Room for Improvement

New Yorkers want new layouts, new neighbors, new everything!

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Wacky apartment layouts, crazy cooling bills, and horrible neighbors. Six New Yorkers share their gripes on apartment living in the city.

  • I just need to vent: I wish we had a proper ventilation system in our apartment. We have  a ventless dryer, which sucks for drying clothes. And our ventless hood above the [stove] range is just as ineffective. The hood gets rid of maybe 25 percent of the odors in the house that a regular vented hood would. The dryer I can’t even talk about. Just heats the clothes up, so they come out less wet, but still damp. You don’t get that nice, crisp, dry, clean scent on your clothes coming out the dryer, but a wet-wool smell that makes you want to wash your clothes all over again. - Greg, Upper West Side
  • Throw out the bathtub with the bathwater: I would get rid of my bathtub and make a walk-in shower. It would free up so much space in my already tiny bathroom. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve soaked in the bathtub since I moved in two years ago. When I think of the water consumption in taking a bath, I can’t relax! Quick showers, people! There’s a water shortage! - Anika, Upper West Side
  • Too much sunshine? I wish my apartment weren't so boiling hot. We're on the top floor and the windows face south. So we get the sun blasting in all day. The A/C really has to struggle to cool down the place and our electric bills are exorbitant. In the winter, the heat rises through the floor and it also gets uncomfortably warm. I wish the building would invest in sun-reflecting paint for the roof. - Martin, Hamilton Heights
  • The incredible shrinking apartment: I could use more space. Shocker in NYC, right? I thought this place was pretty spacious, but since my boyfriend and I moved in together, the place seems to have shrunk! And the whole reason we chose to move into my apartment instead of his was because I had the larger apartment! I also don't like how people have to walk through our bedroom to get to the bathroom. I think we've just outgrown this place. - Blaine, Prospect Heights
  • It's all gotta go: Well, I hate this apartment. It's cramped, has an odd layout--three turns down the hallway before you get to the living area--no cross breeze, and it's smelly: cooking smells from neighbors, and damp and moldy smells from the inner "courtyard", which is green with moss. Looking for a new apartment as we speak.. - Kaye, Queens
  • Barking up the wrong elevator: If I could change anything it would be to get rid of my god awful neighbor and his nasty smelling dog. I hate having to run into him in the hallway and having to listen to his complaints about my music, my TV, and my voice being too loud. But he just shuts the door in my face when I complain about his stupid dog barking at every passing car. I can always smell when he's just been in the elevator, especially when it's been raining and his dog is wet. I hope his dog dies and he moves into a home for the nasty elderly soon. - Inez, Harlem

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