Oh god, apartment brokers. The worst. The bait-and-switch they pull with CL listings is jaw-dropping. One broker got me into his office, and of couuuuurse the fantastic listing he'd posted on CL had "just rented." So, I told him I wanted a one-bedroom for less than $2500/month below 14th street. He nodded,and then showed me a studio in Hell's Kitchen. WTF. Even better was the broker who offered to show me his "exclusive listing" - which turned out to be an apartment I'd found the day before on CL and had already toured, which was definitely being rented directly by the previous tenant and not by any brokers. Basically, he wanted to charge me a fee for showing me a by-owner listing he found on Craigslist. Yeah, that would totally have been worth $2000, dude.
@Heather F G It was an AWESOME car. A 1965 Lincoln Continental convertible. Took our best pics posing next to and in the car -it was a real highlight! So, I don't feel as bad about it as I probably should :D And definitely true about the difference between "maxxed out" and "almost maxxed out" - those tiny bits of wiggle room are wedding lifesavers. Thanks so much for this article!
Worst unanticipated wedding expense: an out-of-town friend wanted to attend my wedding, but couldn't afford a hotel room. I breezily told her it wouldn't be a problem to just sleep over with me at my parent's house. I cleared it with my parents, and all was well. Until my dad, flipping out from the stress two days before the wedding, decided that any houseguests were FAR too complicated and he Would. Not. Have. Any. Guests. At. HIS. House. I asked him what to do, and he looked at me pointedly and said "looks like you need to get her a hotel room, I guess." Had no idea what to do - call my friend and tell her she couldn't come to the wedding, after I promised to make arrangements for her? Instead, I pulled out my sad little nearly-maxed-out credit card and booked a room for her at the same Hilton all the other guests were staying at, called her, and told her the hotel room was my treat. My very expensive, made-in-a-monent-of-stress treat. Ugh. Four years later and I'm still annoyed at my dad about it. I got revenge, though - I used his credit card to pay for the getaway car we rented and "forgot" to tell him about it. As he never brought it up, I guess we're even by now.
@ATF Honestly, if I got to live in the same building as the super-wealthy while paying substantially below-market rent, I'd feel awesome. Seriously, I would be more than willing to enter through whatever door they'd like if it meant I got to live in a multi-million-dollar high rise for the cost of a studio in Bushwick. I honestly think we're missing the fact that housing in NYC is off-the-charts, and this small handful of winners is getting a tremendous deal. Just because they have to walk an extra 20 feet to get to their Freshdirect concierge fridge while the rest of us struggle to make rent in the outer boroughs...again, it's just really not keeping me up at night. We desperately need more affordable housing available, and making this debate about the quality (which seems pretty excellent, despite the separate door) vs. the quantity of affordable housing seems like it's missing the real problem.
I don't know - I'm usually a bleeding-heart liberal, but this just doesn't move me. The people who end up in the affordable apartments are literally winning a lottery jackpot (seriously, you have to apply into a lottery to get in). Tons of people apply, only a lucky few get the spots. And what do they win? The ability to live in a fantastic neighborhood, in a luxury building, for a special low price that's denied to everyone else. Meanwhile, the rest of us hoi polloi have to scramble for affordable apartments in Queens with long commutes, no views, and regular entrances for everyone. The fact that the winners don't get to enjoy fantastic views and amenities with their subsidized below-market rent doesn't keep me up at night. I support affordable housing programs, I think we need LOTS more of them, and it seems like anything we can do to make developers comfortable with embracing these programs is fine by me.
@Ester Bloom Blue Hill Stone Barns! Take the train up - it's a really amazing way to spend a day (and lots of Mike's $$$).
@Ester Bloom LUCKY!!! I am officially jealous - the only thing I can think of better than EMP is free EMP.
@andnowlights Seriously worth it. It cost about the same as a nice weekend vacation - and yet, I think I left that place feeling MORE relaxed and amazing than I ever have on a vacation. The huge amounts of booze probably helped, lol. At the end, they take you on a tour of the kitchen and make you a special frozen-nitrogen cocktail (based on preferences they've picked up on you expressing throughout the meal) while you watch all the chefs work their magic. Then they literally dance you out the door, pressing gifts into your hands as you leave. They also gave us printed keepsake menus of everything we ate, and then separate menus with the wine pairing on them. I have them framed in my hallway now. Really, it's a truly special experience (and if anyone goes based on this review, Daniel Humm owes me a freebie!).
Over $800 for dinner for two at Eleven Madison Park, including wine pairing. It was our first anniversary. So expensive, and yet, somehow, still totally worth it. Best meal I've ever had in my life. If you want to be treated like an absolute rock star for one night (and I mean, the total Beyonce and Jay-Z experience), it's worth the splurge as a once in a lifetime thing if you can swing it.
Great article! I'd actually love to know more about nannying - how much she makes, how difficult it was to negotiate, the difference in pay between someone with a masters in social work (obviously educated and well-spoken) vs a nanny who may not be fluent in English, and the class issues this involves. The whole nanny thing in NYC is honestly fascinating stuff, to me.