Just when you think living in New York can't get any dumber, the New York Times' Real Estate section arrives. This Sunday New Yorkers were treated to a story on married couples who've taken roommates into their already too-small apartments. Because money's already tight and you can't afford a place just for the two of you, how much worse could it get sharing a fridge with 22-year-old Tyler?
The story—sweetly titled "Married, With Roommates"—features interviews with several married NYC couples who claim that living with a roommate ain't so bad. After all—this is New York! How else are you going to make it if you don't squeeze money from every square inch you possibly can? The couples explain that if it were anywhere else, it'd be different:
“If we were in Iowa, it would be weird,” said Josh Jupiter, 28, who, with his wife, Isabel Martín Piñeiro, 26, recently posted an ad on SpareRoom.com seeking a roommate to share the two-bedroom, one-bath apartment they rent in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “If we were in Michigan, it would be weird. In New York City, it’s like, ‘How many people can you cram into an apartment, married or not?’ We live in one of the most expensive cities in the world.”
According to the Times, the median monthly rent for a Manhattan apartment in March of 2015 was $3,395. Even when newlyweds have substantial dual incomes, that is often not enough to live in a place alone. But the Real Estate section, committed as always to New York City property boosterism, explains how to make it work: Set up certain rules and boundaries, some as Lindsay Shields, a high school drama teacher, explains here.
“We’ve had roommates before who are big cooks and those that are takeout-friendly. We do not take their shelves even if they don’t use them,” she said. If anyone plans to have more than four guests over at a time, he or she must give the other roommates a heads-up. “We also have found it easier to keep things to a flat fee,” she said, noting that dividing up utility bills, Internet, cable and other fees can be “exhausting and tedious.”
These are good rules, but wouldn't these couples rather be walking around naked and having spontaneous sex on the couch? Stuart Higa Fox, a writer, acknowledges the tradeoff:
“I would have liked to have more sex on the couch, but we ended up saving on our cable bill.”