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Stop Bashing Bloomberg’s Micro-Apartment Idea

Yes Bloomberg is an out-of-touch billionaire. Yes he wouldn’t showed in a bathroom the size of the apartments he’s proposing. Yes he’s a really easy target for proposing that people live in tiny apartments. But… he’s also right.

Here’s a reality. Manhattan apartments haven’t been affordable in a while. Residents are paying huge amounts of rent for one room Mayor Bloombergthat may be twice the size of the micro-apartments that Bloomberg is proposing.

Bloomberg can either try to regulate housing prices or deregulate minimum apartment sizes. Putting a price cap on the amount of monthly rent that can be charged for an apartment in Manhattan might be legal, but it would also be stupid in a bad economy with a troubled housing market. A lot of developments are already frozen and scrambling for funds.

Capping Manhattan rents at 750 per room would be a proposal that the Village Voice would love, but would leave hundreds of unfinished buildings standing around the city, it would bankrupt a lot of companies who have taken out loans based on projected returns and it would hit people who bought apartments to rent out and are suddenly dealing with a mortgage that they can never pay back.

The rents are outrageous, but trying to artificially cap them would be a serious blow to the economy, would put thousands out of work and would kill a lot of future development in Manhattan. So there would be some affordable apartments, but the only new apartments after that would be in housing projects.

So Bloomberg deregged apartment sizes. No one is being forced to live in these small apartments, but they will make it possible for people who can’t afford to live in Manhattan, but need to, to live in Manhattan. And that’s a good thing.

Mini-apartments cuts through the insane price situation by creating apartments that people can afford to live in. And I know people who would love a shot at a tiny but affordable place in Manhattan. A place that isn’t an illegal tiny apartment in Chinatown that puts residents at risk, but is completely legal, safe and inspected.

Laws limiting how small an apartment could be were there to prevent tenement crowding, but the people who want small places for less in Manhattan are mostly young and single. This won’t be a case of eight people crammed into 300 square feet. Though there will have to be oversight to make sure this doesn’t take off in Chinatown.

No one is supposed to live in these places for 30 years. They’re places you move into in your twenties while trying to make it in advertising, publishing or on Broadway.

Bloomberg boasted in a news conference that his first New York City flat was roughly 600 sq ft and cost between $120 and $140 each month. “I would have taken a smaller one, if I could possibly have found it,” he said.

Lots of others would too.

The question is will the rents actually be affordable?

How to Write Like Stephen R. Donaldson

If you’re like me, then you have probably woken up every morning with the burning question on your lips, how can I write like Stephen R. Donaldson. Why would you want to write like Stephen R. Donaldson? What a silly questions, for asking that you’ve obviously been neglecting your supply of magic mushrooms, because I’ll have you know that Stephen R. Donaldson was praised by the Village Voice. That’s right, THE Village Voice you ignorant mushroom deprived buffoon. So pay attention now.

The key to writing like Stephen R. Donaldson is three things.

First overwrought emoting. Over the top and borderline out of your mind is key.

Second, never use a 5 or 20 dollar word if a 50 dollar or 300 dollar word is available. If the word hasn’t been used in a few centuries, no one in this era has heard of it and it doesn’t exist, so much the better.

Third, avoid characters who behave with the faintest tinge of rationality or sanity.

Good, now we can begin as I show you how to translate your writing into the brilliantly magical writing of Stephen R. Donaldson.

You: “Jack was tired and he could barely hold himself together as he staggered over the rocky slope and into his bedroll. When he got up the next morning, he had cornflakes”

Stephen R. Donaldson: “The body of Jack ached with the striated pains and agonies of the multifold awareness of the terrors that had haunted his days and the tremors swelling within the rue haunted musculature of his worn frame. His feet, grizzled by the unwarranted threnody of their unaccustomed dimunition stumbled lonesomely across slate and shale beneath the ashen tinged torc of the hill. He was aware that his bedroll still scented with lavender and anise lay ahead of him but he no longer felt that he had the strength to reach it or the moral right to claim it. His frangible human form clamored for it with the strict insistence of fatigue and injury yet his mind rejected its cushioned wholeness with a rectitude born of his unwearing self-loathing that would not see his own refusal rebutted with a night’s rest. As body and mind warred, Jack could not seem to walk anymore, he crawled in a frenzied haze to a destination he did not know, certain that when he arrived there he would go mad or destroy the world with his barren arena of stratospheric guilt, whose demense was the demented confines of his own worry bred psyche. When he got up the next morning, he had cornflakes.”

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