Apartment City: How Small is Too Small?

Written by on Monday, December 14th, 2009 with 27 comments
Ok…when I read this article on nypost.com early this morning, I could not BELIEVE the things peeps would sacrifice in order to live in Manhattan. It’s unreal.

And I have to tell you dahlings, that even though I am still a renter, I must come home to a place that makes me feel comfortable & relaxed. AND, it must be aesthetically pleasing to me.

Otherwise – coming back to my apt would be absolutely effing miserable.

Last year I spent a lot of energy re-decorating my apartment to suit my taste and it has made my life so much more positive & bright. It has turned my apt into an environment that is conducive to developing new project ideas, completing current work projects & overall a great place to live.

Of course, if I had an absurd amount of dispensable income, I would love to live in a penthouse in a lux high-rise (one day dammit!) . But for now, my apt suits me just fine and is actually one of my fav places to be – in Midtown of course!

There are however, a few things I cannot sacrifice:

  • separate kitchen (mine is tiny as hell but it’s still separate);
  • separate bedroom (unless your apt is a large studio, who wants to live & sleep in the same room?); and
  • enough space so I don’t feel claustrophobic (of which, I actually am!).

The folks in this article seem to be just fine without these things and even less….

SOURCE: nypost.com

They do their dishes in the shower, sit sideways on the toilet and need to watch their weight just to fit into their bathrooms.

But these cramped New Yorkers wouldn’t have it any other way.

A week after The Post told the story of Zaarath and Christopher Prokop and their 175-square-foot micro-studio on Sunday, other New Yorkers lined up to share their tales of living small, including a 55-square-foot apartment in Hell’s Kitchen and a 90-square-foot home on the Upper West Side.

“To me, it’s all about location,” said Eddie Rabon, 24, who lives in a microscopic Hell’s Kitchen abode. “I’m in an amazing neighborhood, and the money I save on rent alone lets me really enjoy New York for what it is. My apartment is a place to hang my hat and catch a few hours of sleep. That’s it.”

55 sq. ft., Hell’s Kitchen

When freelance event planner Eddie Rabon talks about his itty-bitty pad — just one square foot larger than a Rikers Island jail cell — the excitement is clear in his voice.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s a great neighborhood in the greatest city. It’s about $800 a month. You won’t find that price anywhere else in this area. I feel like the money I save not having to get on the train to get around because I’m in the center of everything is worth it.”

Rabon said the longest wall in his apartment is 121/2 feet, and that includes the apartment door. At its narrowest spot, he can spread his arms and almost touch both opposing walls. He said he has trouble turning around in his little shower, and said taller friends have been unable to close the bathroom door if they need to sit.

“The bathroom has an airplane sink turned lengthwise,” he said. “So I can’t actually fit in over the sink.

90 sq. ft., UWS

The first night Felice Cohen, 39, slept in her tiny apartment — with a full-size loft bed only 23 inches from the ceiling — she had a “panic attack.”

“But now I love it. It’s cozy,” she said of the 12-by-7-foot place, which rents for just over $700 a month.

Her tiny bathroom is a challenge, though: “I had to learn to sit sideways on the toilet so I don’t bang my leg on the tub.”

105 sq. ft., Greenwich Village

Genevieve Shuler, 31, always knew she wanted to live near Washington Square Park, the neighborhood her parents once called home. “When I first walked in, I thought, ‘This is really incredibly tiny,’” she said of the $780-a-month pad. “There were no closets, no real kitchen. But I knew I could do more with it . Once I knew my loft bed could fit, I took it.” When it comes time to do the dishes, because the kitchen sink is so small, “I do them in the shower.”

Q: Would you dahlings sacrifice comfort for location?


p.s. – The winner of MG’s Daffy’s Giveaway is – Very Married! Congrats darling, send me your email!! AND

p.p.s – I have a new giveaway that I will be posting about later today – so please look out for it! AND

p.p.p.s – Since Wed is SIMC, I will be sure to write up my date from this weekend, on this Thursday’s post…just so you know my sched, dolls – LOL! XOXO

27 Comments on “Apartment City: How Small is Too Small?”

  1. That was very interesting, but I cannot think of living in spaces that small even for free. The desire to live in Manhattan is like a drug, wow!
    People cope in many ways. The pictures were amazing.


  2. I'm claustrophobic so I'd never do that. If I had too, I'd never be in the place.

    I just read an article where a guy lives in and loves his 140 sq ft home and I thought that was nuts. 55 square feet is insane.

    I'm glad very married won – what a great pre-wedding gift.

  3. Very interesting post!

    I love all kinds of apartments and houses. Every size and almost every location is good for me.


  4. I read that article about the Prokop's the other day. I think it's really neat. My brother lives in NYC and I loved hearing about his wild searches when initailly getting his own place.

  5. Could you imagine being drunk and trying to come home to have sex in that loft bed? I'm thinking about all the bones I would break in trying to make that happen. Haha

  6. Um no. Come from a place of wide open space, I think I would have an anxiety attack! I'm laughing at the absurdity of these peeps "saving" money on rent… $800/mo for a closet-sized apartment?? I spend $400/mo for two bedrooms (I have a roomie), a normal sized bathroom, kitchen and living room. Oh, and a balcony. I'll stick with this, thankyouverymuch.

  7. Ohmigosh Amy I so love you for posting this right now!!

    Honestly, I think it would take some time to adjust to such a living situation; but what Eddie Rabon said makes sense to me…"My apartment is a place to hang my hat and catch a few hours of sleep. That's it." After all, you're in NYC!!! 🙂

  8. Wow, although I can relate to having to sit sideways on your toilet. Our tiny old student house has two tiny bathrooms, ours is the larger one, and you have to sit on an angle so your knees aren't in the shower. It's worth it for a full size shower tho. Oh and guys taller than 6 feet can't use the bathroom in the basement since the ceiling is only about 5'10 right above the toilet. But these people take small living to new extremes.

  9. OMG, this is INSANE!!!! I agree with you, there are certain things I need… like a kitchen period! These NYC professionals are living in glorified dorm rooms, or worse! I think the smallest NYC apartment I would settle for would be like Samantha's Hell's Kitchen studio on SATC. It's one big room, kitchen divided by an island, and a normal bathroom. Of course, I already figured out that I have to give up my dream of living in the City because of my "high standards." Oh well.

  10. OMG I would be sooo claustrophobic! My bro lived in a tiny apt his soph year of college (he goes to school in NYC) and his bed was lofted over the "kitchen". It was insanely tiny and cramped, but great location. He only stayed 1 year haha

    PS: If you still want to do your My Stocking- you can! I have 1 day remaining…let me know: laviejaime@gmail.com 🙂 Would love you have you!

  11. HAHAHA LOVE this post! And that my dear, is why I moved out of NYC. It's ridiculous what you have to pay for land a teeny-tiny apartment! Anywhoo- I have you an award! Check out my page 😉

  12. Blimey! And I thought my place was small! I am all about location but seriously, 55 square feet for $800 a month! Come on!

    Keep up the great blogging girl! It's fabulous!

  13. Wow, and I though my first place (425 sq ft on the upper east side) was teeny tiny. Although I will say after moving to larger and larger places in less and less desirable neighborhoods, there is certainly a reason for choosing location over size.

  14. That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of?! I would NEVER EVER even consider living in a place so small. I have to be comfortable in my home. I have to have space. I have a LOT of clothes and shoes and need somewhere to put them. All of them, lol

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