Semi-charmed life

In Manhattan, there’s a pretty big trade-off between square footage and location.  Knowing this (sort of) when we moved to the city last summer, the hubs and I opted for a tiny shoebox in a smack-in-the-village location.

This decision has its perks.  Our location really is unbeatable, in terms of neighborhood goodies and subway access.  And fireworks viewing, apparently!

I realize this shot is no photographic genius, but it showcases the pleasant surprise I got tonight.  Namely, that we could see the entire Macy’s Hudson River fireworks display from our bedroom window! Yay!

I enjoy fireworks – but I’m also lazy.  I definitely was not going to go fight crowds to watch them.  But if I can see them (or the top half of them, anyway) from the comfort of my bed?  Well then, sure!

Watching the splendor of NYC’s fireworks display over neighboring West Village rooftops, I was almost tempted to feel smug.  But then I remembered that I live in a 300 square-foot apartment that usually feels about as big as a Townhouse cracker – shared with a hubby and two cats.  Yeah.  Not so special.  It’s all about the trade-offs in this city.

Today’s EAT: Big plans for a healthy dinner tonight – salmon and broiled veggies.  However.  8 PM rolled around and I found myself in no mood to cook.

So pizza delivery it was.  But instead of going totally greasy and unhealthy, I talked the hubs in to some Z Pizza, which is at least made with whole wheat crust!

Chicken sausage and caramelized onions on top.  Yum.

Today’s DRINK: Okay.  First, I just have to say: McSorely’s, WTF?

McSorely’s is a NYC institution and often cited as the cheapest purveyor of beer in the city.  I believe their beer – which is a house brew and comes in “light” or “dark” – was $1 for a long time.  During my time in NYC it’s always been $1.50.  The place is old as dirt and a total dive, but reliably wonderful for uber-cheap beer and a fun time.

Until now.

The hubs and I were wandering in the East Village today and, just as I was complaining about being parched, realized we were right by McSorely’s.  Figuring we could get a couple of beers each and get out for under $10, we stopped in for a mid-afternoon refreshment.

Effing McSorely’s has doubled their prices.  A mug of beer is now $3, or “two for $5.”  WTF!  Given that the mugs are a tad on the small side and often half-filled with head, this isn’t actually a good deal anymore.  At all. You’re better off going somewhere with $4 or even $5 normal beers.  Ugh.

McSorely’s, you better check youself before you wreck yourself. Because, really.  No one is going there for the atmosphere or the quality of the brew.  Hrmph.

Today’s RUN: None!  A well earned day off.  Whew. 🙂

Today’s QUESTION: How many square feet is your living space? I feel like I’ve truly run the gamut here – from owning a 3,000 SF house in Ohio to living in a 300 SF apartment here in Manhattan!  Amazing how I’ve actually been relatively happy in both!

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26 responses to “Semi-charmed life

  1. Love Z Pizza…a so Cal staple.

    Used to live right near McSorley’s so bummed to hear about this most recent development…

  2. You should have just walked down the block to Burp Castle. Beer is more expensive there, but also delicious as it’s a Belgian beer bar. I’m there every Wednesday!

    • I have heard good things about that place! Is there something special on Wednesdays – or just a fun tradition? 🙂

      • It started as a Wednesday night knitting group, but it’s basically devolved into just drinking.

        And there’s a bonus! Free fries from Pommes Frites on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

  3. Why did I think you lived in Brooklyn?

    Anyhow, someone I know from college made a similar move: from a giant townhouse in Albany to a studio near the Fat Black Pussycat. While I can’t imagine what it must be like to downsize THAT much, I can’t imagine how convenient that could be in so many ways – like what you describe here! I actually pay a bit more to live in my neighborhood than I need to, mostly because I like having stuff I can walk to and living somewhere where I can run at night…

    As far as McSorleys? I’m not surprised. Its gotten more and more attention in recent years and with the economy in the shitter….well, all good things must come to an end.

    Random: Have you been to Rudy’s in Hells Kitchen? One of my favorite dive bars of all time because its a real dive. I was there with actual old drunks that probably still pay 100 bucks a month for the same rent controlled apartments they’ve had for the last 50 years and it was GREAT. Hopefully the hipsters haven’t ruined it, though I suspect the free hot dogs aren’t quite ironic enough for them. 😉

  4. Don’t worry Shelby. When you and Drew move to Chicago you can also get a 1100 sq. ft. place that has floor to window views of the Chicago skyline – I think Tom was able to see all three fireworks displays from the apartment. Granted right now I am living in about 150 sq. ft. I am jealous of your huge space in New York.

  5. I’m a suburbanite who battled the crowds of DC last night to watch the fireworks and I think you STILL had a better view than we did!! My husband and I share a single family 1300 sf home which sounds great, but we’re sorely lacking usuable space. The basement is “finished” but the husband can’t even stand up down there. Patiently waiting for greener pastures…

  6. 3,000 SqF? Wow. That’s a lot of house to clean and furnish! That’s how my mind works. 🙂

  7. I have…no idea. I live in a house. But it really is a trade off. The only delivery I can get is bad Chinese food and crappy-doesn’t-even-count-as-pizza. And we have to mow the lawn and take out our recycling to the curb.

    I have nothing to say about overpriced booze, other than that you can do better. I had a similar experience the other night, spending $7 for a thimble-sized mixed drink at a place so “hip” it had PBR on tap. No thanks.

  8. My husband had the same reaction as you did regarding McSorely’s during our last visit to the city. What a bummer….
    We are in Mpls now in a 1100 sq foot condo and had an Awesome view of the fireworks last night from our balcony!

  9. Great view of the fireworks! I actually have no idea how much square footage I have – probably less than 300 but it’s just me so it works! I would trade some space to live in the Village though, much more fun than the boring UES 🙂

  10. Cool! Nice view of the fireworks!

    I went from a 650 square foot apartment to a 1500 square foot house. I’ve lived in tiny apartments too. I prefer the house! 🙂

  11. I’ve got 650 sq feet – and like amarathoner says, less to clean;-)

    As for McSorleys. Sad. Time to find a new place!

  12. Bummer about the increase in beer prices! If it comes down to it, we can always go the paper bag route…

    Glad you enjoyed the fireworks! Hope to see you tomorrow workout buddy 🙂

  13. I couldn’t even tell you what the square footage of my apt. is…but I will say that it is definitely not big enough to “entertain”-but the location can’t be beat (UWS, within stumbling distance of Central Park). For now, it’s worth it 🙂

  14. I’m so jealous of your view! I live on the west side, but our building is too short. I have about 450 sq ft of space, so barely more than you. I complain about it a lot, but you can’t beat the location.

  15. Just looking at your blog throughout the weekend – I am WAY jealous of your picnic and 4th of July fireworks views:) Our house gives us about 1100 square feet and all our friends/family thinks it’s tiny. Our tradeoff for our small, 100 year old house is 2 acres of lawn and woods and a view and dock spot at the lake. And, I like having less space to clean and store junk:)

  16. 300 square feet?!?! I can’t even wrap my head around what it must be like to live in a space that small! But then again I come from Texas…the land of the large. Our current house is 1300 sq feet but the smallest I’ve ever lived in was a 700 sq feet apartment. I do envy your awesome big city location though!!

  17. What a fun way to watch fireworks! It’s funny this post because I was just talking to my best friend about why we can afford a house — because we don’t live in a huge city and the cost of living is…awesome! 2nd best in the nation!

    In Chicago I could afford a 600-900 square foot crap hole. In Tulsa, we have a 1800 sq. foot house and it’s not big enough 😉 We have a lot of crap and a dog! Our new house (in Ohio, like your old house), is about 2,800 sq. ft. I’m excited!

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