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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Cost of Living Here Part II or, Life in Playland

Times Square
Photo by myself at Times Square at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue.


Yesterday, I wrote that The New York Times reported that rent for an average Manhattan studio apartment reached $2,200 a month. I remember when the rent for a studio apartment reached $1,400, which seemed like a lot.

By the time I moved from my apartment on the Upper West Side three years ago, the rent for my rent stabilized two room studio reached $1200. It was a good deal and I managed to save a little money, which went toward a down payment for my apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I wound up moving after I met Mark, since the place was claustrophobic for more than one human.

I know people who've shacked up with several roommates in loft apartments until their 40's. I have to wonder whether people in New York aren't very different from people in other parts of the world. It seems like our chronological age here might be 35, but we act as if we're in our mid-20's.

No offense to New Yorkers who read this blog, because being young at heart isn't a bad thing. We don't have to have many responsibilities beyond ourselves. We can party til the wee hours every night, and there's always a party going on. We don't have to own a car or a house.

Welcome to Playland.

Related posts: The Cost of Living Here, It Takes a Village and The Rat Race.


Mom Knows Everything said...

There are times that I wish I lived in Playland, but 99.99% of the time I'm very happy to live in Mommyland. It's still nice to dream about it every once in a while though. That's one of the reasons I love reading your blog, to me it's a whole different life. Have a great week!

Kitty said...

Hey Tammy
It's okay here. I hope I present a balanced view. Sometimes it can be glamorous, sometimes a bit ridiculous.

Have a wonderful week as well!

Eva said...

The rent over here have skyrocketed too. After years of living in the city, I moved to the suburbs, bought a 7 acre property and dived into gardening. I'm growing my own spinach and tomatoes now, and I even have an apple tree! I love it!

I think that most of us go through different stages in our lives. I'm in the gardening phase (did I hear veggie stage? *LOL*) right now.

Anonymous said...

You should consider a move to the cornfields of Ohio. You could buy a mansion for a monthly payment like those.

Carolyn said...

I agree with Mr. Lincoln. You could get quite the home for payments like that here in Ohio.

But then I would miss your NY pics!


Kitty said...

Morning Eva
Wow, 7 acres sounds lovely! You must get some wildlife over there?

My mom is an avid gardener, so I know that world very well. It takes a lot of work and dedication, but it's so rewarding.

Hi Mr Lincoln
It's a little ridiculous, no?
I never thought I'd live here because of the rent.

Hi Carolyn
I wouldn't mind being out in nature, actually. I think Mark would go nuts, though!

Destitute Rebel said...

Wow, thats quite expensive, A wonderful apartment with the works used to cost me $650 in Des Moines,IA , :-). the picture is really nice.

Anonymous said...

I do think sometimes that the rest of us tie ourselves down with a lot of unnecessary clutter and security. I would quite like to go back to the carefree days when I didn't have so much stuff or responsibility. Mind you, I suspect I would fall asleep at any party that went on past midnight these days.

Kizz said...

9 times out of 10 when you tell a non-New Yorker what people pay to live here their response is, "Well, my lands, for that amount of money you could get X amount of space here!" So? What exactly do I need with more space? And, more importantly, then I'd have to live somewhere else and I don't want to do that. I'm sure that wherever these other people live is perfectly nice but just because I could get more space for my dollar doesn't mean that I'd want to live there. Plus I'd then have to have a car and pay for gas and car insurance and I probably couldn't get a job (in any of the fields I work in now) that paid even half as much as what I'm making now, though the space in question would surely require more than half as much money as I'm paying to live here.

This is a pet peeve of mine so I tend to rant, sorry. What I'm trying to say is, when you mix and match all the variables it often doesn't bring you out ahead to move somewhere that the space is less expensive. Knowing that, why not just live where you're happy and let everyone else do the same.

Anonymous said...

This photo is my mind's eye-view of what NY is like! Want to visit one day. :)

Mab said...

New York looks like a very lively place to live, but I don't think I could keep up with the pace of it, I expect it to be a very expensive place to live because of all the facilities on-hand.

Fredrik said...

Would be interesting to try one day...living in NYC I mean. There are quite a lot of swedes over there, so I wouldn't be alone.

Eva said...

kitty, I have a lot of wild life here. A couple of days ago I saw two mice (outdoors, that is).
Did I tell you that I'm scared to death of mice?
I almost called a real estate agent on the spot!

But I guess that's what you get when living in the country. As for now, I keep my dog by my side all the time, LOL :-)

fishwithoutbicycle said...

No offense taken ;-) I love the fact that New York is an adult's playground, although I don't think I could live with a roommate at my age, I've considered renting my spare room to save money, but I value my space too much to share it.

Kitty said...

Hi Destitute
Everything is relative, I guess? The cost of living is higher here but the salaries are higher, too.
That said, the percentage of their salaries most NYers allocate to rent is generally much higher than other places.

I agree with you. What makes someone an 'adult', anyway? It's rather subjective.
I should have originally mentioned that cleaning gutters or even having gutters to clean doesn't mean anything. It's one way of living, that is traditionally 'adult'.
I rarely go to roaring parties either these days, lol

Hi Kizz
To each his or her own, yup. I'm with you because I'm obviously still living here. It's all a big trade off.
Rant appreciated!

Welcome Lessie
Well, the city is here to be visited. Plan ahead. Let us know if you need any help with recommendations.

Hi Fredrik
I haven't met any Swedes, but I've met just about every other nationality. You'd have an adventure for sure.

Welcome Mab
NYC is really what you make of it. It can be too much or not enough. It doesn't seem like it, but you can be in control.
I look forward to visiting your blog.

Hi Eva
We have mice, too (indoors!). And rats of course.
Good luck with the varmints!

Hi Fish
You're lucky to have your apt to yourself. One's home really has to be a refuge here.

Ming the Merciless said...

I agree with you on the immaturity of New Yorkers (in general). Most live with roommates in rental properties way past their 40s. In other cities, people that age would have been married with kids by now.

That said, to balance out the argument, I have to admit NYers tend to have less "crap" lying around because of space issues. We have to edit what we want in our small spaces so there is less waste in the city than in the suburbs.

Kitty said...

yeah, Ming, I compare NYers to other city dwellers like those in Tokyo or Hong Kong. It's minimal. Very very minimal.

People seem to be more into spending money on a nice dinner out, or drinks, or an experience, rather than stuff.
Well, people have stuff, too. They just go through it quickly.