Not all luxury apartment buildings are created equal. Some are lousy with perks like rock climbing walls, pet spas, bowling alleys and the like. But do those kinds of things make life any better? Over the past six months, we’ve spoken to dozens of New Yorkers who live in the city's most amenity-packed buildings for our Perk Check column, discovering which extras are worth paying a premium for—and which are not so useful.
Below, we single out the most valuable amenities, the ones that residents barely use, and those that'll cost extra.
Ever wondered about your landlord’s true M.O.? Check out Lessons from a Small Landlord, our series of informational columns penned by a real-life NYC landlord (who, thanks to a pseudonym, shall remain incognito).
STUYVESANT TOWN, MANHATTAN: Recently renovated 2-bed, 1-bath at 16 Stuyvesant Oval (between Stuyvesant Walk and East 20th) with dishwasher and large windows in building complex with courtyard, garden, parking garage, and children's playroom, $3,408/month
If you're looking for a rental in NYC on a budget of $3,400 a month, you've got choices that range from luxe one-bedrooms in amenity-heavy condo buildings to larger (if less fancy) spreads in areas like Astoria and Bushwick. As usual, we've looked through the current listings for options in your price range in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx to see what's available this week.
Buying in a doorman building is more expensive but comes with several perks
It's a key decision in the apartment-buying process, and one that divides New Yorkers of all stripes: to have a doorman or not to have a doorman. In this week’s Buy Curious, Bond New York agent Jason Hernandez lays out the pros and cons of purchasing in a doorman building.
THE WISH LIST:
I’m planning to buy my first apartment, and I’m trying to narrow down what I’m looking for. What are the benefits of buying in a doorman building versus a non-doorman building? How much more will it cost me? And will the property value hold up better?
Whether you buy an apartment in an attended building or not involves two separate but related sets of concerns, the first having to do with the cold, hard numbers, and the second having to do with your lifestyle, and whether you’ll actually benefit from the services doormen offer.
Thanks to a 1998 city ordinance, scaffolding is more common than ever in the city, and nearly impossible for residents to get rid of on their own.
Scaffolding is a fact of life if you live in the city, but besides being an eyesore, so-called "sidewalk sheds" can also turn into a neighborhood safety hazard. This is especially true when the structures linger for years, as they have on one Harlem block for more than a decade, the New York Times reports.
"With its murky corners and tiers of blue piping, the shed has become a jungle gym for strapping men and a hideaway for drug deals. Evenings feature camaraderie among street friends, occasional outdoor sex and the usual neighborhood drama," the Times writes of the scaffolding that's been plaguing the corner of Lenox and 123rd since 2004. Given that it provides a cover, the shed has also become a popular spot for public urination, and shows no signs of leaving, even though neighbors have been fighting it for years.
Living with a fiance in less than 250 square feet can be done.
We never tire of peeking behind closed doors—especially when those doors conceal teeny-tiny apartments that somehow work for their inhabitants. Not surprising, then, that we were smitten with this 242-square-foot studio in the West Village, documented over at Curbed NY, that manages to be quaint and functional at the same time.
Owner JourdanLawlor bought the ground-floor digs for less than $300,000 in 2011, about three weeks before she met her now fiance, Tobin Ludwig. After they’d been dating for nine months, the pair embarked on a $20,000 renovation, and he moved into what they now call the “Wee Cottage”—a pretty good example of how you can make small-space living bearable. Here are the tips we gleaned.
The rock star and philosopher Andrew W.K., pictured at his Times Square rental, takes a laissez-faire approach to home decor.
Andrew W.K. first came to the world's attention in 2001, when his debut record “I Get Wet” beguiled college kids with rock anthems like “Party Hard,” “Party Til You Puke,” and "It's Time To Party." Since then, the 35-year-old rock star, born Andrew Wilkes-Krier, has remade himself into a guru of sorts, spreading his all-inclusive, party-loving philosophy through lectures at NYU and Oxford, a forthcoming book called “The Party Bible,” and a weekly advice column in the Village Voice that delves insightfully into everything from suicidal thoughts to Internet trolls. He’s also the co-owner of Santos Party House, a sprawling downtown music venue.
WHO:Girls star ZosiaMamet is featured in the new Gap “Dress Normal” advertising campaign. Dress normal? In New York City? We live here so we can wear a tutu and combat boots to the store, and if the police stop you it’s only to ticket you for looking fabulous.
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