Friday, July 15, 2011

The Little Apple

Last year I saw Sex and the City 2.  It was only partially voluntary: I hadn't seen a good friend in a long time and she wanted to make a big event out of seeing the movie and getting cosmos afterward or whatever with a gaggle of girls.  So I went.

It was so bad another likewise cynical girlfriend and I couldn't stop giggling throughout the movie at its sheer ridiculousness.  Really, Carrie, you're going to wear a face-crown for the gay wedding?  Samantha, you're going to end up in jail or something the way you're carrying on in a well-known conservative country. And do not even get me started what they wore.  It looked like someone with dissociative identity disorder pulled the clothes from the costume rack of a colorblind theatre troupe.

But the most unbelievable thing were, of course, the characters' New York apartments.  The place Carrie shares with Mr. Big must have cost so much that I'm sure Sex and the City 3 features Mr. Big doing down for some Bernie Madoff-esque scheme he started just to afford it.

Now Felice Cohen is a real New Yorker -- and her 90-square foot apartment is much closer to your typical New York apartment than Carrie's digs.



Felice says she always wanted to live in Manhattan, and after finding her home through a friend, she's right at the heart of it all.  With all of New York and Central Park "as her backyard," Felice is content in her 12' x 7' microstudio.


Felice and her kitchen area behind her (note the bananas stored in the toaster oven!)


It's lucky that Felice, in addition to being an author and artist (who specializes in Shrinky-Dink art, heh), is a professional organizer.  And I must say her place looks great.  She makes good use of vertical space, building storage all around and over her desk.  (But oh, girl, please don't stand on a rolling chair to get to the top shelf!  You're gonna crack your head open on that lovely brick wall behind you.)  Next to her workspace is a cozy chair for reading, and on the opposite side of the room is a kitchen area with a mini-fridge.


There's only 23 inches of clearance above the bed -- sitting up in the middle of the night after a nightmare would lead to a whole new kind of pain...


Across from the kitchen is her closet, and above that, her lofted bed.  Felice said she had a panic attack the first night she slept there, convinced she was going to fall out.  Just next to the closet is her bathroom, which is full of awkward angles.  She says she sometimes sits sideways on the toilet, and in the video she demonstrates how she gets out of the bathtub (very, very carefully).

But despite the extra effort she had to expend in setting up her home, and the effort it takes to live in it, Felice is happy in her tiny apartment.  She had only intended to stay there for a year, but now she's going on three.  And with a rent of only $700 for a place on the Upper West Side, I can see how it'd be hard to give up.

Maybe she can spend the money she saves on rent on face-crowns.  I hear they're popular out there in New York City.



Via Gawker, The Daily Mail, Dornob, and Yahoo! Shine.  Images from's Flickr.  (Except the face-crown, obviously.)


  1. Yikes! Just watching that video makes me feel a little claustrophobic. It's great that she's managed to make so much of her space, but I don't know if I could do the same!

  2. Idk if I could do an apartment that small, but hey, hopefully with her books, she can get something with a kitchen! great blog post!

  3. Oh my gosh - that movie WAS ridiculous. All of it - especially that head crown (I had forgotten about it). Also, I ADORED their apartment. It was so beautifully decorated and the perfect size - though I think my girlfriends and I all uthe same thing - NO WAY in New York. But wow - I cannot image living in as small a space as the one in the video!!!

  4. I live in a pretty small apartment, myself, but thank gawd I'm in Chicago, and it's not nearly as expensive at NYC! I love what she did with the place and the space, but $700/month!?

  5. Thanks for leaving a comment on my ottoman!

    Even though my house is not as small as the previous, I still love perusing through small-space books, articles, blogs (did you see you blog on my bloglist???) and just marvel at the ideas and creativity. Clutter is my biggest weakness and these small-space dwellers continue to inspire me to just clean up a bit :)

  6. well, mr. big is a wealthy man. he's been in finance for quite a while. remember he gave up a park ave apartment and bought a vineyard in california. and the apartment they live in is quite a comedown from the penthouse they bought before getting married. and now that carrie is supposed to have authored a string of hit books, her advance for the second or third contract might have been seven-figures.

    they're not middle class. carrie was a working class professional on the show who had scored a rent-controlled apartment. otherwise, it would be unlikely she could have afforded that much space in that neighborhood.

    i have a friend who bought a studio on CPW about ten years ago. it's a lot bigger than the one in this video. And there are plenty of good sized rentals on the same street for decent, not fabulous, incomes.

    (and $700 is a sweet rent! especially for that area. i spent six years paying in the $500s up on 181st Street.)


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