NYC Is Still the Place to Be


My first thought is, Who is moving to NYC? Is it college educated 20-somethings who have no interest in having children (for now)?

This is still living for the privileged. When working class couples who started having children before they were 20 do this, I'll believe that they've found "the future." "Solutions" that ignore their needs, or push them out to the suburbs in favor of young elites, are not the future.
People storage boxes.

Using McDonald's and Starbucks as your kitchen isn't healthy.
"The living room will be the city."
Perfect breeding ground for the next antibiotic-resistant epidemic. Also, since it's a public space, this living room will be under the benevolent, watchful gaze of the CCTV cameras, thoughtfully mounted behind the common PictureScreenz(TM) on the walls; and this "room" will be of course subject to regular "cleanings"... by the police. Can't have those 20-something upstarts getting too confident now can we?
Goodbye, Charles. Enjoy your new life in an egg carton.
Visited NYC for a couple weeks awhile back, you couldn't pay me to live in that shit hole. West coast has it all.
@4: You are making the unfounded assumption that Charles will actually practice something he preaches.
@5 If you thought NYC was a shithole, you didn't get a good look at the cities that surround it. Compared to them, it's fucking paradise.
yeah, that's bullshit, potter. even dorms have communal living rooms.

an SRO is an SRO.
Charles, I really think you need to look a bit deeper into these micro-apartments. I've seen reports that they will have monthly rents ranging from $1500-$2000. That is not the future, unless the future is a NYC of luxury hotel rooms for already-wealthy twenty-somethings.
Alright, I can understand how this might be a desirable living situation if you're 20, single, have no children, and prefer spending your free time on the town, rather than at home, I still cannot see how eating McDonald's and Starbucks for every meal is cheaper or healthier than making your own meals. Please enlighten me, Charles.
Good Morning Charles,
Are you bewaring the Ides of March?:)

The other thing that Mayor Bloomberg has done is kick off an ad campaign against teenage pregnancy:

To be sure, it is hotly controversial:

Still, I commend him for trying to tackle an intractable problem. By & large, I like what Mayor Bloomberg has done for NYC. No wonder it is appealing.
Having lived in NYC--20+ years ago---I also ask, who the hell is moving there? The city, while having a lot of great culture, isn't all that affordable anymore for modest working people. Unless you've got a bunch of young people moving with serious financial backup from parents or some select few with great career opportunities that pay well enough to survive the cost of living.

I'll say this for those NYC apodments, Unlike the Seattle ones, they have their own private kitchen. It's important if you like to cook.
@ 10, if that's how Charles lives, it might explain a few things. But @ 6 is correct: Charles lives in a house. "For the diversity," he says, but that's a sentiment, not a value. He could live in a studio apartment if he wanted, but he doesn't.

I don't blame him. He has a family. Families need room and privacy. No, not in a house with a yard, necessarily, but 200 square feet doesn't cut it. Families need to bond over family meals. You can't do that without a kitchen. You can't do that in a restaurant.
This is, I think, missing the forest for the trees a bit.

The micro-apartments are pitched at young transplants and professionals who place a high premium on living in places like the east village. Nothing wrong with that, and I applaud the ingenuity. (@9: $1500/mo compares very well to a bedroom in a shared apartment in those neighborhoods, if you can find one which you probably cannot.)

The reason that NYC functions as a city in a way that basically nothing else in the USA does is that it has dense, redundant, 24-hour public transit access into its furthest corners. Yeah, no family of 4 is ever going to move into Chelsea unless they're already millionaires, but they don't have to: you can live as far out as Inwood or Jamaica and still be a $2.50 subway ride from your office.
Why do we need micro apartments? We have plenty of space and can always build up. I agree that dense cities are the way of the future, but micro apartments are a product of total belief in the free market to solve our housing issues. I thought you where anti capitalism Charles?
@15: Do you live in NYC? Because no New Yorker would ever suggest that the only thing that separates living in Inwood or Jamaica from living in Chelsea is a subway ride. Moreover, an hour+ subway ride, twice a day, is nothing to sniff at.

You "applaud the ingenuity" of the city? Great, I applaud it too. Except the city's job right now isn't to find ways to make trendy and wealthy areas more accessible to the trendy and wealthy! It's job is to provide long-term, sustainable, livable, AFFORDABLE housing to the millions of regular people who make New York a city and not merely a theme park for the rich.

Instead, the City is creating micro-apartments for wealthy youth, ceding larger and larger chunks of the city to NYU and Columbia, and building luxury apartment towers in the "open space" of already-existant housing projects. What's "open space"? Oh you know, parking lots, parks, playgrounds.
@17: I lived there for a decade, my partner is a born-and-raised Manhattanite, and we are moving back in November. (To Inwood, in fact, and with a family. And we are not millionaires by any stretch, to put it mildly.)
Way to push everyone away from an idea by saying THIS IS THE WAY YOU SHALL LIVE.

Apodments are for people that value their space less than their money and their time. Some people will always choose the resource-inefficient suburbs, or more expensive larger apartments or city homes, and that's their right. But it's a great idea to allow for smaller living spaces for people that want them. We win by not making them consume more resources, plus we can let our barista or our waiter live close to their work.
@17 is correct. Location dictates your life in NYC. We lived in a tiny apartment in the Village, but we were busy and lived outside. That's why people are on the stoop, in the park and hanging out at coffee shops.
The Stranger's great Renaissance Negro doesn't live in a micro-apartment, so why should anyone else suffer his masterbatory, Marxist fantasies?
@18: More power to you, but you can be sure that in a year's time you'll be sick to death of spending 2 hours out of every day on the A train (assuming, of course, that you'll be commuting to the City's wealthiest areas; it's all well and good for regular people to live on the outskirts if they never leave them).

The travel time will be worth it though, I understand, because you live in the City. I can't argue with that. But let's not pretend that prohibitive daily commutes aren't yet another of the many ways in which the City punishes the economically normal.
@22: it's a trade-off. We can live in a 3BR in a further-out neighborhood, or we can pay (a lot) more for (a lot) less space closer in: given that we've got a child, it's an easy choice. We'll mostly be commuting to midtown, which is entirely tolerable on the A (or in my case in the warm months, on the west side bike path).

At the end of the day, I just can't get exercised about the fact that desirable neighborhoods are more expensive than less-desirable ones. NYC is already one of the most densely-packed cities in the world, and it has always been in large part a playground for the wealthy. If you've got a magic bullet that will push the average price of a 3BR below $2k/month south of 40th street, by all means use it, but I don't believe it exists.
I agree with almost everything Charles says about small space living, except for the no-kitchen thing. What the hell is that about? There are many, many good reasons to have one, and you can keep the additional space to a minimum if you stick to the basics (enough counter space for a cutting board and a mixing bowl, a small oven with stovetop, a microwave, a sink, some minimal cabinetry, and a mini-fridge).
Building on an island exposed to massive tidal waves and storms due to global warming - not the smartest idea.

@24 Seattle's aPodments have a little fridge and freezer, a microwave, sink, cabinets, and little counter. (second picture here). An electric hot plate costs less than $20. Plus there are full shared kitchens if you want to do something fancy.
The "Micro-Apartments" of NYC are not the SROs of your vision, and certainly not of the Videre. They're smartly-designed small studio apartments of 250 to 375 square feet, with features to allow flexible multi-use of space.

The reason for the competition was to come up with a reason to overturn New York City's current building code, which outlaws new apartments under 400 sq.ft..

To you folk living in Seattle, and actually to us living in Brooklyn, Manhattan rents are astronomical. This project is a way to allow singles (with decent-paying jobs) to have their own shiny-new apartment in a decent part of town, without having to share with roommates.

Alternatively, you could just come to Brooklyn.

Here's an article on the subject, ironically from Bloomberg News.
A lot of you seem to think that NYC = manhattan. There are plenty of other places in city that are welcoming to young coules starting families.
There is a kitchen. It is just shared. Horrors!

Seriously, it is not much different than how lots of people live. The other tenants are basically roommates. The only difference is that it is designed and leased that way (as opposed to someone leasing it to one person and that person asking everyone else to chip in for rent). I guess the other difference is that there are way more bathrooms (which is nice).
A kitchen is a necessity, especially if we are expected to eat healthy. If you can't afford a decent size apartment, how the hell can you afford to eat out all the time?
@ 28, welcome back.
The flaw of the micro apartment is the assumption that construction costs are that closely tied to market prices. A market that creates the need for a 275 sq. ft. apartment doesn't afford much discount based on cramped quarters. If anything, it showcases current stock of available units as somehow more luxurious than this new alternative.

A more sensible solution to a 4 story building with 275 sq. ft apartments is a 6 story building with 500 sq. ft apartments that people may actually enjoy living in 60 years from now.
Brooklyn is OK, but Seattle, Portland, and Austin are in the top 10 fastest growing cities and are all far above NYC in population growth. No coincidence that they have the strongest vegan infrastructure in the country.
@ 33, yes, actually, that's a complete coincidence. And watch that "infrastructure" dissolve with hipster veganism...
It depends on the train you live by. I'd agree that the A is probably the most reliable. We moved to Queens for more room and lasted a year because the 7 was packed and hot in the summer and freezing in the winter with the platforms up and open to the wind and the weather. It's so much easier when you can walk or grab a cab.
Chuck, do us all a favor and move there.
Another thing Charles, when you get there make sure to quickly reach for your wallet if you are ever confronted by the NYPD.
@33 As long as your growth doesn't outstrip your infrastructure, you're golden.

New York City has a lot of infrastructure and most of it works most of the time. Most of it could use upgrading, but at least we have it.

@37 Better yet, don't make any quick moves. They're not as crazy/jumpy or poorly trained as the SPD, but they're still cops and they can be a bit defensive.
yeah, but the sprawling suburbs are getting worse just about everywhere. This is the problem with your centrist/globalist position. You choose to continue holding hands with your political opposite down the path towards the homogenous dead-zone. Instead of adapting a more ecologically sound platform where blue states accelerate in to a bioregional ecotopia you give in to paranoia and your pathological drive to control and subjugate the political opposite. Let the red states fail and collapse into waste while the blues are rewilded and densified. Reject this nationalistic blanket of declining mediocrity.