July 10, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg, stimulating the development of micro-units.

For single folk, in New York City. Here's a useful graphic:

 

I love the picture of the diminutive mayor, standing in a life-size floor plan of the imagined apartment, alongside the Commissioner of City Planning, Amanda Burden, who has this ineffable we-know-what's-good-for-the-little-people look on her face.

Who is Amanda Burden?
Born Amanda Jay Mortimer, she is the daughter of socialite Babe Paley (1915–1978) and her first husband, Stanley Grafton Mortimer, Jr. (1913–1999), an heir to the Standard Oil fortune. She is a descendant of the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Jay, and a granddaughter of Dr. Harvey Cushing, the "Father of American Neurosurgery" and Pulitzer Prize winning author.... In 1947, her mother married William S. Paley, the son of a successful immigrant entrepreneur who built a family acquisition into CBS. Her stepmother, Kathleen Mortimer (born 1917), was a daughter of railroad heir and United States ambassador Averell Harriman.
Wow. So...  that's how you get a look like that for your face as you let people know about how micro a living space can properly be. I thought she looked really elite, but I was still floored by that bio.

Who should be doing a city's planning, I wonder?

79 comments:

Pogo said...

Message: You are serfs, and will live a little better than cattle.

We, the elites, will not be burdened thus. Get used to it.

Oh, and my dry-cleaning is ready. Chop chop.

Carol said...

I lived in an 8-wide for awhile. It wasn't bad, except for the heat in the summer.

You get to sit really close to the TV.

sydney said...

From the graphic: "Estimated cost: under $2,000 per month" At those dimensions, it should be under $500 a month. I don't care if it is in the world's most wonderful city.

Robert Cook said...

If they were going to make these micro-apartments available to economically disadvantaged people for dirt cheap prices, I'd say it's a humanitarian attempt to provide adequate housing stock for those who cannot afford better (or any) space.

However, I'd bet these are going to go for more than those in need can afford. (In his announcement he referred to "competitive" prices. A big tell!)

Paddy O said...

"I'd bet these are going to go for more than those in need can afford"

Micro-apartments for the 5%

Smilin' Jack said...

She looks like she's trying to refute the aphorism that a woman can never be too thin or too rich.

PatCA said...

How about economic freedom instead, like phasing out rent control, the monster that caused the NYC housing situation?

Of course, then all of CORE's clients and Amanda's friends would take a shellacking in the market once prices fell to normal levels.

Ben said...

"less than $2000 a month" for 300 square feet and people from New York look at us for being ignorant rubes? I'm strolling around 3000ft for $1200 a month and get to look at the wind blowing through fields of soybeans instead of the city.

Pogo said...

"City rules mandating bigger apartments were put in place to combat cramped tenement conditions, but Bloomberg said the regulations need to roll with the times."

Oh, modern tenements! Yay!

Pogo said...

Amanda Burden?

I'll bet she is.

sydney said...

I've heard that there are people in Hong Kong who live in little cages stacked upon each other. Just enough room for a body and a few personal possessions. How much do you suppose a place like that would run in New York City?

Unknown said...

@Smilin' Jack--

--or too Botox'd

Freeman Hunt said...

"Escape from New York" becomes an admonition.

MadisonMan said...

Just out of college, when you've not acquired a lot of possessions, is the time to live in a closet. I might have liked something like this, especially if it was just a place to sleep. It's certainly not a place to live.

lemondog said...

Bloomberg’s shanty would accommodate 41.666 units.

Could lop off couple of feet with a stand-up show rather than a bathtub

Where are the closets?

Needs a giant wheel

Freeman Hunt said...

Come to Northwest Arkansas, New Yorkers. World class art museum, broadway shows, jobs aplenty, and living rooms nearly twice as big as your entire micro apartment for less rent.

Just remember not to vote in the same policies that have made NYC what it is today.

Synova said...

Change the rules, yes. Make it possible for builders and landowners to utilize their property more efficiently, yes.

But why is the city having a competition for micro-floor plans?

WTF?

Not that it's a bad plan. And walls on the floor always *always* look weirdly small. Putting walls up actually makes everything look more spacious rather than less. But I think it needs desk-space. That's what I use at home. Though I suppose the computer can be hooked up to the flat screen TV.

Calypso Facto said...

Will Amanda be living in one?

That says all you need to know.

Synova said...

Cook's right, of course.

This isn't housing for poor people, it's housing for the single professional and will be priced as such.

The *problem* with something like this for poor people is that they have to be protected from themselves, from getting room mates or trying to have kids in one of these, even if it was in a different neighborhood and really could be rented for $500 a month.

(Not sarcasm but something like.)

slarrow said...

Huh. I thought hobbit holes were supposed to be comfortable.

Erika said...

Coming to you live from my solid brick 2900 sf recently remodeled house in south Texas situated on a green-lawned quarter acre lot with seven mature shade trees in a classy neighborhood a block from the best elementary school in town, which cost us $229,000.

But we red-staters are the morons. Right.

And that woman might be the nicest human being alive, but she sure looks sour and wretched in those photographs.

Kensington said...

I could live in something that...cozy, but I could never afford anything approaching $2,000/month.

I temped full-time as a legal secretary and word processor in NYC for almost ten years, and my take-home pay was usually only $550/week.

Kensington said...

Jobs aplenty, Freeman? Really?

I might just have to look at Northwest Arkansas...

Robert Cook said...

"Just remember not to vote in the same policies that have made NYC what it is today."

Hmmm...that "policy" would be trying to fit 8 million people on an island, (Manhattan), another island, (Staten), the end of yet a another island, (Long), and the Bronx. You can only go UP, and can't go OUT.

edutcher said...

Note they say nothing about height.

In Roman times, the slaves only had room to lay down.

Hagar said...

A failed doctor, we call him a quack.
A failed lawyer, we call him a shyster.
A failed architect, we call him a city planner.

Freeman Hunt said...

Kensington, yes. The two counties that make up this area are at 5.5% and 5.9% unemployment. Many Fortune 500 companies maintain offices here. (Walmart requires anyone who sells to them to have an office here.) Then you have the big companies that are based out of here like Walmart, Tyson Foods, and others. Plus, all of the companies that provide support services for all of those companies.

Lots of jobs. Lots of culture available. Cheap real estate.

Titus said...

Wow what a pedigree, and fabulous looking too.

Love her.

Want to be her friend.

Want to know her process as far as face, workout and food.

tits.

Titus said...

It is somewhat surprising she has a job.

If I had that pedigree I would just be fabulous all the time, no work, thank you.

I have some admiration for people that are filthy rich, from money they inherited, and still actually have a job.

She looks like a size zero, love that.

tits.

Capt. Schmoe said...

Not a lot of places to store large containers of soda pop. I'm just sayin'

Michael said...

Titus. Agree

Dale Light said...

It reminds me of Bruce Willis' digs in "The Fifth Element".

Freeman Hunt said...

It reminds me of Bruce Willis' digs in "The Fifth Element".

I knew it seemed familiar somehow!

joated said...

I've got a travel trailer that's got more sq ft than this. It's great for vacationing where I can get outside and do touristy things or go hiking and fishing. Would I want to live in it full time...in NYC? Hell no!

And it cost me just $18K 10 years ago. (Let's see $2K/month for 10 years....) My home's curretn mortgage is $1400/month and I've got a hell of a lot more space.

jeff said...

Freeman Hunt....shssssss. I'm in Rogers, in a 1200 foot house with a garage and sunroom in back for $595/month. I'm more than happy to let people think the stereotype stuff about Arkansas rather than the way living really is up here in the NW corner. Wonderful place to live. I mean....HORRIBLE. Don't move here! Stay in the NE part of the country.

Titus said...

You pay for fabulousness, plain and simple.

And different people have different likes in terms of city/country and space.

The great thing is the diversity and that we are all Americans.

I need to walk to cafes, restaurants, spas, gym, grocery, dog park, dry cleaning, etc. And during the walk I need lots of hot people walking by so I can check them out.


Did you know that some of the condos in Jackson Hole Wyoming, that are like 500 square feet, cost over 400k. I never knew.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Acityta Burden or Acountyta Burden should rule over all in her path, man or woman.

But Amanda Burden?

That's thinking small in New York, hence the 300 feet-squared-apartment advocacy.

Freeman Hunt said...

Supposedly, Northwest Arkansas has the most billionaires per capita in the United States, but I would be interested in seeing a cite for that.

jeff said...

I drove thru the neighborhood south of downtown bentonville. There is a lot of money in this town.

ddh said...

That's not an "ineffable we-know-what's-good-for-the-little-people look on her face." That's botox and plastic surgery.

Pogo said...

Do you get locked in at night?

Are there conjugal visits?

When are the parole hearings?

jeff said...

"If they were going to make these micro-apartments available to economically disadvantaged people for dirt cheap prices, I'd say it's a humanitarian attempt to provide adequate housing stock for those who cannot afford better (or any) space."

Great idea. And the moment that happened the protesters would start up about putting poor people in cells.

Paul said...

Damn... just like the Communist did in the USSR. Small drab little cubicles for all their slaves.

Welcome to Liberalism!!!

David said...

My first apartment in NYC was 12' x 16' and that did include the kitchen. It was $130 per month, utilities included.

What's the big fuss?

David said...

And Pogo, conjugal visits were no problem.

Coketown said...

And here I thought I was just a poor piece of low-rent trash. I didn't realize I'm already where New York--New York!--wishes it were! "Oh, that's nice New York. micro-apartments. Mm-hmm. Had that in 2010. Only mine had copious levels of sodium, soda, and prostitutes. Mm-hmm. And yours don't."

The furniture in that diagram is terribly deceptive, too. That seemingly expansive TV stand is barely wider than a bedroom door. There is a lot of wasted space in that diagram. Why even have a dining table when you already have a sofa and coffee table? You can eat there, idiots! You could easily save 9 sq. ft. by making the tub into a stand-up shower and moving the toilet into the newly opened space, then bringing in that wall. That counter space next to the fridge is wasteful, too. I doubt a goddamn still-life inspiring fruit basket is really that necessary. If you settle for a half-height fridge, use the top as counter space. Idiots.

All the appliances on that counter-top are lies. There is no way in hell you will have a functioning kitchen in so little space with so much emptiness. This is all such blatant horseshit. Is there even a microwave or toaster of coffee maker in that place? Maybe the toilet doubles as a coffee maker.

Coketown said...

And really? Two end-tables? Well pardonne-moi, Madame Bovary! I thought we were maximizing efficiency, no opulence. Is there a hidden aviary in there, too? Holy crap.

Maybe Bloomberg and that hag should have consulted Airstream instead of appealing to New York's spoiled subclass of uppity brats to design a condensed living space. Those things are extraordinarily efficient.

Synova said...

It needs more storage/closet area. I agree with Coke about less "kitchen table" but the biggest problem is...

You just can't have the couch area double as a bed area so that the work/space desk doubles as a coffee table, not and actually use them both.

In Real Life the bed will not be put up unless there is company coming over, since it's comfy to watch TV in bed, so it's sleep on the couch and leave your "stuff" on the coffee table, or leave the bed out and have no place at all for your computer entertainment or take-home work.

I'd put "office" on the wall where the countertop and refrigerator are and put the refigerator under the counter on the "kitchen" side. Cupboards above.

Shelves to the ceiling over the desk, then, with rolling doors that open in the middle outward so that your "stuff" can be hidden from guests.

You could put up the bed every day and take it down every night, then, if you wanted to, because it wouldn't require clearing your computer off the coffee table.

And the coffee table could double as elegant Japanese dining, if you worked it right.

It seems to me that what is needed isn't a floor plan at all, but new designs for what goes inside it all.

Like counter height refrigeration that is side-by-side with real freezer space, and a way to get to the top shelves of cupboards that go to the ceiling, and the vertical roll-top surround for the desk.

That sort of stuff.

Paul Fraker said...

300 ft. is not big enough even for a social x-ray like Miss Burden.

Craig Howard said...

Hmm, 10' x 30'. When I was a kid, we called 'em trailers. Wonder what Bloomberg would think of that.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Who should be doing a city's planning, I wonder?

How about someone who understands that city planning is about roads, bridges, schools, parks, and overall zoning ( residential, business, industrial... ), not laying out individual apartments.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Anyone ever play the computer game Starship Titanic?

Coketown said...

Instead of a bed, why not two hooks in the ceiling for a rope hammock? It can be taken down and stashed in the non-existent storage area. And imagine how intimate it would be to share the hammock with one's squeeze!

Yes, imagine. That's the problem with this micro-apartment. It's easy to imagine living in it, but impossible to actually do so. Synova is right: it's not about the floor plan but about the things that will be taking up the floor plan. This "apartment for singles" was obviously designed by someone living with other people. There is so much redundancy that only matters if more than one person is living there.

It's like an MP3 player's play/pause button. You only need one button because one cannot both play and pause the song at once: if it's doing one thing, it will necessarily not be doing another. Same with the tables. If one is eating dinner at the dining table, one necessarily cannot also be typing an e-mail on the coffee table. You don't need the two surfaces! They will both never be used at the same time!

wyo sis said...

It's interesting to think of ways to live in that amount of space. It even seems practical in many ways. But it presupposes a lifestyle that's either lonely and drab or lived outside of your dwelling. Where do you put the people in your life?
There are relics of tiny pioneer cabins all over Wyoming. Many were the homes of very large families. I think they must have spent all the time they could outside. We have 8 months of winter here. Boggles the mind.

Synova said...

I finally noticed that it does have a "desk" which is apparently a fold down panel that covers the stuff to make a table one of the chairs can be moved to so there is... a kitchen table, a fold down secretary, and a coffee table.

Where this person puts her paper-backs and shoes, I have no idea whatsoever.

Niftiest thing I ever saw was a Navy rack on a ship. The mattress flipped up and all the personal storage space was under it.

You could fit a family of six in that 300 square feet.

Lava said...

Small, cramped apartments. Windowless units. Very little access to light and air....yes! the 21st Century equivalent of the "Old Law" Tenements that people worked so hard to abolish over a 100 years ago.

I love how the elites and others--who would never stoop so low as to live in those units, absolutely, positively know what's best for everyone.

I'm waiting for the return of that other exemplar of early 20th Century NYC luxury, the "cold water flat." Then the cycle will be complete.

As to who should be planning? How about folks that care about the people that actually will live in some of these units! Not just the theory of how cities function, but how people actually use them for everyday life. Just a thought.

Synova said...

Lava... $2 K a month.

The people living in these are going to be baby wall streeters.

Synova said...

Or mature power brokers with weekend wife/kid units and homes in the country.

ddh said...

I can see why Mayor Bloomberg is taken with that apartment. It isn't big enough for a 32-oz. soft drink.

Ralph L said...

All that money and she can't keep her roots dyed.

"She later earned a Master of Urban Planning from Columbia University, writing an award-winning thesis about solid-waste management."
She knows her shit, apparently.

Biff said...

Amanda Burden is 68 years old. That is some serious preservation technology on display.

Valentine Smith said...

More suitable as a halfway house for ex-cons. You could fit 8 of 'em in there have them all pacing and nobody would touch another soul. Unless of course one guy went looking for trouble.

Valentine Smith said...

Amanda's 9 bathrooms are each bigger than that there room. And those are the one's in her pied-à-terre.

FleetUSA said...

The photo of the three standing on the floor plan is false because it is the middle of a significantly larger room. They should put it in a room the size of the floor plan or even build the floor plan out. Then they'll realize how small 300 sq ft is.

With units that small and the tendency of NYers to bitch, crime will rise.

Yes, Freeman Hunt is right about NWArkansas. There are a lot of other nice places around the US with good economies and clean living. And yes, DO NOT BRING YOUR MISERABLE POLITICS - high taxes, welfare state, etc.

Trashhauler said...

Criminals will not have any space in which to hide their stash.

And no-knock SWAT raids will be much simpler to carry out.

Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...
If they were going to make these micro-apartments available to economically disadvantaged people for dirt cheap prices, I'd say it's a humanitarian attempt to provide adequate housing stock for those who cannot afford better (or any) space.

However, I'd bet these are going to go for more than those in need can afford. (In his announcement he referred to "competitive" prices. A big tell!)


Did you read the part where it was New York City.
My step brothers two bedroom apartment is subsidized by the school where he teaches. He pays about 500 a month. On the market it would rent for 10K plus. It's in Manhatten.
Rent control has destroyed the housing market in NYC.

J Lee said...

Federal law classifies a recreational vehicle -- basically anything that would qualify as a pull-trailer -- as a unit 399 square feet or less, while a modular home is 400 square feet and up, which gives you an idea of the size room Bloomberg's talking about.

And if we were talking about single, young hipsters who just gotta live in New York it might be understandable. But you know it it catches on, we'll be talking about 300-square-foot multi-person apartmentsmts, which will harken back to the multi-person cold water flats on the Lower East Side from the turn or the last century which were decried by progressive muckrakers as inhumane conditions.

carrie said...

The more units you can squeeze into a building the more money the developer makes. The developer will make its money and then in a few years I bet that someone will start combining units to make them bigger.

carrie said...

The more units you can squeeze into a building the more money the developer makes. The developer will make its money and then in a few years I bet that someone will start combining units to make them bigger.

Kelly said...

UNDER $2,000??? If I'm going to live in one of Bloomberg's or Burden's walk-in closets, it had better be WAY under $2,000. What a waste of good money.

Christy said...

Overdue. Compare and contrast Ms. Burden to Paris Hilton. We may not like Nanny Bloomberg and we may be weary of being told how to live by our betters, but these units are opportunities, not cells people are being forced into. So what if they are small, NYC itself is a playground, dining room, and living room.

Kensington said...

I've always thought of Manhattan as the world's largest college campus.

Methadras said...

How big is apartment of that effete smug bitch again?

Simon said...

Have you ever seen a woman who looked so pinched, so tightly-wound, so much like every ounce of body fat was at that moment been sucked out through an industrial vacuum attached between her shoulders? Eesh!

Come back, Robert Moses, all is forgiven.

AB said...

You could recover 5-10 sq ft for the living room if the bathroom didn't have to be ADA compliant.

That's my biggest beef with new construction, the bathrooms are relatively big and have a lot of empty central space for a wheelchair.

Joe said...

Bloomberg's grand plan:

1) Present idea of small apartments
2) Make them mandatory
3) Pass law that ALL New Yorkers must live in 300 square feet or less.

city said...

thanks for sharing.

city said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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