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home : columns : dear harriette January 27, 2021

11/4/2020 8:04:00 AM
Average folks cannot afford NYC rent

DEAR HARRIETTE: New York is an expensive place to live. There are a lot of homeless people and families that cram into a studio or one-bedroom apartment because they cannot afford anything bigger, my family included. I often see new buildings that are built all throughout the five boroughs, and I think how great it is that they are expanding the housing for New Yorkers. But each time I look into these buildings in urban areas of Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn, the rent for one or two bedrooms is typically over $2,000.

I just think it is crazy how all the new housing being built isn't viable for the average New Yorker to live in. There are so many people who truly can't afford to live. Why build these extravagant buildings with amenities when no one is going to be able to afford to live there? And now we have these empty buildings and people living on the street. How and when did this city become this way? -- Lower the Rent

DEAR LOWER THE RENT: Sadly, this is not a new problem. For generations, the rent and general cost of living in New York City has been high and only getting higher. I remember when there was a candidate for mayor whose slogan was "The rent is too damn high." Many have attempted to bring awareness to this challenge and to get it to change.

I do know that some affordable housing is being built in different pockets of the city. Also, there is a rule for luxury high rises that 20% of each building has to be made available at affordable prices. To get in is another story. It's a lottery that can take years, if ever, to win.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating for a while now: guys I have met at work, friend of friends, etc. I find that men still go by that unwritten rule that if they take me out and buy me dinner, I am supposed to go home with them. I have always hated that assumption, but now it is like I cannot escape it. I am not even comfortable going on dates now because I get anxious about how it will end and what he will say.

Why is it that men only give to get? Is there some new unwritten rule that I don't know about yet when it comes to dating? Maybe I am old-fashioned and expect to wait too long before things progress to physical intimacy. What are your thoughts about men rushing the physical part? -- Old-Fashioned Girl

DEAR OLD-FASHIONED GIRL: One woman I know follows this vetting process: When invited on a date, she tells the guy upfront that she's looking forward to the activity but that she does not sleep with anyone unless she is engaged. She says that this has cost her plenty of dates, but the brave ones who stick around often have a lovely time with her -- without the expectation of intimacy looming over their heads. The point here is to be transparent. It may feel uncomfortable bringing it up at the onset of a date, but honestly, getting physical will feel uncomfortable at the end of a date when you hardly know someone. Step up and set the tone yourself.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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