The Daily Dump

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Monday, December 12

NY Times Shows Concern For Common Man. No, Really.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my friend James the artist. Actually I wrote about the two naked girls at his art show, but his name was mentioned and praise was heaped so that counts.

Seems it's all the rage these days to be writing about James.

A month or so ago, James was reading the popular NY Times Real Estate section feature entitled "The Hunt" – a collection of stories about New Yorkers and their experiences with trying to find an apartment in one of the toughest markets in the world.

This article in particular was about a 20-something year old girl who was complaining about her struggle to find an affordable (read: $1850 a month) one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side. In the end, she had to settle for a place that had only three windows and not even a working fireplace!

James laughed while he read this. Then James got mad. Recently, James had been through hell trying to an apartment of his own. And not hell as in "This place doesn't even have a doorman," hell as in "This place doesn't even have a door." So when James was done laughing, he sat down at his computer and wrote an email to Joyce Cohen, the author of the column. It started like this:

“Needless to say I can not find sympathy for the trials and tribulations of someone landing an amazing job that can afford them a one-bedroom on the Upper West 70's of Manhattan for $1,850. Regardless of the so called "fixer-upper" status. When you say things like, "She hung curtains on the three windows and put a candlescape in the fireplace," I begin to shake my head in disgust. Three windows? A fireplace? Even a non-working fireplace is still a fireplace in Manhattan, and windows are like rare portals to the world outside, rarely handed out in pairs let alone trios. So what of this tale of "ups and downs?" Well, I'll tell you one I think more relevant.”

What followed was a three page missal on how the other half of New York goes apartment hunting: Craigslist, scanning obituaries, begging friends for help, donating blood for security deposits, etc. He even included this picture of his cat, Jorge, battling a beast in his new apartment:

Surprisingly, instead of taking out a restraining order, Joyce Cohen wrote back to James. And what she said was, “I want to write an article on this.” And the finished product, entitled “Hoping for the Best? Bummer,” ran on page six of the Real Estate section of the Sunday Times yesterday.

So for all of you who don’t have six-figure incomes and can’t afford the Sunday Times, here’s a link to the online edition.

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/realestate/index.html

You’ll need to register (it’s free) if you aren’t already, but come on – you want anyone to take you seriously in life if you’re not registered for the NY Times website? That’s like saying you haven’t seen Schindler’s List; which I haven’t, but of course I lie to everyone who asks me if I have, solemnly bowing my head saying, “Yes, I have. What a tragic story . . .”

And if intellectual snobbism isn’t enough to make you register – there’s a video clip of an interview with James on the site in which he sits in his apartment and pets his cat like Dr. Evil. Trust me . . . it’s worth it.

29 Comments:

haha that's awesome for your friend James!

By Blogger Sub Girl, at 11:37 AM  

Hopefully, James mentioned that he is an artist. Perhaps some benevolent patron(ess) will give him money to pay for the exhorbitant rent.

Good for him. His cat Jorge looks like my cat Pete.

But Pete has never had to battle anything other than a cricket or two.

By Blogger Momentary Academic, at 11:41 AM  

That's a pretty cool article. And I think there's something fundamentally wrong when I find myself thinking, "Wow, $310K for 400 sq. ft.? That's not too bad at all...."

And James is kinda cute. Haha.

By Blogger Dennis!, at 12:36 PM  

very cool that your friend is in the NY Times.

wait, Schindler's List wasn't a comedy?

By Blogger Lizzie, at 12:41 PM  

Hey, Joyce is okay!

Craig
craig@craigslist.org

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:52 PM  

Joyce is awesome. Rumor has it she reads my blog too. By "reads my blog" I mean she Googled James Vanderberg, found his name on my website and inadvertantly read a few words while here. But hey, I'll take it.

P.S. Joyce, if you read this, I'm totally calling you the next time I move. You think James is good copy? He's the funny pages compared to me.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 1:01 PM  

And Craig - awesome list, man. Keep it up.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 1:02 PM  

I haven't seen Schindler's List either. I originally thought I would be able to stomach the content (added bonus: Ralph Fiennes is hot), until my bus stop homeless man reminded me that I'm Jewish...

By Blogger DC Cookie, at 2:57 PM  

This is my first visit to your blog - and I'm bookmarking it for sure.
Rent can be so so insane - my hometown of Toronto is not housing-friendly to anyone with an income below $60,000 Canadian. I can only imagine that NYC is times worse.

By Blogger Erin, at 3:04 PM  

Bookmarking is so 1990s, erin. The 21st Century is all about blogrolling.

By Blogger Ace Cowboy, at 3:06 PM  

OMG he's hot and so's his pussy.

ace cowboy - blogrolling is for lamers you don't know how to edit their templates :P

By Blogger Kate, at 5:33 PM  

He's my hero. I love his cat. I kind of love his tiny mouse too.

By Blogger threetoedsloth, at 6:14 PM  

man everyone loves James...i am just one more link in his chain.

By Anonymous Shawna, at 6:34 PM  

definately haven't seen schindler's list either. i feel like it's one of those movies i'm "supposed" to see. regardless, i havent.

By Blogger Bex, at 7:06 PM  

Good video - and I didn't have to register, it took me straight there.

Wow am I ever happy to be paying $500 month for my decent sized one bedroom. Pheww...$1300 is highway robbery! How do you guys do it??

By Blogger rawbean, at 7:08 PM  

ok, i totally want to know where this guy found a one bedroom for $1300 on the upper west side. my first four months in new york i lived on STATEN ISLAND in a one bedroom for $1500. highway f'ing robbery. and then i moved into a studio with a girl in the financial district in a $2300 apartment. but thankfully she gave me a giant discount for walking her pugs twice a day. of course, when i first moved there i actually had standards. by the time i left, NO STANDARDS, NONE AT ALL. roaches are merely extra pets.

By Blogger birdie, at 7:13 PM  

I will head on over, provided I can remember my NY Times password...the idea of searching for an apartment in New York scares me. Chicago was bad enough.

By Blogger Cheryl, at 10:04 AM  

Dear Lord! I am NEVER moving to NY. I'll keep my $650/month Wicker Park Pad w/parking spot here in Chicago, thank you very much!

Seriously, that's unbelievable.

By Blogger Trix, at 10:42 AM  

Great article!! NYC has to be the only place more expensive than living in LA!!! A one bedroom for $1850 .. jeez... I'm never complaining about rent here in LA again.

By Blogger Audrey, at 11:08 AM  

$1850 a month? HOLY SHIT! My apartment is less than A THIRD of that!

By Blogger Dirk the Feeble, at 11:33 AM  

at first i wasn't going to go but i was persuaded by the metion of the cat...

anyway do you know if those rent amounts they showed in the video are per person or for the apartment?

By Blogger the musician's girlfriend, at 11:34 AM  

Yes, it's true: Renting an apartment in New York City is the equivalent of consenting to monthly sodomy. But at least we get great blog material out of it, right? I mean that's worth at least like $10 - $15 a month.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 11:43 AM  

And those prices in the video were per person, not for the whole apartment. But the mice come at no extra charge.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 11:47 AM  

I put "pron" and "porn" in my titles to lure the readers of my squaller!

By Blogger FFFrapgirl, at 1:03 PM  

Awesome article! Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live in Canada. For a one bedroom downtown, prices range from $850-$1900 and up...depending how nice it is...

By Blogger Vesper, at 1:43 PM  

Makes me glad I live in the midwest! I like to live mice free. Congrats to James.

By Blogger Amanda, at 2:08 PM  

How much do I love Jorge?! I want to steal him.

By Blogger green_canary, at 2:19 PM  

Not if I steal him first ;)

That might be a little tricky. Do NY cats carry rabies?

I might stick with my own pussy.

By Blogger Kate, at 5:24 PM  

Trix - how did you find a place for $650 in Wicker Park with parking?! I pay $100 just for my parking spot - dang!

By Anonymous jenny, at 9:23 PM  

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