pads in Chinatown where people sleep in shifts in beds attached to the walls, illegal cubicles in utility rooms next to CO spewing boilers, attic apartments, basement apartments and so forth.

Twenty years ago a friend was telling me about office buildings where an employee would slip you a key in exchange for cash so you could crash on the floor and be out before it opened.

We are so proud of our shame. Greed is a sickness in America, New York especially.

Linda said...

WHAT A JACKASS! are you kidding me and i thought the L.I.C. condos were small.. only a moron would be proud of this.

Anonymous said...

I hate myself. My ego controls me. If I were a happy person, I'd count my blessings and be content with all I've been given.

But I'm sad and self-loathing.

So, to feel better about myself I must say: What a moron!

Ha! I'm so much better than him. Smarter too. And of course better looking.

Why? Because he has a small apartment in Manhattan! And he actually seems happy! What a dumbass! I wish I could tell him what a dumbass he is. If he only knew, then he wouldn't be so happy!

Ahhh, I feel better now. Misery loves company.

I am the greatest.

faster340 said...

Damn that's stupid! I had a nice 450 square foot apt. in Maspeth with 1 pretty big bedroom, living room with integrated kitchen and lots of light that was rent stabilized for $500 a month. I lived there for 10 years. I moved in at $472 and moved out at $600 10 years later. This moron pays $1500 for 200 sq. feet and his rent will probably go up ridiculously every year thereafter. Some people are just idiots!

Anonymous said...

As long as these idiots are willing to pay top dollar for the privelege of living in a room anbout the size of a closet because it is in the Big City, then these greedy landlords will continue to raise the already outrageously high rents well past what the average middle-class NY'er can ever hope to afford. This city will very soon become the exclusive home to laid-off bankers and financial wizards, and the unwashed tweeders will replace the extinct middle class, performing a quarter of the work formerly done by skilled laborers, but at half the pay. This is your legacy Bloomturd!

Anonymous said...

Well how can he be happy when he can't bring a chick home? What would she think? Can't have friends from out of town stay over either.

Anonymous said...

If he's happy, let him be. I lived in Manhattan, for 2 years and had a lot of fun and great memories, I don't regret it a bit, even when my place was tiny and rent was ridiculous by many standards. Now I live in Queens and I also love it. Its all part of growing up as you age and living in NYC.

Anonymous said...

I would say that might be true if this dude was 22. But he's 32. When will he grow up?

LINDA said...

lmao, wow still think he's an ass.... love the remark from the one misery loves company and feeling better, you made my day..

georgetheatheist said...

Actually, his pad is pretty spacious.

How low can you go?

Check out Wikipedia "Capsule Hotel". ("kapuseru hoteru")

Jeff said...

Rents have dropped in Manhattan, and that's too much to pay for that little place.

Anonymous said...

I must also express my awesome opinion.
This man must be retarded since he has a different value system.
People in small apartments, especially in towers, are all morons because they are able to make efficient use of limited space. What a joke they are! Suburban sprawl laughs at them.

Anonymous said...

Small dicks pay big bucks for McMansions in Forest Hills.

Anonymous said...

It's not his "value system" that is being attacked, but the cost of his space and its dubious suitability.

There is a limit to how bad we can house people. A friend's brother was literally cooked to death in an illegal attic apartment one summer.

Many of these "small spaces" are death traps. In addition to the attic apartment, one can see thousands of illegal basement apartments with only one means of egress and toxic levels of sewer gas and radon.

God forbid a New York landlord should not squeeze out every nickle that he can. If living conditions and wages for American workers don't improve soon we will see riots.

Anonymous said...

It's not his "value system" that is being attacked, but the cost of his space and its dubious suitability.

Oh, really. And your assessment of cost vs. "suitability" isn't a highly subjective value judgment? Let's see what your fellow commenters were saying:

"There's gota be something wrong with this guy. No one coulf be THAT happy living in a space not much larger than a prison cell."

"WHAT A JACKASS! ... only a moron would be proud of this."

"This moron pays $1500 for 200 sq. feet... Some people are just idiots!"

"As long as these idiots are willing to pay top dollar for the privelege of living in a room anbout the size of a closet..."

Now are we FOR the free market, or are we AGAINST it? Are we FOR government regulation on private property, or are we AGAINST it? This can all be very confusing in black and white terms.

All I know is, the guy's happy in that space and lots of people around the world live - willingly and expensively - in similar circumstances. Why not let them? Then there's more room for you and I to have our own houses.

Anonymous said...

Because he is living in a firetrap and when his "cool" ass gets burned in a fire because he couldn't get out to the fire escape due to the presence of the air conditioner he put there, he or his survivors (should he perish) will sue the shit out of NYC (i.e. us taxpayers) for not making sure the building was up to code. And when he is getting treatment for 3rd degree burns or being lowered 6 feet underground, he won't be so happy having lived there.

Anonymous said...

"Are we FOR government regulation on private property, or are we AGAINST it?"

Building, zoning, health, fire codes. They are all regulations with regards to private property. I would think that it would be rather dangerous and unhealthy to have your bed in your kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I would think that it would be rather dangerous and unhealthy to have your bed in your kitchen.

So, I have to ask you... why do you care if MY bed is in MY kitchen?

Or do you mean this:
he or his survivors (should he perish) will sue the shit out of NYC (i.e. us taxpayers)

Wow. That's a can of worms, ain't it? So what's the bigger problem, that this guy likes his 200sf apartment, or that the US is an idiotically litigious society? Which problem is EASIER to fix, and which one SHOULD we fix?

Anonymous said...

The government is responsible for ensuring the safety of its citizens. This is why we have codes and inspections. The fact that this photograph appeared in the paper should have triggered a call from the DOB or FDNY the very next day.

Anonymous said...

For those who see this as a personal freedom issue, a little historical perspective is in order.

There are excellent books such as Jacob Riis, "How the Other Half Lives," that will tell you that there is nothing new under the sun.

Right now 100 years of protection are under attack. Please familiarize yourself with the history of tenements, the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, the Progressive movement, the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, the governorship of Al Smith and LaGuardia's mayorlty before you think this is a great idea.

As I stated before, PEOPLE DIE this way. My objections are fueled by personal experience and historical knowledge. They were not plucked from thin air.

Anonymous said...

The government is responsible for ensuring the safety of its citizens.

Good, then no private citizen has any need for an assault rifle or handgun. Right?

Right now 100 years of protection are under attack. Please familiarize yourself with the history of tenements, the Triangle Shirtwaist factory...

HYSTERIA!!!
Look, I'm fully aware of the horrid housing and working conditions that prevailed up to the early 1900s. And there's no way I'm going to play along with your frivolous comparison of this little "gem" of an apartment, which offers light and air and the-tenant-is-quite-happy-and-I-don't-presume-to-question-his-taste, with the dark, damp, miserable typhoid-ridden cellar conditions forced on immigrants in the days before rent control. Apples and kumquats.

Anonymous said...

Actually bringing guns into the discussion about an apartment that is a firetrap is more like apples and oranges...

His living condition is obviously illegal. Just because he may be happy there doesn't mean he has the right to live like that or that he should be praised for doing so. And I am sure if there was time to dig deeper into this, he is living comfortably somewhere else and just uses this space as his "Manhattan address."

Anonymous said...

"miserable typhoid-ridden cellar conditions forced on immigrants in the days before rent control."

1) No one is ever FORCED to live anywhere.
2) Today the rent controlled apartments are the ones which most frequently have the horrid conditions, so was no panacea. It also was meant to be a temporary emergency measure in the post WWII years to deal with the housing crisis that turned into an entitlement.

Anonymous said...

I did not mention the 19th Century only. Please note my earlier post where I explained that a brother of a friend was literally cooked to death in an illegal basement apartment.

This happened in Queens a couple of decades ago, and I have seen for myself while working for the census that worse conditions are endemic.

As far as the terrible conditions of rent-stabilized apartments, you are correct. However, the alternative is usually a place in the gutter, so a lousy apartment looks good.

If the landlord wants 1,200 or 1,300 a month for a decent place at market rent you will have to make at least 60 K to be considered for such a spot. Many perfectly decent people make less than 40K and have to live somewhere.

Anonymous said...

1) No one is ever FORCED to live anywhere.

In this gent's case, that's absolutely true. And that's the point - the apartment has light and air, he's got choices, and he chooses to pay insane rent for this rabbit cage. He could find something more spacious at half the price elsewhere, but he chooses not to. Who are you to challenge his choices?

Now, in the tenements of NYC past, those crowded basement conditions were practically forced on the lower classes because that was the housing of last resort. Sure, you can say they weren't FORCED to live there, but they had no affordable choice in the city.

Anonymous said...

Who says they had to live in the city? No one forced them to live here.

And in this case, just because someone chooses to live in an unsafe condition doesn't mean I should be ok with it.

Anonymous said...

Who says they had to live in the city? No one forced them to live here.

Well, that method of arguing could very quickly spiral out of control, ending in nihilism.
Let's just use our heads for a second and consider that these were people immigrating to the US in pursuit of economic opportunity, and unless they already knew how to farm and could afford farmland here, their best odds were in the city. Can we stop being silly now?

And in this case, just because someone chooses to live in an unsafe condition doesn't mean I should be ok with it.

And just because you're not "ok with it" doesn't make it unsafe, nor does it become your business. If you don't like how this guy chooses to live, ignore him. Or better yet, move. Who says you have to live here? Nobody is FORCING you to obsess over others' housing preferences.

Anonymous said...

If you live in the city and your job, doctor, and family are in the city, you may be "forced" to live there.

After all, while you are looking for a job in a new city you still have to meet all your expenses in the old one while paying for plane tickets, hotel lodgings, rental cars, etc.

If you go down to a new city without employment, you may be unable to find housing or a job.

If you cannot afford an extended period of unemployment or double expenses you're stuck. Money makes money.

Anonymous said...

"And just because you're not "ok with it" doesn't make it unsafe, nor does it become your business."

No what makes it unsafe is the clear violation of the fire code in the picture. When the chap chose to enter a contest and then pose for photo in a newspaper it became my business as well as that of the DOB and FDNY.