Can’t Touch This – apt.
Some folks in this CNY town are confused when older folks refer to the ‘Manhattanization’ of our fair city.
“What are you talking about this is a lovely little town in rural NY”
Once you’ve said that it shows you have already been blinded by the image of NYC, LA or another mega city. So maybe you don’t see that the miles of big box stores, multi-lane highways, traffic jams
“This isn’t a traffic jam – why in (insert name here) you’d sit in traffic for hours each end of the day – and forget about holidays!”
as I was saying – maybe you can’t see that the industrialization of our landscape has changed the personality of this town from a small town to a NYC mini-clone, but it does have a nickname of the ‘Little Apple’ by folks who think that is a good thing.
So here is another example.
(otherwise spelled extortion)
Because of the influence of a major university, a pricey private college, and several smaller schools of higher education in the county, rents here are ridiculous. Because – you can rent apartments by the bedroom we now have 10-15 bedroom ‘apartments’. Those aren’t apartments – they are dorms.
For a working class family, it means that rents are way out of reach almost anywhere within the school district, except at the farthest reaches where – if you are lucky you might see a bus (other than a school bus) twice a day. Sometimes 2x in the morning and 2x at night. You had better work 9-5 because these buses don’t run for anyone else. Actually you’d better not work until 5 because often the last run out of town leaves downtown at 5.
I’m not just talking McD and Wally World here. University professionals with a decade or more on the job, can’t afford to live in the city. I recently ran into a former coworker who had moved 30 miles away because she got tired of working a second job on top of her full time college job (she has a position that requires a Master’s Degree) in order to afford an apartment here. Another friend is a teacher in the district who was lucky enough to find a small apartment in the basement of someone’s home. All well and good until he gets married and wants a family.
“He shouldn’t have children if he can’t afford them.”
NO! A full-time teacher should be paid enough to afford a home -AND a family!
Yesterday I went to check out a place in a local trailer park that caters to the University crowd.Or purports to. It would be possible to hike to the university from there (no sidewalks). They were offering a small 3 BR elderly mobile home at a price my friend could afford. OK – it’s ugly. We knew that would be a given. Out of date wallpaper and flooring, particle board cabinets, dark and dingy. It’s possible to work with that. The first clue was the handy storage shed that came with it. It’s rotting out at the bottom, but hey, we’re handy. It was filled with garbage bags, a broken futon, and multiple old toilets. Well, let’s assume the landlord is going to empty that before they move in. So we enter the home. A bit of a bulge at the front door, the floor is uneven, but seems to be firm. Crummy older shower stall, but Clorox does wonders. Can’t find the kitchen light switch, it’s almost dark, but still we can see the mold and mildew growing on the kitchen cabinets. The two bigger bedrooms are ok-ish, the smallest one is packed so we can’t get in, but we can see the mold on the ceiling. The wallboard under many of the windows is showing water damage, and the floor in the hallway has a VERY soft spot.
In order to afford this home, you would have to make twice the minimum wage or 1 1/2 times what our county says is our living wage. And with all our city codes etc – is it even legal to rent that out?
And you’d never believe who the landlord is…..let’s just say their personal care products would cost them more per month than this place. Rent here is not based on cost of doing business, it’s based on how much can we get you for. This old trailer has paid its owner back multiple, multiple times, but if they can find somebody to rent it – hey – they’ll probably leave before it makes them too sick, after all, it’s a college town.