Tuesday April 13, 2021

Desperate New Yorkers to live in glorified shoe boxes
Read more content on NYPOST.com

By Andrea Peyser
March 2, 2015

Desperate New Yorkers to live in glorified shoe boxes

Hot? Or not?

Couples experiencing problems with intimacy, fidelity or carnality walk into a tiny, windowless, soundproof box adorned with multicolored lights in the raunchy, new WE TV reality show, “Sex Box.’’ Once inside the pimped-out coffin, they’re expected to do what comes naturally.

The duos, including straights and a pair of lesbians, then emerge from the love box in pairs, clad in bathrobes, and blab like adolescents in the afterglow to a panel of three advice-giving “sexperts” — a psychotherapist, a sex therapist and a pastor/couples counselor, as well as to studio and TV audiences made up of voyeurs.

My advice: Step away from the TV sets and the cameras if you really want to get some of that.

Well, New York City dwellers, the reality-TV travesty is about to spread like magic mushrooms.

In a new kind of reverse real-estate porn that seems as if it were cooked up by fictional sadistic billionaire Christian Grey, some New Yorkers are set to be jammed into living spaces not a whole lot bigger than the cramped, lusty box.

In the show, based on a British TV series, it’s not shown if the couples actually have sex while concealed in the box. Now, My Micro NY is helping to guarantee that people no longer have room to think, much less touch.

To combat the city’s housing shortage while serving its high number of single adults who may share apartments with multiple roommates in this ridiculously expensive town, a new housing complex is set to come to the rescue. Consisting of 55 prefabricated, modular studio apartments, My Micro NY is now being assembled in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with the units to be stacked atop one another, forming a 10-story building on East 27th Street in Manhattan.

Each pad, designed for single humans and even pairs, measures just 260 to 360 square feet — or about the size of a Hollywood starlet’s walk-in closet. The developer was granted a waiver from the city’s zoning and density laws to create living spaces smaller than the already tiny minimum of 400 square feet, set in 1987.

It gets worse.

The apartments are to rent for $2,000 to $3,000 a month! (Less if you score an “affordable” space.)

Each miniature unit is to include a wheelchair-accessible bathroom, a kitchenette, big windows, a ceiling that’s more than nine feet tall and a Juliet balcony. The building is to boast storage spaces, common areas, a gym and a laundry room.

Sadly, there’s little room in one’s home for furniture, books, tchotchkes or breathing. When the spaces are leased this summer, I expect to see throngs of would-be renters lining up for the spots.

Look for these kinds of price-gouging creations to spread like the measles.

New York City head shrinker Dr. Alan Hilfer, who recently retired as the chief psy­chologist at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center, told me the micro-apartment idea has been tried in Japan.

Of course, that nation had the world’s seventh-highest suicide rate in 2013, behind Greenland, Lithuania, South Korea, Guyana, Kazakhstan and Slovenia. (The United States’ suicide rate was pegged as 30th in the world in 2012.)

“In order to live in what I consider the most exciting city in the world, people are willing to put up with inconveniences and limits,’’ said Dr. Hilfer, 66. At least, he said, temporarily.

The doc’s first apartment with his wife was a one-room, 450-square-foot, fourth-floor walkup on East 77th Street in Manhattan that he rented in 1970 for $200 a month. It had room for only a single bed. “And here we are 44 years later, and we’re still married,’’ although he’s since graduated to a spacious, rent-stabilized, three-bedroom, two-bedroom pad on the Upper West Side.

In order to keep from going postal, dwellers in tiny units have to make sure that they talk to people and don’t hide behind closed doors like typical New Yorkers.

“Knowing your neighbor can be positive for your health. A fair amount of research has shown that poor social connection is associated with poor health and poor mental health,’’ Dustin Duncan, Sc.D., assistant professor of population health at New York University School of Medicine, 31, told me. Problem is, you run the risk that your neighbor will take you for a stalker, but do try.

I see three other options: Get filthy rich and buy a palace in Manhattan. Move to a somewhat cheaper outer borough. Or try living in the bargain-heavy suburbs.

Just kidding on the last one.

I think that lots of desperate New Yorkers will compete to live in lonely, glorified shoe boxes.

©2007-2021 Andrea Peyser and andreapeyser.com; No Reuse without permission.
Contact Us    •Site Map    •Biography    •Appearances    •Book Excerpt    •Archive