Why Brooklynites Can Afford Fancy Artisanal Foodstuffs (Hint: It’s Because Our Rents Aren’t Too Damn High)

Hi there, Levar Burton!
  • Hi there, LeVar Burton!

Following on the heels of Bloomberg’s announcement of the construction of micro-apartments, comes the report that Manhattan rents have reached a two-year high with the average cost of a studio apartment exceeding $2,500/month and a one-bedroom averaging almost $3,400.

Which, say it with me now…the rents are too damn high!

And also, those micro-apartments priced at under $2,000/month are starting to look pretty good.

According to Jonathan Miller, an appraiser and auditor who wrote Prudential Douglas Elliman’s report on Manhattan rents, factors that have contributed to the rapid rise in rents include the current difficulty people have getting approved for credit now. New York Magazine’s Daily Intel reports that Miller says, “credit is irrationally tight right now which is preventing many from taking advantage of record low mortgage rates. This is tipping the balance causing rental prices to rise.”

So, what are people who really, really, REALLY need to live in Manhattan to do?!?

I don’t know. NY Mag suggests looking at some neighborhoods like Midtown West, which, sure! By all means, if you are the kind of person to whom Manhattan is still the ultimate dream, then, yeah. Go look around Midtown West. I’m sure what you’ve always wanted can be found there in the…what is that? The navel of New York? I guess it’s not as central as a navel should be. The appendix scar of New York?

Sure! Go live in the appendix scar of NY and, while you’re at it, buy one of those 212 numbers for your phone that people sell on Craigslist. Because then, when your high school friends from Manalapan get a text from you, they’ll know you’ve really made it. Your grandma might think it’s cool too.

Meanwhile, other people can come to Brooklyn where they will find the low, low (ok, not so low) rent prices that we have available here. Instead of the 18.8% rise in studio prices that Manhattan has to offer, here in Brooklyn, studio prices only rose by 10.8% in the last year for a current average of just under $1,800/month.

Do you know how much savings that ends up being? A lot. I’ve done the math and it’s $1,700 a month. You can do a lot with $1,700 a month, including—but not limited to—renting a priced slightly below average studio in Brooklyn and then go back and forth between your two studios.

Here are some other things that I would do:

1) Ride the Slingshot in Coney Island. That’s only 20 bucks. So I would do it many times and check out the view from 150 feet up. You can see a lot of affordable housing from up there. Of course, you’ll be moving at 90 miles per hour, but that’s hardly the point.

2) Eat a lot of things that are not instant Ramen. Like, I would eat some good Ramen. I’d go to Chuko and get the Kimchi Ramen, which is only $12 a bowl. Not much more than Top Ramen, but so much better! I’d get lots of bowls of this. I would also spread this eating pattern out over multiple days.

3) I’d adopt a dog. That’s free actually but I’d have to pay for shots and food and toys and stuff of that nature. Ummm… so that’s another $300?

4) I’d buy a lot of books from a real brick-and-mortar bookstore. I’d spend a bunch of money on books. And I’d do it every month.

Does that take me to $1,700 yet?

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