The Observer is excited by a Real Estate Group report, which claims big drops in Manhattan rental prices. It’s at best a mixed bag: non-doorman 1BR rents in the Upper West, Upper East, Midtown, and a lot of other places are actually up (6.43 percent in Harlem!); the big studio-1BR drops are in expensive areas like Gramercy Park, while in most affordable neighborhoods they’re down only one or two percent. It’s nice that we’re starting to see some of this kind of action, but we’ll still wait for soup lines and food riots to put true fear into the landlords. Meanwhile enjoy this recent video listing for an “Alcove Studio converted One Bedroom” (they put up a wall and made a bed-sized box with a sliding door) on West 56th for $1,885.