You'll need some pretty persuasive references to get into a building like this
In Joseph O’Neill's “The Referees,” a short story in this week’s New Yorker, the protagonist, Rob, is struggling to gather credible character references in support of an application to rent a co-op in Prospect Heights. In a passage that sounds more documentary than fiction, the co-op board has requested “meaningful letters of reference that specifically address the high standards of integrity and deportment expected of a co-operative resident.” As Rob's returned to the city after a long absence out of state, two weeks into a new job and just divorced, this is proving a monumental task. But it needn’t be.
Here, a quick roundup of what “Rob” does wrong, and what you can do right.
Heat Seek NYC records temperature readings and sends them to a server.
We may be in the midst of a late summer heat wave, but you know that just around the corner... winter is coming.
And, for many New Yorkers, that means an ongoing battle with the landlord over the heat in the apartment. (For the record, between Oct. 31 and May 31, the city requires building owners to maintain an inside temperature of at least 68 degrees during the day if the mercury outside drops below 55; at night, it must be at least 55 degrees inside if the outside temperature drops below 40 degrees.) To wit, the city receives over 200,000 complaints about lack of heat every year.
Who doesn't like the sound of an on-demand "bedmobile"?
Labor Day weekend is a time to soak in the last rays of summer, sure, but for renters, it's also one of the busiest moving weekends of the year. And the last thing you want to do is spend your time-starved days buying and carting a mattress to your new place.
With that in mind, Manhattan-based mattress startup Casper has announced a special promotion: from Friday to Monday, New Yorkers can get a mattress delivered to their (brand new) doorstep for free via "Bedmobile," a.k.a. a special Uber van that acts as a "mobile showroom," letting you try out the mattress before you buy.
Is your corner a hub for cabs, or will the wait be a little bit longer?
Even in an age of outer-borough green cabs and ever-multiplying car service start-ups, finding a taxi right when you need one can be a bit of a crapshoot. And realizing that your apartment is smack in the middle of a taxi wasteland can be a rude awakening—especially at 1 a.m.
Apartment data site AddressReport has launched a new search feature to track average taxi wait times for NYC addresses, charted by the time of day, as well as the best intersection nearby to hail one.
Designer Nicholas Kunz likes the industrial look for her office/studio but opts for Mid-Century Modern at home.
Cool clothes for chic New Yorkers is how you would describe the clothing brand Nicholas K. Created by brother and sister Christopher and Nicole Kunz (who goes by Nicholas, a childhood nickname), it’s fashion for the urban nomad in all of us.
After studying at FIT and in Florence, Nicholas worked at DKNY, Calvin Klein and Polo, among others, before launching the company in 2003. She and her husband, who works in film, web design and animation, bought a co-op last year in Civic Center, a neighborhood on the border of Chinatown and Tribeca dominated by government buildings and courthouses.
The designer is currently putting the finishing touches on the Spring 2015 collection showing at New York Fashion Week next week but took a moment to opine on the joys of downtown living and her love of Brutalist architecture.
More than anyone, New Yorkers dwelling in small apartments know that every inch of spare space counts, so it’s important to fill it with elements that enhance your home—and that goes for the trash bin, too. Who wants to clutter up their kitchen (which in a tiny place is often open to the living room, dining room and, sometimes, bedroom) with an unattractive plastic crate? Not us!
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Don't buy an apartment without finagling these promises out of your seller first.
You've found an apartment you want to buy—yay! In this inventory-challenged real estate market, that's a feat. But short of forcing a seller to take a lie detector test, what can you do to get the full picture of an apartment's drawbacks before you go into contract?
For most buyers, the best (if not totally foolproof) answer lies in the "reps," a series of contract clauses in which the seller “represents,” or affirms, that the statements they are making about the property are true. (You'll read, for example, “as far as I know, all the appliances are in working order in the unit.”)
At the outset, the goal was to land a "lower-ish" Manhattan two-bedroom for $2,800 or under a month, no higher than a fourth-floor walk-up, with a dishwasher and sans broker's fee. In the end, 24 days of searching later, Infante and his friend Steve ended up in a $2,500/month Fort Greene two-bedroom, a second-floor walk-up with a dishwasher, as well as mounted A/C units in every room. However, they also paid a $2,500 broker's fee and an undisclosed extra deposit to make up for what the landlord deemed "less-than-stellar" credit. You win some, you lose some, even as a seasoned New York renter.
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