Without question, the search for a roommate is a tricky endeavor. Maybe you’ve been trolling through Craigslist, trying your best to avoid all the potential hoarders and murderers out there. Or maybe it’s been your plan all along to live with a long time friend. No matter the connection, roommates are often an unavoidable part of life in New York. Unless you’re rich, of course, and can bankroll a place of your own, right? Well, wrong! According to the Real Estate Section of the Times, there seems to be a trend of high-earners that want to shack up for companionship’s sake alone.
Katie Kirby, one of the New Yorkers profiled, acknowledged that money did play somewhat of a role in her choice to live with a roommate. In her words, though, the “larger reason” was that “New York can be kind of a lonely place.” The article shares sound bite-ready quotes corroborating Kirby’s thoughts on the matter, including mind-blowing insights like the fact that roommates can “provide a built-in social network” and a “hedge against loneliness.” Alongside these observations about the alleged trend at play, are photos of chummy roommates smiling in their bright, palatial digs.
It’s not news that many of the real estate stories featured in the Times are hopelessly alienating for most of us. And frequently, they detail the fairytale house-hunting experiences of the very rich—rents chronicled are usually enormously high and interviewees seem blissfully unaware of how they might be perceived by less privileged New Yorkers. This recent story—although seemingly intended as an attempt to show how, just maybe, there’s a common thread between all apartment-hunters—only continues to highlight the disparity. After all, these folks are not considering the prospect of a four-bedroom in Bushwick, but instead $5,400/month duplexes on Christopher Street. Rich people: they want roommates like you do, except their apartments are much, much nicer than yours will ever be.
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