We keep hearing that rents are going down — and so they are, on paper, but in reality we still live in the Age of the $1350 Upper East Side Studio. We sometimes wonder if it would be cheaper to live in a hotel room. Well, guess what? Hospitality analysts Noble Investment Group say New York has had the steepest decline in hotel room rates of all U.S. markets. Over the past year they’re down 26 percent, from an average of $302 a night to $224.
$224 a night! That’s still not as good as the rate the city is paying for that Crown Heights nondo-turned-homeless-shelter ($90 a night). Why, a fella may as well become a hobo. In desperation we tried a midtown dump we thought we could lowball — the Hotel Pennsylvania — but the cheapest rate we could get was $152. Not bad, but for 30 days that’s $4,561. Of course, if you’ve been married 50 years or more you can get a huge break, but, number one, if you were that old we’d fall asleep waiting for the reservation agent to pick up, and number two, if we were married 50 years or more we’d be living in a goddamn house and wouldn’t be wondering about this. Oh well, there’s always the Luxe Guesthouse in Greenpoint.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 5, 2009