Finding a Cheap Apartment, The New York Times Way

This article is from the archive of our partner .

The New York Times is on this "rent is too high" thing, locating a woman who has had the good fortune to not pay a totally astronomical rent and explaining exactly how she does it.

Her name is Sophia Cosmadopoulos, she works in art therapy and instruction, and she has student loans. Probably, if you are a person of a certain age and means, you know people like her or, perhaps you are people like her. "To make ends meet in this city," writes Elizabeth A. Harris, Cosmadopoulos "has worked odd jobs, eaten many $1 tacos and chased low rents around Brooklyn, keeping that expense consistently hovering around $625 per month, give or take a few tacos."

How much she has spent in dollars or emotional hours on moving, we do not know. How she has done it, however, we do, thanks to The Times, and also because anyone who has ever lived in New York City has done some variation of this, regardless of year or neighborhood or much anything else:

  • She has moved from the BQE's edge (in Carroll Gardens) to Williamsburg to Bushwick to Bed-Stuy.
  • She has moved into apartments that are "kind of falling apart."
  • She has lived with roommates. (This is where things start to break down a little. $625 or even $650 for an all-by-yourself place, that's kinda good, right? But is $625 to share in Bed-Stuy all that much of a score? Please, tell us!) 
  • She has coped with walk-ups, railroad apartments, water bugs, annoying landlords, a rat, and general overall decay. In one apartment, part of the bathroom ceiling came down, revealing a stash of '70s porn. (This could be turned into a windfall if she knows how to use eBay.)
  • She has determined that paying for the neighborhood is not worth it. 
  • She has become flexible: “It’s hard to avoid when you move to New York, when you have a bunch of student loans and don’t have a lot of money,” she said. “I just live in places that I can afford to live. And obviously, that comes at a price.”
  • And, most importantly, perhaps, she has learned to "never to pine for a place like Starbucks."

Got that? Now, move. Your rent is too high.

Image via Shutterstock by Blacqbook.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.