You too could live in a shoebox!


So it turns out that I’ll be staying in Hell’s Kitchen for a little bit longer. I had begun looking for somewhere else to stay, but due to a potential replacement being mega-flaky, I get to keep this room for the time being.

In the process of looking for new accommodation, I was confronted with the stark reality of how expensive rent is in New York. And I thought London was bad! Even just a studio in my block in Midtown would cost $2,700 (around £1600) per month. Sure, there are cheaper deals out there – especially if you venture out of Manhattan. Or you’re prepared to share with five others, live in some rat-infested shop flat or – rent a place like the one in this video.

Seriously? It reminds me of living in a caravan. And not like one of those luxury ones you see on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. In fact, no, not even a caravan. More like a prison cell.

I flew back from a short trip to Europe on Sunday and ended up watching the painfully try-hard TV series Girls on the plane. (In my defence, it said it was set in New York – and I was desperately bored). One of the themes in the first episode, however, was how the lead character was being subsidised by her parents so that she could afford to make rent in New York.

Consultation of friends here in the City revealed that this is actually quite common. Apparently Williamsburg is stuffed with trustafarians – or at least, it was until the recession kicked in. Even young professionals sometimes get a helping hand. And I’m not surprised. Even an estate agent told me the other day that things had got out of hand. I think I might just have to consider selling a kidney…

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