My first real apartment in the city, which I shared with my then-boyfriend, now-husband Mr. Ben, was a 350-square-foot studio in Brooklyn Heights. That would hold just half an adult elephant.
Brokers and bedbugs are not unique to cities, but they are native to them, and inescapable. They are invasive parts of the eco-system, specifically the most vulnerable, personal part of it: your home. Neither can be ignored; neither, after you meet one, forgotten.