Manhattan’s Micro-Apartments: A Part of Living in New York

Tiny apartments

A tiny apartment in Manhattan

Tiny apartments are a part of living in New York City.

After all, space is a limited commodity—especially in Manhattan, the nation’s most populous county. Less than fourteen miles long and two miles wide, the island’s boundaries are fixed. So space comes at a premium.

Some devoted Manhattanites, willing to sacrifice living space for affordable digs in favorite neighborhoods, have a solution: micro-apartments.

New York real estate listings usually include “cozy” apartments without kitchens and shared bathrooms in the hallway. Landlords, eager to squeeze the maximum income from their property, are often creative in how they chop up and redistribute living quarters. (I’ve briefly lived in three miniscule apartments myself. When lying down in one, my head touched the wall while my feet touched the mini-fridge!).

Here are other some other New Yorkers who’ve made small rooms into homes.

Manhattan micro-apartment

One small apartment in New York

In 2009, Zaarath and Christopher Prokop bought a small co-op in Morningside Heights for $150,000. Formerly one of the prewar building’s maid’s quarters, the room measures just 14.9 feet by 10 feet, with a petite bathroom that’s 3 feet by 9 feet. Other than the tiny wall “kitchenette,” the only furniture is a bed, a bench, and desk/wine rack.

“Every bit of space is utilized,” said Christopher. “We have everything we need.”

Paying for the co-op in only two years, the Prokops now merely owe a monthly maintenance fee of $700. With the money they save, they dine out, explore the city, and do plenty of traveling. “We’re very happy doing more with less,” Christopher said.

Cohen micro-apartment

The micro-apartment owned by Cohen

Meanwhile, Felice Cohen has an Upper West Side studio a block from Central Park… for which she pays only $700 a month. The room measures 12 by 7 feet, and includes a desk with shelves and a dresser, over which is a loft bed. Her kitchen is a mini fridge and toaster oven, and she has to sit sideways in her miniscule bathroom.

But Felice is quite happy in her home, particularly with its location. She says, “I know where everything is. I don’t have a lot to clean. It also keeps you from buying or collecting a lot of stuff, stuff you don’t need.”

Still smaller, Luke Clark Tyler pays $800 a month for a Hell’s Kitchen studio that is merely 78 square feet, but which he describes as “simple, efficient, and zen enough to be comfortably habitable.”

Watch the video below to see how Tyler manages to live well in such a small space.

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