Renting

Renting in a Megacity Is a New Lifestyle Phase

Now that millions of more Americans routinely attend college, we’ve realized we can recreate some of the best parts of it and keep them going indefinitely. Why not?

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How To Get Our Belongings of Questionable Worth Across The Country

You can’t take a baby in a U-Haul. I can’t, or won’t, will not take a baby on a week-long road trip, much as I love the idea of a transformative cross-country road trip.

Also as it turns out, renting a U-Haul and dropping it off elsewhere is somewhere (far) north of $3,000. Plus gas. Plus lodging and food for the week it would take driving out there (42 hours of driving at the minimum).

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Places I’ve Lived: Paris, St. Louis, NYC

Boulevard du Montparnasse near Rue de Rennes, Paris, France, €600/mo, September-December 2012 After two years of living in dorms designed to be their own sort of “village” that were vaguely reminiscent of Disneyland, I lived in a tiny apartment in Paris for three months with a 60 year old psychoanalyst (a pure Freudian, because, well, she was French). She regularly rented out her apartment to visiting students and was dismayed at my lackluster French skills. I slept in her son’s old bedroom and was given my own bathroom. It wasn’t a bad arrangement, as the apartment was centrally located in Paris and I wasn’t obliged to eat any meals with her. I was awakened regularly at 8 am by screaming French children being dropped off by their parents for appointments. When I asked my host mom her “spécialité,” it all made sense: she treated kids who were “hyperactif.” Hence the early morning wails.

University Drive near Melville Ave, St. Louis, MO, $740/mo (my third) January 2013-May 2014 When I got back to school, I moved into a nightmare of an apartment just across a busy highway from campus. For three months, we endured a nightmarish landlady who would drive by slowly in her white Lexus and drop by unannounced at unexpected times of day using keys she wasn’t supposed to have. While I’d been living abroad, my roommates had gotten extremely sick from the apartment’s mold, the existence of which she denied. We found a similar apartment two buildings down, moved out after finals, and lived on the exact same block with a saner landlord for senior year. The new apartment featured a handyman who was basically our fourth roommate, so often was he there. His name was Bob Obbin. Say it aloud.

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Here Is Your Open Thread

Here is your open thread.

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On Living Cheaply in Los Angeles, Or Trying To

I knew from the beginning that I wasn’t in love with the apartment. The living room space was nice in theory, but difficult to appreciate under its permanent cover of the other girls’ stuff and clutter. My bedroom was at the end of a long, narrow hallway, with one high, small north-facing window that provided dingy light in the mornings, and none at all by noon. There was no built-in storage, and the ancient stove ran cold, with one reliable burner and two that never worked at all. The backyard, which had seemed charmingly ramshackle when I first saw it on a nighttime tour, turned out to be brown and barren, and the front porch was filthy with years’ worth of dust and dog hair.

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Soon We’ll All Be Somebody’s Roommate

In a country of stagnant incomes and rising costs of living, cutting costs often means having to find an affordable city to live in, but more commonly, it means finding roommates to split the rent.

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Places I’ve Lived: Detroit Edition

We lived in a brownstone off of Eight Mile in a decidedly not dangerous and predominantly gay area. To the west of us, houses began to fall in on themselves and the night became progressively darker. The streetlights were out.

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Airbnb: Bad For New York, Great For Me

I guess like most things in this new disrupted world of ours, I think Airbnb is bad for New York, but when family is in town and needs a place to stay, that’s exactly where I send them. On her last visit, my mom stayed in a place one block from us for $60/night.

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How A Person With a Five-Figure Income Buys an Apartment in New York City

When The New York Times ran a story in late June on income-restricted housing, I almost didn’t read it. After a six-month apartment search on a New-York-poor budget, I was something of an expert on the ins and outs of different types of buildings. But I had just curled up with a mug of coffee at my parents’ suburban kitchen table, their print Times arrayed before me.

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On Seattle and Small Apartments

That’s my apartment.

The whole thing.

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It’s Heating Season In New York City

I spent all night freezing my ass off and debating whether I should get out of bed to put on a sweatshirt, which means it must be late October in my rented apartment!

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