NYC MicroStudio

My email account was very busy yesterday with many of you letting me know about this article in the New York Post. I thought I better jump on it and share it with those of you who have not had a chance to read it yet.

Zaarath and Christopher Prokop bought this 175 square foot apartment in New York City for $150,000. Seems expensive to me but I know real estate is very high in NYC.


The couple lives a not so normal life at least to my way of thinking. They store most of their clothes off site at dry cleaners and at work. They also eat out, so no cooking is done in the apartment. They share their home with two cats. Here is what Zaarath has to say:

“I’m amazed we can fit two people and two cats in there,” Zaarath said. “But it’s harmonious at this point. I have friends who say they could never live with their husbands in a place this small. It’s a good thing we like each other enough to live there.”

Read the “Cozy-crazy couple makes tight all right in the city’s tiniest studio” at the New York Post.

Photo Credit Angel Chevrestt of the New York Post

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Matt - December 9, 2009 Reply

“It was not on the market all that long,” he said. “And the Prokops made us a great offer, and that’s it.”

Ya think? $857 per square foot ! I knew New York was expensive, but wow!

…hey as long as they are happy (obviously the Real Estate Company is), I wish them the best.

Lucas - December 9, 2009 Reply

Values have come down a bit, they were consistently $1000/sq.ft. for a while. Not sure if the drop is because it is a niche market property. Small dwelling, urban area, no car needed. This is perhaps the smallest footprint for living that one could achieve, short of sleeping on a friend’s couch. My wife and I are discussing downsizing every day. This is an example of one of the problems we face: how do we live in a “tiny” dwelling in an urban area mortgage free (or nearly mortgage free w/i 5 yrs)? Lots of tiny houses are on wheels or built on small parcels of real estate in rural areas. However, to really shrink your footprint and be able to drop everything if needed, living in a high density multi-family type dwelling makes the most sense, especially in cities where public transit is the primary means of transit. Rather than the sprawling midwestern cities like we live in now. Having just repaired my car twice and renewed the tags, I’m sick of car ownership yet again. Sorry for the rambling, but I’m curious if others on this blog are having these same debates. 🙂

David - December 9, 2009 Reply

Contrary to the “not so normal” comment, most Manhattanites eat and socialize out in the city. A New York apartment is just a place to sleep, shower, and store your stuff. I love that the Zaaraths store most of their clothes off-site. What a nifty life hack.

As Lucas mentions, there’s an important truth here: The rich infrastructure of a large city makes it much easier to pare your space, your belongings, and your carbon footprint to a bare minimum.

Why pay for a walk-in closet when your dry cleaner has plenty of room? Why own a car when you can use mass transit? Why collect bric-a-brac when you can walk to great museums? The Zaaraths are taking full advantage of their amazing city.

Shaka - December 9, 2009 Reply

You know, they can add much more storage space by adding a small stand near the door (and thus right by the left side of the bed) and put up shelves on that ugly, bare, white wall.
Tada! Instant storage space. No need to stuff everything in that one section of the room.

Other then that, I like it. Expensive though.

alice - December 9, 2009 Reply

I agree, there are better options for use of space, but if it works for them, hey that’s what counts. Personally I’d add some underbed storage on wheels first.

Switcher - December 9, 2009 Reply

A persons carbon footprint isn’t reduced by storing belongings off site. 😉

I will say, they will have plenty of free time to do the things the really enjoy, very low maint.

Phil - December 10, 2009 Reply

I spent a week in NYC back in ’98. They can have it! Give me Wide Open Spaces and Get Lost In Places…

ej - December 10, 2009 Reply

I agree with Switcher “A persons carbon footprint isn’t reduced by storing belongings off site”. Nor does eating every meal any from home reduce it.
This living like this does reduce heating & transportation footprint, tho.

Lucas - December 11, 2009 Reply

As the first to mention carbon foot print(i don’t believe article mentions), I guess my internet voice didn’t mention the assumption that one applies other areas of conservation to their lifestyle in addition to their dwelling. I’d argue w/ EJ that eating out “could” lessen our footprint, w/ a few assumptions: No disposable containers used, restaurants are able to reuse vegetable scraps bound for waste in stocks, etc., cooking in bulk uses less energy than many individuals firing up their stoves, one pot of water can cook a lot of pasta for many diners. Unfortunately, one’s bank account will notice the carbon credits rather quickly! As for dry cleaning, yes dry cleaning is notoriously “dirty”, but storing clothes at the cleaners isn’t necessarily the problem as much as how many clothes one has purchased. Instead of arguing whose carbon footprint is larger, I’d rather continue to point out that everything regarding sustainability points to population dense areas as the wiser choice. Obviously, personal differences will fuel the debate rural vs. city. However, sprawl and oversized single family units are bad news.

ESPERANZA - February 19, 2010 Reply

Hello! Fantastic concept, but could this genuinely perform?

pongo - May 13, 2010 Reply

I think everybody is overlooking the $700 maintenance fee. that could be the monthly rent of a 1br basement anywhere along the subway line, lets say in a respectable neighborhood like astoria.

bhen jammin - July 15, 2011 Reply

expensive japanese apartments in tokyo are smaller, but it’s the lifestyle. when you live in a big city, all you need is a place to rest, refresh, and recharge. i love living in the country, but once in a while i like to spend time in the city, and in the city, a room with a bed and bath is all you need.

Luke - January 26, 2012 Reply

I lived in smaller rooms in college. for 3yrs I had a tiny dorm room which was about as big as their studio apartment.

My biggest issue is they are under utilizing the space! there are at least 20 things I can see being added to the walls to add storage or other uses. – indoor window sill ledges for the cats to sit on, over the toilet cabinet would add space.

When I read the article at the NY Post the couple said they were planning on getting a Murphy Bed. That would make sense.

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