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5 Things That Are Acceptable in a New York Apartment That Wouldn’t Be Acceptable Anywhere Else

At some point, pop culture, frustrated artists, and sleazy bankers collectively decided that New York was the place to be. I resent that, because now I have to spend an ungodly amount of money on rent to live in a walk-up and shower in a tiny bathtub. The worst part is that I really love my apartment. It has that distinct New York charm that I’ve been conditioned to like — the one that almost makes me forget that landlords are exploiting my desire to be in the city by never, ever remodeling their units. It seems that capitalism, the sole incentive for innovation, has failed New Yorkers. We are willing to pay whatever is asked of us to realize our “New York, New York” and “Empire State of Mind” fantasies. Here’s a list of shitty things in NYC rentals that wouldn’t be acceptable anywhere else:

Those grimey, cream-colored bathtubs

I find it very unsettling that most New York apartments don’t have showers. The pre-war bathtub aesthetic isn’t cute, and shower curtains are disgusting. Does anyone ever take a bath in those things? I think not. It’s just inconvenient at this point. 

The bicentenary toilets and sinks

It’s unsanitary to sit where my ancestors sat. It also doesn’t help that they’re the same ugly shade as the bathtubs. 

There’s no closet space

“This apartment has So MuCh clOSet SPaCe foR NeW YorK” — *opens a single, rotting wooden door to reveal a rod that can fit 15 hangers tops*. 

The walk-ups

Moving a couch up four flights of stairs is traumatic. 

There’s no laundry in-unit

I saved the absolute worst for last. Hauling a massive bag of dirty sheets and underwear up and down and washing it in a communal machine is the epitome of New York real-estate bullshit. 

Sometimes I’ll scroll on Buzzfeed articles titled: What U$2000 in Rent a Month Will Get You in NY vs. Other Cities in The U.S. And to the 5 bedroom mansion in Texas I say: I would rather be dead in New York than alive in Dallas! Goodbye. 

Gabriela Jatene

Columbia Barnard '22

Gabriela Jatene is a dog mom and senior at Barnard College, studying History and English. Contact her about her articles or fear of crickets at gsj2106@barnard.edu
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