The New York Times is back on the 20-somethings whose parents pay their rent beat this Sunday with a 2,000-word feature about small New York City apartments in less than desirable neighborhoods. Smell that Pulitzer? Nope, that’s just bark! Proceed and let the newspaper tell us how we’re living now…
Here’s the thesis, which concedes, Yeah, we know it’s always been this way, but work with us here:
To be sure, earlier generations had their share of hard-luck housing stories. But statistical evidence suggests that today’s new arrivals have a tougher struggle to live well, or even adequately, compared with their counterparts of just a decade ago. Battered by the one-two punch of persistent unemployment and the city’s high housing costs, they are squeezing into ever smaller spaces and living in neighborhoods once considered dicey and remote.
That said, no one is denying huge costs:
Between 2006 and 2008, according to the Planning Department, the portion of New Yorkers in their 20s who moved to the city from other states and who paid at least 35 percent of their income for rent was 42 percent, up from 39 percent in 2000.
Some would say the rent is too damn high. “Here are some tales from the front lines,” reports the Times.
Some live in neighborhoods that are “not quote unquote hot,” like Greenpoint or a place called the Bronks (?), while others settle for tiny windowless rooms and twin beds. Have you heard about this? And mice. In New York City!
“We had a mouse,” she acknowledged. “But if you live on the Lower East Side, you’ll always have a mouse.”
There are other options. From the very same newspaper:
On some 20 nights over the past two months, the Fohts, 25-year-old twins from Florida, have climbed about 25 feet up the side of a tall American elm tree in Central Park, stretched nylon hammocks between its branches, unrolled sleeping bags and, with a few acrobatic moves, squirmed into their makeshift beds.
“It’s kind of like its own ecosystem up here,” said one man. About a tree.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 13, 2010