The Elusive New York City $1,500 Rental

Finding an apartment in New York that does not drain your bank account can feel like a lightbulbnearly impossible task.

Competition is fierce. And for what? Cramped spaces that deliver little more than a grinding commute to work. But knowing where to look — and when to act — can mean the difference between crummy or cozy quarters. Apartments for less than $1,500 a month do exist, as long as you’re willing to take on a roommate or two or explore neighborhoods that might be less than convenient to your work. Price, of course, dictates most searches. Pay too much and a tight budget can spiral into an unmanageable one. More than half of all New Yorkers are considered “cost burdened,” meaning they spend more than a third of their income on rent.

As the city’s population grows, the number of apartments available shrinks, particularly the cheaper ones. The median income for New Yorkers in 2015 was $56,350 a year, which puts median housing costs at $1,409 a month for rent and utilities, according to the New York University Furman Center. Yet in May, the median rent for a Manhattan apartment was $3,475 a month, according to a Douglas Elliman report. To pay that much without being burdened, you’d have to earn $139,000 a year.

“Rents have gone up, there’s no doubt about that,” said Vicki Been, the faculty director at the Furman Center and a former commissioner of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “At the same time, people’s incomes have stayed flat. That’s making housing less affordable.”

And what about recent college graduates moving to New York in search of jobs and housing? While someone starting out in finance is looking at a median starting salary of $70,000 a year, jobs in arts and entertainment, for example, offer a much smaller starting median wage of $29,700 a year, according to data provided by the job site GlassDoor.com. Do the math, and many New Yorkers should be paying considerably less than $1,000 a month in rent.

To find those apartments, renters “are going to have to look long and hard,” Ms. Been said. “People are having to make trade-offs. The cheaper the apartment, the further away from transit it is.”

Know Where to Look

The search for apartments fitting a smaller budget often leads to pockets of the city that are rapidly changing, but often lack conveniences like express trains, shops and restaurants. Although rents have been stagnating over the last two years, they are still near historic highs. And neighborhoods that were considered reasonably priced options just a few years ago no longer are.

“We used to do studios in East Harlem all the time,” said Shawn Hindes, a founder of Teacher Space, a brokerage firm that helps new teachers find apartments. “But that’s not really feasible anymore on a teacher’s salary.” The same goes for many Brooklyn neighborhoods. “Five years ago, someone saying ‘I want a place in Crown Heights’ got the pick of the litter,” he said. But that is no longer the case.

In 2016, only about 14 percent of the one-bedroom apartments listed in Crown Heights on StreetEasy were asking less than $1,500-a-month rent; and in Washington Heights, around 10 percent of one-bedrooms asked less than $1,500 a month, according to data provided by StreetEasy.

But head over to a Brooklyn neighborhood like Northeast Flatbush, an area south of Crown Heights, and about 63 percent of the one-bedrooms were listed for less than $1,500 a month last year; while in Norwood in the northwest Bronx, almost 94 percent of them were, according to StreetEasy.

“These are predominantly residential neighborhoods with older housing stock,” said Grant Long, the senior economist for StreetEasy.

Mr. Hindes of Teacher Space said young teachers who once might have looked in East Harlem are now heading to neighborhoods like Morris Heights in the West Bronx. In Brooklyn, neighborhoods like Flatbush, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Kensington are getting more traffic, according to Harley Courts, the chief executive of Nooklyn, a brokerage firm that also helps renters find roommates. “Half of our inventory has shifted south in the last 18 months,” deeper into Brooklyn, Mr. Courts said.

15 films you should be excited for this year The second half of 2017 looks set to be a big one for cinema.

As summer blockbuster season gets underway, you might be forgiven for thinking there’s a lack of imagination in cinema this year. But fear not. Between the 80s reboots and top auteurs at work, the rest of the year on the big screen looks thrilling. Here’s 15 of the best to watch out for.

The Beguiled
Sofia Coppola’s much anticipated retelling of the 1971 Don Siegel film, reimagines the story from a female perspective. The Beguiled sees wounded civil war soldier (Colin Farrell) turn up at the door of a girls boarding school in the south, and con his way into each woman’s heart. Nicole Kidman is the headmistress while Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst co-star. They do not, it seems, take this lying down.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Luc Besson is back with a new, visually stunning, sci-fi epic. Based on a French graphic novel, Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star as two human operatives sent to safeguard Alpha, an ever expanding metropolis where diverse species gather together. The director of The Fifth Element gets to run wild with his imagined future.

You Were Never Really Here
It’s been a long time since Lynne Ramsay’s last feature length outing, the psychotic child drama We Need to Talk about Kevin, but this adaptation of another novel (this time the work of Jonathan Ames) sees her in equally hard-hitting territory. In You Were Never Really Here, Joaquin Phoenix is an army vet who tries to save a young girl — played by Ekaterina Samsonov — from prostitution.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami
Originally titled Grace Jones  The Musical of My Life, this documentary from Sophie Fiennes began way back in 2005. Mixing personal footage with staged musical sequences, Fiennes says that for her biopic, Jones “made the bold decision to unmask.” If that’s the case, the results should be cracking.

Slice
In what may be the first film to tackle the perils of zero-hour contracts, Chance the Rapper stars as a local outlaw framed for killing off all the local pizza delivery boys. There’s also a werewolf element to this first feature by Austin Vesely, Chance’s video director and frequent collaborator. So expect more gore ‘n’ gags than socio political commentary.

God’s Own Country
This Yorkshire-set gay romance won a Special Jury award when it premiered at Sundance, and is set to be one of the most buzzed about British films of the year. Rightly so. Writer, director, and local Yorkshire lad, Francis Lee’s story about a young, gay farmer (Josh O’Connor) who forms a relationship with the hired help, a Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) is a raw, revelatory beauty.

It
If you cannot wait until Halloween for the second series of Stranger Things, the It remake should stave off your retro 80s scary cravings. This timely reimagining of the 1986 Stephen King novel about a dancing clown who haunts the kids of a small town in Maine, looks like a visually nostalgic treat, terrifying as hell, and even features Stranger Things alumni Finn Wolfhard as, you guessed it, an 80s kid investigating the local shapeshifter.

David Lynch: The Art Life
By the time this David Lynch doc arrives in cinemas, you should be well into his Twin Peaks revival; perfect timing then to hear from the man himself as he explains the events that helped shape his enigmatic art. Just don’t expect him to tell you what’s in the Mulholland Drive blue box.

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
Xavier Dolan made his name at Cannes, but this drama — his 7th film — is only his second not to premiere at the French festival. Dolan announced that, between the trolling he received in 2016, and the fact The Death and Life of John F. Donovan wouldn’t be finished in time, the French-Canadian wunderkind wasn’t going to enter it for selection. Time will tell if Cannes has lost out on premiering another winner from Dolan, but the premise sounds strong: it’s about a pen-friend relationship between an adult TV star (Kit Harington) and a young actor (Room’s Jacob Tremblay) that spirals when publicly exposed.

Flatliners
Less of a remake and more of a sequel to the 1990 original, in which medical students experiment with near-death experiences. That one starred a young Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland. The latter returns in 2017, alongside Diego Luna, Kiersey Clemons, and Ellen Page.

Blade Runner 2049
Arrival director Denis Villeneuve has huge expectations to meet with this sequel to Ridley Scott’s much-loved sci-fi noir classic. It’s 30 years on from the original’s 2019 setting, but everything looks pretty similar in dystopian L.A. K (Ryan Gosling) is the man charged with hunting down replicants, while also searching for Rick Deckard, the original Blade Runner (Harrison Ford, reprising the role). 

Mute
Duncan Jones’s Moon was one of the best sci-fi films of recent years and Mute, 12 years in the planning and set in Berlin 40 years in the future, is directly connected to his debut work. Alexander Skarsgård stars as a mute bartender who journeys into the underbelly of the city.

Mother!
Little is known about Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky’s latest project, but the recently released first look at the artwork suggests an absolute creep show. The official blurb sounds earthbound enough, a story about a couple whose relationship is tested by uninvited guests. But the teaser poster, with Jennifer Lawrence’s character offering a bloody heart torn from her chest, suggests we might be in for something altogether more ghoulish.

Call Me by Your Name
A Bigger Splash director Luca Guadagnino finds romance in the mid-80s Italian summer. On a vacation of the most cultured kind with his professor dad and equally smart mother, 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) falls in love with Oliver, his father’s 24-year-old teaching assistant (Armie Hammer). A grand, queer, sun-soaked romance follows that will steer the course of Elio’s life.


Phantom Thread
Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film with Daniel Day Lewis since There Will Be Blood in 2007 has a working title of Phantom Thread, and is currently being filmed in Whitby, North Yorkshire. The film will take place in the “couture world” and will follow a man commissioned to design for high society. Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood is on scoring duties. The film is due for a Christmas 2017 release, teeing it up nicely for Oscar glory in 2018. But that’s another year in cinema…

can you ‘work it?’ missy elliott is looking for backup dancers

Missy Elliot has always delivered supercharged performances. Who can forget when she stole the show during Katy Perry’s Halftime Show in 2015 with a killer melody of her hits? If you think you can keep up with her, this might be your week: she’s holding auditions for backup dancers in Atlanta this Friday.

Missy tweeted the audition announcement yesterday. You must be16 or older, the styles of dance are hip-hop and tricksters, and if you can choreograph, even better.

the A-Z of london menswear

As London Fashion Week Men’s celebrates its fifth anniversary, we salute the vibrant visionaries who make the capital the most exciting place in the world for menswear right now. From the club kids to the collaborators, from the iconic to the opulent and the wild and eccentric, the bespoke and the Nu Lads, we flick through the A-Z of London’s menswear scene. From all the As of Astrid Andersen to the Zeitgeist setting agenda of the Palace skateboards crew.

movement: queen moves | sponsored by new balance

i-D travels the globe in search of athletic subcultures that are creating a movement in their city through sport. In the first episode of an all new 3-part series, MOVEMENT sponsored by New Balance, we follow Queen Moves, a dance collective based in New York defying the norms of the dance industry. Their mission is to create a community that supports women and to help dispel the insecurities that many women deal with in modern society. Their choreography are inspired by women’s personal stories – the themes of their routines ranging from political issues to heartbreak. From studio to the streets, watch them transform a personal story about identity loss and discovery into dance and perform it for all of New York. Their journeys remind us that those who are fearlessly independent and defy expectations can make a larger impact on the people around them and the cities they dwell in.

Beyoncé x Aaliyah – All In A Million Nights (Mashup)

Looks like Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau isn’t the only hookup making us dream of an alternate reality. This perfect matchmaking exercise comes courtesy of 19-year-old producer Amorphous, who has masterminded a collaboration 20 years in the making: a duet featuring Aaliyah and Beyoncé. “Remixed Beyoncé’s ‘All Night’ with Aaliyah’s ‘One In A Million,'” the Orlando teen tweeted of his decade-spanning mash-up. “Two friends who I really wish had the chance to work together.” Don’t we all.

It’s not impossible that Baby Girl and Queen Bey would have collided on their own accord at some point. On the 15th anniversary of Aaliyah’s tragic death in 2001, Beyoncé posted a throwback tribute to the R&B icon — a video of her pre-Jay self interviewing Aaliyah (and gushing about D’Angelo) at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards. Bey has also thanked Aaliyah for being an early supporter of Destiny’s Child. Amorphous, meanwhile, wasn’t born when “One in a Million” was released in 1996, but that’s just testament to the Missy Elliott and Timberland-assisted slow jam being well ahead of its time. Happy #TBT.