Sunday, April 22, 2012

Can't Beat the Rent

Beating the rent is one of the fundamental characteristics of any New Yorker. Paying as little as possible for as much space as possible is built into the DNA of all the people who call this city home. 

So how about living in a mansion for free?

Believe it or not, some people do it. There are a very, very lucky few people manage to land gigs as caretakers of historic homes all over the city. The basic gig: they get to live in these places rent free so long as they make sure the homes are properly maintained and sometimes give guided tours. Sure, they are paying rent in terms of labor (being a caretaker is a job) for which they don't get paid, but having a huge place to live in the densest city in the country ain't a bad deal.

Needless to say, as someone who loves NYC and history and would love to live in a big house rent free, yours truly is jealous. 

Let's just hope that, for these caretakers, ghosts of the previous characters don't urge them to kill their families. Remember this dialogue from The Shining?
Jack: Mr. Grady, you were the caretaker here.  Grady: I'm sorry to differ with you, sir, but you are the caretaker. You've always been the caretaker. I should know, sir, I've always been here. Did you know, Mr. Torrance, that your son is attempting to bring an outside party into this situation? Did you know that? ...  Jack: It's his mother. She, uh … interferes.  Grady: Perhaps … they need a good talking to, if you don't mind my saying so. Perhaps … a bit more. My girls, sir, they didn't care for the Overlook at first. One of them actually stole a pack of matches and tried to burn it down. But I corrected them, sir. And when my wife tried to prevent me from doing my duty, I … corrected her.    
Awesome scene.
And talking about care taking and NYC real estate, some people are really taking care of their buildings roofs. Check out these photos, they're amazing. 

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