In 2010, faircompanies’ video tour of Felice Cohen’s 90-square-foot studio on Manhattan’s Upper West Side positively blew up on the interwebs (to date, it has nearly 5 million views on YouTube). Well, Internet fame can indeed be a cruel mistress as the author/micro-apartment proselytizer/professional organizer found out when her landlord caught wind of the viral video hubbub and gave her the boot. Well, as the story goes, Cohen’s 12-foot-by-7-foot domicile — her "cozy little space" — was an illegal sublet (whoops) and the lando gave her the choice of eviction or a rent increase of $700/month to around $1300 a month. Although it took some serious consideration and an intervention from her grandparents, she decided to move on and move out.
Thanks to years of paying peanuts for a shoebox in a coveted zip code, Cohen was able to save up and buy a palace of a one-bedroom apartment (500-square-feet!) in the same neighborhood. Given that Cohen has been settled into her new generously sized UWS digs for a while now, faircompanies' Kirsten Dirksen decided it was high time to pay a visit and make sure that the former inhabitant of what was dubbed as “America’s Smallest Apartment” hasn’t gotten lost trying to find her own bathroom, erected a lofted bed in the middle of her kitchen, or suffered any additional minor panic attacks. Apparently, she's gotten used to sitting properly on a toilet and, no, she hasn't gone out and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of stuff to fill up her new space — she actually got rid of stuff during the upsizing process. The full kitchen seems to be a touch problematic, though, and Cohen does admit to missing her old coffin/bed. All and all, a happy ending, really.
Cohen also has a few sage words:
For me, living in that tiny 90 sq ft apartment was about an attitude adjustment, really it was about I can do this. It was never a sacrifice. I came home everyday and it was my little space. And there are so many people who are so angry with these small spaces and it doesn't matter what size space you have … it's about making any space your home.
You can take the girl out of the micro-apartment but you can't take the micro-apartment out of the girl, indeed. But seriously, Cohen, not Michael Bloomberg, should do the ribbon cutting over at My Micro NY when it's completed. Or, at the very least, she should hold micro-apartment organizing seminars in the building's lounge on a bi-weekly basis. Cohen is smart, engaging, and an expert purger if there ever was one.
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