Just in time for some of us to move (again), the glorious, short-lived Great Recession heyday of "cheap" Manhattan apartments is ending. Though still down from a year ago, rents have been climbing back up to normal, awful prices for the last few months. No matter what happens, Manhattan prices will remain depressing, forever, but there was something of a free-for-all roundabout last spring and summer. Now that's done. If you didn't sign a lease then, you missed your chance forever. Might as well just banish yourself to Brooklyn. Or, more realistically, Staten Island.
On your trip over there, we hope you won't have to use the loo, 'cause it's gonna be nasty up in there. In an effort to save $1.4m dollars a year, the Department of Transportation is getting rid of the ferry bathroom attendants, those nice men and women who tried to keep the restrooms clean of pee and papertowels and dead hobos and the like. And, you know, kept them safe for women to use alone at night. Oh well.
Speaking of safe places, the Off-Track Betting board is prepared to throw in the towel, unless Albany steps in and rescues their tired, smoky asses. If their dreary upstate white knight doesn't come teetering down in its rusted Ford Escort, the city's 66 OTB locations will shut down forever on April 11th. Where, you wonder, will the fellows who smoke cigarettes outside the OTB on 5th Avenue in Park Slope go now? Yep, you guessed it. The Staten Island ferry bathrooms.
Normally they would have shuffled off to a sex party at The Standard hotel instead, but those heady, publicly-visible days are over. An orgy organizer named Palagia (NSFW, probably) recently tried to book a suite at the hotel but was told that no more than three people were allowed to stay in the room. A rep for the hotel claims it was all a misunderstanding. Oh, they got caught being prudes and now they feel bad! Please come back and have raunchy group sex in their picture windows, visible from a public park. Please do. It always ends so well.
So that's New York City today. Gray and woeful and slowly hardening to stone.