Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Big Apple is now genetically modified.

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:28 PM Permalink

Between Mr. Vidiot's looming dissertation deadlines and the invasion of mice, I can't seem to find time to blog. While he typed away on his computer, I'm scrubbing and sterilizing the floors, counters and cupboards, laying in poison and traps and grousing the entire time. My landlord, in his infinite wisdom, dumped poison in the basement and didn't warn us or bother patching up the holes in the floor boards. So now we have incontinent house guests. And what we're paying for this privilege would blow your mind. But we're lucky. The neighbors next door just renovated their basement into an apartment (1 BR with garden) and are charging $2,400. A friend of mine just rented a 1BR with roof deck and harbor views for nearly $4,000 and she was telling me that a friend of hers is renting a 2BR on the Upper West Side for $5,600. That's PER MONTH. That's RENT. Beyond that, the average price of a 2BR condo or coop is like $1.3 million. For traditional mortgages, 20% down with mortgage, that would be $260,000 down, and the mortgage would be for $1.1 million so you'd have to take home nearly $400,000 in salary to even qualify. And this is in Brooklyn!


I mean wow.

We're relegated to living in an old apartment in an outer borough because we don't make nearly a half million in annual income. Granted, our apartment is nice. Old, but nice and relatively spacious and the landlords are actually quite nice if not very er, compulsive about their property. We really can't complain because where are we going to go? Do a Craigslist search for a 2 BR in Manhattan and you'll see what I mean. It's horrifying. It wasn't always so bad.

When I first moved to NY in the mid 80s, you could be poor and live here. I used to love the Fall. You could feel the energy in the city. People back from holiday, ready to work, create, act, perform. The juice was palpable. It just really jazzed you up. Over the years though, especially since this recent development boom and the skyrocketing rents, that energized-in-the-Fall feeling has been diminishing, until finally this year, I was sitting in the kitchen and thinking about stuff and I realized that I didn't feel that energy and it was already October.

I'm lucky I caught the tail-end of what used to be a very exciting place to live. Now though, it's just crass commercialism and if you aren't making boat-loads of money, you're SOL. There's no place for you. Sure, you can try to carve out a tiny niche somewhere in one of the boroughs OTHER than Manhattan, but the developers will be fast on your heels and before you know it, your building has been sold and you have to find something else. And who DOES make the needed boatloads of money? Really boring Wall Street types, self-absorbed marketing types, children of the wealthy, celebrities, etc. I'm sure they're all very nice people but they're completely lacking in any type of energy I can tap in to or, for that matter, WANT to be around.

And don't even get me started on the cost of theater and anything else that is remotely special to NYC. If it costs, it costs a lot. If it's free or even reasonable, it's so loaded up with people that it's unpleasant or impossible.


Sorry for the vent, but sometimes, and more often lately, living here is just so not worth it and it really gets to me.

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