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I'm a Drummer Living in a 500-Square-Foot NYC Apartment

Tornado

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I could be OK with 500 square feet of home as long as it's on 100 acres. Wedged beneath millions of other tiny, people-filled boxes? Count me out.

I've thought about a 1,000 Sq ft house with a 4,000 Sq ft barn or warehouse. A personal warehouse would give me plenty of space for storage and "activities". Gotta have enough room for two bathrooms in my living space though. Being married, we still like to have our distance while not at our best...

I've really been thinking about it. I have 4 years until my daughter leaves for college, and then I have no reason to stay in my unnecessarily large house in the city. That just seems like freedom to me.
 

Topsy Turvy

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I love these posters ripping on people who are struggling and sacrificing to make it as musicians/artists in expensive, large cities. So, you don’t want to live in a big, densely populated city? Cool. Don’t. Just like many don’t want to live in a rural, backwoods hellhole, so they don’t.

But this article is about trying to be a musician in a huge, expensive city. Hardly anyone who seriously wants to be a professional musician is living in Backwoods, Kentucky in the middle of nowhere.
 
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el_37

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I love these posters ripping on people who are struggling and sacrificing to make it as musicians/artists in expensive, large cities. So, you don’t want to live in a big, densely populated city? Cool. Don’t. Just like many don’t want to live in a rural, backwoods hellhole, so they don’t.

But this article is about trying to be a musician in a huge, expensive city. Hardly anyone who seriously wants to be a professional musician is living in Backwoods, Kentucky in the middle of nowhere.

I can assure the subject of videos like these are not struggling. You can't pay the money these apartments cost in the areas of the city where "creative white people" move without either your parents footing the bill, a ton of roommates and you work a low six figure job or you are a trust funder. Dumpy studio apartments in hipster Brooklyn are $3000 a month now. Sure you see people making less money in these areas- but they moved there 30 years ago.

ILLEGAL 1 bedrooms in those areas are still $2500- and you won't have luxury amenities such as you know- a stove or windows.

People who play out "every few months" like the drummer in this video are not struggling artists going to jam sessions in jazz clubs every night trying to make connections. Once their "funployment" runs out- its either MBA or Law School time- or moving back to Virginia. Sure I sound jaded- but I have seen this for 30 years in this city and judging from your location I am sure you have too.
 

Topsy Turvy

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I can assure the subject of videos like these are not struggling. You can't pay the money these apartments cost in the areas of the city where "creative white people" move without either your parents footing the bill, a ton of roommates and you work a low six figure job or you are a trust funder. Dumpy studio apartments in hipster Brooklyn are $3000 a month now. Sure you see people making less money in these areas- but they moved there 30 years ago.

ILLEGAL 1 bedrooms in those areas are still $2500- and you won't have luxury amenities such as you know- a stove or windows.

People who play out "every few months" like the drummer in this video are not struggling artists going to jam sessions in jazz clubs every night trying to make connections. Once their "funployment" runs out- its either MBA or Law School time- or moving back to Virginia. Sure I sound jaded- but I have seen this for 30 years in this city and judging from your location I am sure you have too.
Fair enough. I have had a couple of friends really give it a shot in NYC. (One was an actor trying to get on Broadway and the other was a musician.) Both of these people worked their ass off in crappy jobs just to try to get a foot in the door. They waited tables, painted houses, and basically did whatever they could to survive. They did not get rent paid by their parents.

I just asked my friend and the actress paid $1200 for a studio which she shared with a friend. That’s sacrificing. The amount of people who “make it” is tiny, but kudos to these people for trying. Seeing posters ripping on people sacrificing to try to make it in their craft just sucks.

You love living in a 4000 sq ft house in the middle of nowhere, and it’s a big day out to drive to the Walmart 40 miles away. I get it. But I’m sorry it doesn’t mean you are right or better as is being implied.
 
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el_37

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Fair enough. I have had a couple of friends really give it a shot in NYC. (One was an actor trying to get on Broadway and the other was a musician.) Both of these people worked their ass off in crappy jobs just to try to get a foot in the door. They waited tables, painted houses, and basically did whatever they could to survive. They did not get rent paid by their parents.

I just asked my friend and the actress paid $1200 for a studio which she shared with a friend. That’s sacrificing. The amount of people who “make it” is tiny, but kudos to these people for trying. Seeing posters ripping on people sacrificing to try to make it in their craft just sucks.

You love living in a 4000 sq ft house in the middle of nowhere and it’s a big day out to drive to the Walmart 40 miles away. I get it.

You still have people making the sacrifice, but those types are usually to busy actually working or performing to bother making videos about their apartments.

A lifetime ago I was in the photographic field- back in the film days. We had an endless parade of 21-30 year olds coming into NYC trying to make it. Most started out serious, but once they realized that the world wasn't exactly panting for their talents, and that the reality of most creative jobs is the hard work and having to do basic things like show up on time and work long hours while getting yelled at with no glamour- most drifted away.

I applaud the serious ones, but at the same time I applaud the ones that are smart enough to realize they are not as talented as they once thought they were. Or the ones that realize after a few years of no breaks coming maybe it is time to regroup.

I also at this stage of my life (middle age) cannot really fault anyone who decided that living in that 4000 sq ft house in the middle of nowhere is the life for them. I spent over 40 years living in NYC and recently moved slightly north of the city to a larger house that looks like it is in the middle of nowhere- but I can't say that driving to Walmart is a big day. Maybe check back in a few years.....

I tell every young person (meaning the under 20 set) that early on is the time to pursue jobs in the creative field, and to give it some time. But the flip side of the advice is to be smart enough to realize if it just isn't going to happen. For every artist who toiled away in obscurity in their 20's, 30's and 40's and was then discovered- there is a million who never go anywhere and in this day of endless college degrees in the arts- even teaching art/music is almost an impossibility since there are just way to many qualified people trying to do the same thing- especially in metropolitan areas such as NYC.
 

glaze148

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Move away unless you're in love with meatball sandwiches
She’s having the time of her life. Building memories she’ll never forget. Enjoy it. I hope she gets satisfaction, and gets lucky with her drumming. Watch your technique, and don’t get injuries rocking out.
 

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You still have people making the sacrifice, but those types are usually to busy actually working or performing to bother making videos about their apartments.

A lifetime ago I was in the photographic field- back in the film days. We had an endless parade of 21-30 year olds coming into NYC trying to make it. Most started out serious, but once they realized that the world wasn't exactly panting for their talents, and that the reality of most creative jobs is the hard work and having to do basic things like show up on time and work long hours while getting yelled at with no glamour- most drifted away.

I applaud the serious ones, but at the same time I applaud the ones that are smart enough to realize they are not as talented as they once thought they were. Or the ones that realize after a few years of no breaks coming maybe it is time to regroup.

I also at this stage of my life (middle age) cannot really fault anyone who decided that living in that 4000 sq ft house in the middle of nowhere is the life for them. I spent over 40 years living in NYC and recently moved slightly north of the city to a larger house that looks like it is in the middle of nowhere- but I can't say that driving to Walmart is a big day. Maybe check back in a few years.....

I tell every young person (meaning the under 20 set) that early on is the time to pursue jobs in the creative field, and to give it some time. But the flip side of the advice is to be smart enough to realize if it just isn't going to happen. For every artist who toiled away in obscurity in their 20's, 30's and 40's and was then discovered- there is a million who never go anywhere and in this day of endless college degrees in the arts- even teaching art/music is almost an impossibility since there are just way to many qualified people trying to do the same thing- especially in metropolitan areas such as NYC.
First off, I have no beef with you. I am sure there are a bunch of people who think the opportunities will fall at their feet as soon as they arrive in the city. Nashville has a ton of these people that last a year or two and then head back to small town Kentucky or wherever. But there are also a lot of people working hard, sacrificing, etc… to “make it”.

The making of a video has more to do with age and our society than anything else. Case in point: Carter McLean. I would venture to say no one or hardly anyone would know who Carter was if he had not started making videos for social media. There are a ton of other examples. What about that 19 year old drummer who got huge from his social media posts demonstrating his Buddy Rich like speed? Videos and social media posts get people known and get people talking about you. As is the case with this person.

At this stage in my life I can’t fault anyone for living in a huge city in a 500 sq ft apartment, trying to give their craft a go. It’s better than playing it safe, taking no chances, and phoning life in. Although I’m pretty sure people living in the middle of nowhere, driving 40 miles to Walmart would not think they are phoning it in.
 
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DBT

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I've thought about a 1,000 Sq ft house with a 4,000 Sq ft barn or warehouse. A personal warehouse would give me plenty of space for storage and "activities". Gotta have enough room for two bathrooms in my living space though. Being married, we still like to have our distance while not at our best...

I've really been thinking about it. I have 4 years until my daughter leaves for college, and then I have no reason to stay in my unnecessarily large house in the city. That just seems like freedom to me.
That’s exactly what I’m up to right now . Giving up the big house, big sound room , big garage and big shop . One person doesn’t need all that ….. and the ridiculous taxes in NJ . Heading West next year and building a 1000 ft. Timber frame with a detached drum room / shop .
 

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The people ripping on other people is hysterical.
No one ever gave me anything , I literally had to create it to make the money and I’ve always instilled that in my son . He doesn’t need help but I still give him that extra push even though he’s not asking for it . I want him to be better then me and have it easier . He earned his education on his own and everything he’s got . That warrants reward . Point being let them chase their dreams and be happy , if they need help with the rent doing that then so be it help them .
 
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DBT

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It’s almost like this young woman — who is a journalist by the way — challenges the manhood of some posters with her “If-I-Can-Make-It-There-I-Can-Make-It-Anywhere” lifestyle.
Hooterville isn’t for everyone.
There’s something to be said for Hooterville when you’ve lived your whole life in the most densely populated area per square mile in the whole country . Hope that young lady keeps on truck’in.
 

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I live in boring old “flyover country” and have never been to New York. For me it would be as foreign (odd) as traveling to Moscow or something similar. But I do enjoy imagining what life would be like there though I know I couldn’t/wouldn’t do it.
 

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I live in boring old “flyover country” and have never been to New York. For me it would be as foreign (odd) as traveling to Moscow or something similar. But I do enjoy imagining what life would be like there though I know I couldn’t/wouldn’t do it.
Great to catch a show or whatever but there’s a reason New Yorkers have been fleeing the city for the suburbs for as long as I can remember . Even more so since the pandemic . You’re not missing anything .
 

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Great to catch a show or whatever but there’s a reason New Yorkers have been fleeing the city for the suburbs for as long as I can remember . Even more so since the pandemic . You’re not missing anything .

No one is “fleeing.”
  • The current metro area population of New York City in 2022 is 18,867,000, a 0.23% increase from 2021.
  • The metro area population of New York City in 2021 was 18,823,000, a 0.1% increase from 2020.
  • The metro area population of New York City in 2020 was 18,804,000, a 0.01% decline from 2019.
  • The metro area population of New York City in 2019 was 18,805,000, a 0.07% decline from 2018.
 

DBT

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No one is “fleeing.”
  • The current metro area population of New York City in 2022 is 18,867,000, a 0.23% increase from 2021.
  • The metro area population of New York City in 2021 was 18,823,000, a 0.1% increase from 2020.
  • The metro area population of New York City in 2020 was 18,804,000, a 0.01% decline from 2019.
  • The metro area population of New York City in 2019 was 18,805,000, a 0.07% decline from 2018.
Major City’s are a young person’s game these days . Everyone else IS fleeing . We are all getting lost or found / reborn , it’s the circle of life . Live and witness it first hand where I live and then come talk to me . Throw those stats out the window .
 
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flatwins

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Great to catch a show or whatever but there’s a reason New Yorkers have been fleeing the city for the suburbs for as long as I can remember . Even more so since the pandemic . You’re not missing anything .
Long story but my wife lived in NYC for 9 years after getting stuck in the US during a visit from her home country (Brazil) in the mid 1980s. She then relocated to flyover country but we’ll probably visit NY at some point soon.

But we’re quite happy out here. The house is on 3/4 of an acre and was purchased for $73/sq ft along with a separate workshop building.
 
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Rich K.

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I can assure the subject of videos like these are not struggling. You can't pay the money these apartments cost in the areas of the city where "creative white people" move without either your parents footing the bill, a ton of roommates and you work a low six figure job or you are a trust funder. Dumpy studio apartments in hipster Brooklyn are $3000 a month now. Sure you see people making less money in these areas- but they moved there 30 years ago.

ILLEGAL 1 bedrooms in those areas are still $2500- and you won't have luxury amenities such as you know- a stove or windows.

People who play out "every few months" like the drummer in this video are not struggling artists going to jam sessions in jazz clubs every night trying to make connections. Once their "funployment" runs out- its either MBA or Law School time- or moving back to Virginia. Sure I sound jaded- but I have seen this for 30 years in this city and judging from your location I am sure you have too.
Side note... the legal profession isn't the slam dunk it once was. Lots of lawyers working cheap nowadays. Back to Brooklyn...
 

DBT

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Side note... the legal profession isn't the slam dunk it once was. Lots of lawyers working cheap nowadays. Back to Brooklyn...
Green Point and surrounding area’s look good compared to Manhattan . Even Brooklyn isn’t any fair shakes . Needed to get in 15 years ago . Look at the old Gretsch Factory . Perfect example .
 

DBT

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Long story but my wife lived in NYC for 9 years after getting stuck in the US during a visit from her home country (Brazil) in the mid 1980s. She then relocated to flyover country but we’ll probably visit NY at some point soon.

But we’re quite happy out here. The house is on 3/4 of an acre and was purchased for $73/sq ft along with a separate workshop building.
Over 20 years ago I was paying $6300 for my house / property on a acre which was a lot : fast forward and I’m paying just over $25,000 ….. no joke .
 


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