NYC Apartment Staples

nyc-apartment-for-rent directory of nyc
Not being a native New Yorker, or even East Coast-er, I’ve come to notice the things that don’t resemble strip malls and shirtless guys listening to Sublime/Red Hot Chili Peppers/the worst radio hits of 1995.  Especially, though, when apartments are concerned, there are some especially funny and idiosyncratic things about New York apartments that still stand out to me all these years later.

Here are some things that have pretty much been a presence in every New York apartment I’ve had or have been inside (except brand new ones, obviously):

bigstock_Overloaded_Power_Strip_conducive electric
1) Crazy ass power strips

Why does my existence hang on the very balance of this ONE power strip that has every appliance/computer/lamp, etc. plugged into it? Why have I never, EVER been able to plug a toaster in anywhere near my “kitchen” without a 50 foot extension cord? More importantly, why are there like two power outlets in my entire apartment building?

the-super blog decine
2) Overlord Landlords

I’m still not entirely sure why landlords can basically do whatever they want here. Maybe it’s because most everything anyone does in California is policed, and frankly,there are much bigger fish to fry here in New York. But, what the hell? It seems like everyone has had at least one landlord that has brutally fucked them over in some horrible way.

slant magazine thepest
3) Pests

I’m still not clear on why the pest problem in New York is like medieval times level out of control. The climate? The old buildings? I’m even scared to talk shit about rats because I’m scared they’ll hear me and seek revenge one day on the subway or in my very own home. I think if there was a rat problem in my house, I would literally move out of the country. To where? I have no idea, because I can only begin to imagine the level of rat problems in Italy.

3 pgawning
4) Aluminum Awning

Maybe this is just a Williamsburg thing, but like, WHO decided to ruin every single building with aluminum awnings? They’re THE WORST looking things ever. Maybe they do well in cold weather, but like, Jesus Christ they’re ugly.

5) Burglaries

I’ve gotten burglarized and mugged no less than four times living in New York. None of these times has anyone ever been caught or have police ever taken me seriously. Dial M For Murder, you’ve totally given me a false impression of crime not paying. It totally does pay, and they will get away with it. And there’s nothing you can do about it. The good news is that I’m pretty much the only person I know who this has happened to.

6) Weirdly uneven door levels

I don’t know if it’s because old buildings weirdly shift toward one angle over time, or if it’s because landlords/supers always do the absolute minimum amount of work possible, but almost every door I’ve had– front, closet, bedroom, bathroom, whatever– is ALWAYS misshapen and at a slanted angle.

boob light just add shoes
7) Boob light fixtures

Does every landlord/super shop at the same light fixture store? Why has almost every light fixture been that one that looks like a giant boob? Yes, the accents have been different– gold, silver, clear nipples, but it’s always the same basic shape.

Photos courtesy of: Directory of New York City, Conducive Electric, Blog del Cine, PG Awning, Slant Magazine, and Just Add Shoes.

Share This Page

About the author

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.
  • GammaRae

    fyi the boob lightbulbs are everywhere. I’ve lived in nyc, dc, and some lower income “ghetto” areas in va. Boob light fixtures they are everywhere! Definitely in most cheap apartments! haha