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Thread: Couple who lives in New York City's Tiniest Apartment

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Default Couple who lives in New York City's Tiniest Apartment

    wow
    Cozy-crazy couple makes tight all right in the city's tiniest studio



    If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere.




    Zaarath and Christopher Prokop -- and their two cats -- live in the smallest apartment in the city, a 175-square-foot "microstudio" in Morningside Heights the couple bought three months ago for $150,000.

    At 14.9 feet long and 10 feet wide, it's about as narrow as a subway car and as claustrophobic as a jail cell. But to the Prokops, it's a castle.




    "When you first see it, the first thing you say is, 'Holy crap, this place is small,' " said Zaarath, 37, an accountant for liquor company Remy Martin. "But when I saw it, all I could think of is, I can do something with this. This is perfect for us. We love it."

    The co-op is on the 16th floor of a doorman building on 110th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. But it's only accessible by a staircase on the 15th floor.

    It has two small windows with views of upper Manhattan; hardwood floors; a tiny kitchen with a mini-fridge and hotplate; and a closet-sized bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet.



    "I'm amazed we can fit two people and two cats in there," Zaarath said. "But it's harmonious at this point. I have friends who say they could never live with their husbands in a place this small. It's a good thing we like each other enough to live there."

    The couple wakes up every morning in their queen-size bed, which takes up one-third of the living space.

    They then walk five feet toward the tiny kitchen, where they pull out their workout clothes, which are folded neatly in two cabinets above the sink. A third cabinet holds several containers of espresso for their only kitchen appliance, a cappuccino maker.

    They turn off their hotplate, and use the space on the counter as a feeding area for their cats, Esmeralda and Beauregard.

    "We don't cook," Zaarath said, adding that their fridge never has any food in it. "So when you don't cook, you don't need plates or pots or pans. So we use that space for our clothes."

    Once in their running attire, the two change the cat litter box (stored under the sink) and start their small Rumba vacuum -- which operates automatically while they're out, picking up cat hair.

    They then jog to their jobs in Midtown, picking up along the way their work clothes, which are "strategically stashed at various dry cleaners."

    Just in case the cleaners are closed, both have emergency clothes at their offices.

    "I have a closet at my office," Zaarath said. "You don't want to be standing outside a closed cleaners at 8:45 in your workout pants thinking, 'Greeeeeat' . . . It's a great strategy. You always have fresh things to wear."

    The only other furniture in the apartment is a 27-inch flat-screen TV attached to the wall; a brown leather storage bench at the foot of the bed that stores linens but also acts as a sofa; a cat climbing "tree," and a shelf/wine rack system that holds a radio, cable box, and several bottles and glasses.

    One of the kitchen cabinets is full of champagne because Zaarath's job allows them to order cases of it.

    They don't have a trash can. The second something needs to be thrown out, they walk to the chute in the hallway.

    Their bathroom -- about 3 by 9 feet -- has a small pedestal sink with mirror, and a stand-alone shower.

    "Every bit of space is utilized," said Christopher, 35, also an accountant, who beamed as he showed off the apartment. "We really have everything we need."

    The Prokops, who met in Texas where they worked, lived in New Jersey before moving to the Big Apple. They started with a 1,600-square-foot apartment in Glen Ridge, then moved to a 900-square-foot place in Jersey City. Once they decided on Manhattan, they wanted to go even smaller.

    "We used to be kind of frivolous," said Zaarath, a California native. "I used to collect vintage clothing, for example, and the cost of storing it and moving it was just not economically viable. So when we decided to move to Manhattan, we realized we're not home that much because of our jobs. We don't need that much space. We could go smaller. When I saw the ad in the paper, I knew I had to see it. And I knew it was right for us as soon as I saw it."

    Real-estate broker Steven Goldschmidt, senior vice president of Warburg Realty, showed the Prokops the apartment, which used to be one of about nine maid's quarters in the prewar building.

    "We converted eight of them into four apartments," Goldschmidt said, with each apartment going for a little less than a half-million dollars.

    "But we could not configure that one room within any of the floor plans we were looking at without spending oodles of money. So I came up with the idea to just make it the smallest apartment and see how it goes. I know a number of the luxury buildings are selling servants quarters and they're not this small."

    He said he got "a lot of calls" from parents looking to find apartments for their Columbia students or business people looking for a pied-à-terre.

    "It was not on the market all that long," he said. "And the Prokops made us a great offer, and that's it."

    The couple will pay off their mortgage in two years, when they plan to remodel some of the apartment, adding a Murphy bed and larger windows. They will then be saddled only with their maintenance fee, which is just over $700 a month.

    "It's like having a rent-controlled apartment," she said. "We're going to own something in Manhattan in two years. How many people can say that? And we're very happy doing more with less."

    She added that because they save money on their home, they can spend money in "areas that make our lives better," like restaurants and vacations. The two just got back from Beijing and have been to Japan and other countries.

    "We get to really experience life and enjoy ourselves," she said. "We eat out all the time. On the weekends, we're outside exploring the neighborhood. We're at Riverside Park all the time. We're not nesters. This apartment is perfect for someone active. If you want to stay home or entertain, this is just not the apartment for you."

    She joked that the tiny apartment gets her out of hosting duties and dissuades long-term guests.

    "No one ever stays too long," she said. "It's too small."

    She said Christopher's parents stayed in the apartment while they were in China, and the two suitcases they brought was too much.

    "They were sort of fumbling over each other," Zaarath said.

    With the holidays coming, the Prokops plan to hang a wreath and put up Christmas bushes -- but in the hallway.

    "Maybe I'll just get Christmas-tree pajamas and wear them around," laughed Zaarath. "That'll be good."



    more photos: City's Tiniest Studio - NYPOST.com


    Read more: Cozy-crazy couple makes tight all right in the city's tiniest studio - NYPOST.com

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    I would cry and cry if that was my living quarters as an adult.

    That was the size of a single dorm room in college. Well okay, the dorms were probably smaller but still!

    Where do they eat? I don't see a table? Must be out at restaurants all the time. I sure wouldn't be inspired to spend too much time there.

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    i would kill myself if i had to live there! and that bathroom - my god!

    i really can't believe that they haven't taken advantage of all of the wall space and built shelves, etc. they could have put the bed on a platform and had storage underneath, etc.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    I would choke a bitch out if someone else was in there with me. I might be able to handle it by myself...might.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Can you imagine what it must be like when they have the inevitable spat?

    "Okay, that's it. I'm sleeping in the micro bathroom tonight!"

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    they can't even keep their clothes there, they have to jog to various dry cleaners to get their clothes for the day lol

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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    I feel sorry for the cats, if they're never home, why bother having pets?

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    No goddamn way in holy fucking hell unless it's the last place on earth and then I've got a few questions and lots of objections.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    In Tokyo, this would be considered a mansion.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    if i was single, i could live there, i love love small spaces.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstanceSpry View Post
    I feel sorry for the cats, if they're never home, why bother having pets?
    i do too, they probably just want other to share in their misery

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    Elite Member calcifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstanceSpry View Post
    I feel sorry for the cats, if they're never home, why bother having pets?
    me too. i'm concerned about their cats. they don't have jobs. they're stuck in that tiny apartment 24/7.

    you can tell they spend all of their time outside. this place has no or little character.

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    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    I cant get over the cat on the counter, that is disgusting. I couldnt spend 1 minute in there. They seem happy
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    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    I could live there, and fairly easily too. The thing is, they could have sooo much more storage and items if they were able to maximize the space they have a little better. Add some colors and some life to the place, a few more things on the walls, some fold-out amenities, etc. and it wouldn't be a bad place at all. And I bet the view is amazing.
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    Elite Member Butterfly's Avatar
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    If I had to live there with someone, on day 2 I would be in prison for murder.
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