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The Worst Room(s): Where Characters on New York TV Shows Could Really Afford to Live

The rent is, indeed, too damn high. As was widely reported this week, average rents in New York City are now over $3000 a month, a figure that’s skewed to some extent by the sky-high prices in Manhattan’s priciest neighborhoods but still goes to show that living here is an expensive adventure. You’d never know this from the way the city is depicted in popular culture, of course, but while the implausibility of many on-screen depictions of NYC has been well documented, Flavorwire got to wondering: if it’s unfeasible that various characters would be able to afford the locations they’re depicted as living in, well, where would they live? Read on to find out.

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Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

What she earns: Carrie Bradshaw writes a column. For a newspaper. In 2013 you’re lucky if that earns you anything at all, but given that the show was set in an age before the ass completely fell out of print media, let’s give her benefit of the doubt and award her a salary at the upper end of the scale for this occupation: $45k, max.

Where she lives: In a swanky Upper East Side pad where you can barely move without tripping over an expensive pair of shoes.

Where she’d really live: OK, so, after tax, your $45k a year turns into just over $35k, or just under $3k a month. Take out a couple of hundred dollars for health insurance and another $100 for a MetroCard. That leaves you with about $2,500 in disposable income. The general wisdom is to spend no more than 40% of your salary on rent, which equates to about $1,000 to spend.  You’d be lucky to get a closet anywhere near Central Park for that, so Carrie can forget her UES pad (and her expensive shoes, too.) Clearly, cohabiting would be the best option here, but assuming Carrie wants her own apartment, perhaps the best option is a “cozy” one-bedroom on… Staten Island. Oh, the infamy!

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