Here's a teeny-tiny urban domicile that makes the 150-square-foot Hong Kong apartment that I featured last week look palatial in comparison: Architect/dancer Luke Clark Tyler's 78-square-foot home/workspace in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. The monthly rent? Eight hundred dollars — that's $123.07 per square foot/year in case you're wondering.
Profiled over at Kirsten Dirksen's always intriguing faircompanies (the same website that brought us the small-space-loving Jordan family) this Midtown shoebox is a downgrade for 27-year-old Tyler, who was previously residing in a 96-square-foot apartment in the same spendy (but not-too-long-ago-somewhat-affordable) westside neighborhood.
Tyler resides in such cramped quarters — he calls it his "Midtown Mansion" — not necessarily due to financial constraints, but because he wants to be in the thick of it all, and not in Queens, Brooklyn, or, gasp, New Jersey. He tells MSNBC that "if I had to choose spending time in a train or living in a small space, I'd choose a small space." Choosing not to live in a normal-sized Hell's Kitchen studio where monthly rents hover around $1,600 allows Tyler to take full advantage of life in New York City.
As you can see in the video below, Tyler makes the best of the limited living space with ingenious custom-built storage areas and furniture. And in case you're wondering, yes, he shares a bathroom with three other tenants in the building who live in similarly sized spaces. As for the lack of kitchen, Tyler says that his vegetarian diet makes not being able to cook easier. And get this: Tyler also even puts up family when they're visiting from out of town. (I'm sorry, but if I lived in a 78-square-foot apartment and my parents insisted on staying with me when visiting, I’d probably never speak to them again.)
It's already a given that many urbanites, not just New Yorkers, make do by sacrificing square footage to be "close to it all," but Tyler takes this to a whole new level. Personally, I've made it work by renting in a slightly off-the-beaten-track (no easy subway access) but perfectly lovely area of Brooklyn that allows me to live in a comfortable two-bedroom apartment that's a touch cheaper than other rentals in my ZIP code. To cut costs, I've brought on a roommate. Still, I pay more than Tyler.
What are your thoughts on living super-small smack dab in the middle of a big city? Could you do it?