Reel Estate

Reel Estate: Kimmy Schmidt actually has a pretty great apartment

By Virginia K. Smith  | March 19, 2015 - 10:15AM

When a movie or TV show is set in New York City—and if the people making it are savvy—real estate becomes part of the story itself. In Reel Estate, we look at some of the more memorable domiciles to grace the screen.

We've spent a lot of time this past week plowing through episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and while the character doesn't always make a ton of sense—like why would the victim of a traumatic kidnapping stick around to make cutesy chit-chat with a catcalling construction worker?—we can definitely co-sign her apartment choice.

She finds the place from a listing in a free city newspaper, which makes sense for someone who hasn't lived above ground since before the dawn of Naked Apartments. The landlady Lillian placed an ad for a roommate for her downstairs tenant, Titus, who's so far behind in rent that she's resorted to selling off his doll furniture on the curb (it's all she can manage to carry out of his apartment):

Lillian makes lots of comments about what a bad neighborhood this is, though it looks like a standard-issue street in one of the more industrial parts of Greenpoint or Williamsburg to us. Anyway, Lillian bills the basement apartment as a "garden-level maisonette," and even though Kimmy can't meet Titus' demands for her current address, a recent letter of employment, or "pay stumps," her pile of cash (donated by well wishers to the "Mole Women fund") lands her a spot in the apartment.

For the most part, it looks like the average poorly lit, shoddily maintained kind of place most people find when they first move to New York (note the shower located in the kitchen, and the robot costume in Titus' room):

Yes, her room is a glorified closet—though with a window, it technically does count as a legal bedroom—but for a person used to living in a bunker and with no worldly possessions, this might not be a dealbreaker. Especially not since this place seems to be DIRT. CHEAP. Titus shakes Kimmy down for cash when she first moves in, and notes that the two months back rent he owes Lillian is $950—this means that rent is only $475 a month, and now that they're splitting it between the two of them, $237.50 apiece. That, plus a reasonably nice roommate and a landlady who won't evict you for getting behind on rent? A pretty solid starter apartment, no matter what neighborhood it's actually in.


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