BREAKING: Parents Rent NYU Student An Expensive Apartment

Dorm life cramping your style? Dummy! Everyone knows that the only way to be happy is to pay more.

At least that’s what NYU junior Vanessa Csordas-Jenkins did. In a bizarre New York Times article, Csordas-Jenkins describes her move from the Broome Street dorm and its unsightly “ventilation gaps” to a more livable $2,100/month apartment of her very own on Union Square.

“It was impossible for me to live comfortably in that situation,” Csordas-Jenkins says of Broome, the roomy SoHo dorm. She wished she had “checked the box that said are you willing to pay more, because I need to be a healthy person.”

Her chief complaint was noise. “Earplugs combined with a white-noise machine were not enough” to secure a restful sleep for the junior who, like her former roommates, chose to attend college in one the world’s largest, noisiest cities.

Will Csordas-Jenkins find happiness in her new $2,100 crib? What the hell is a white-noise machine? Are New York Times readers mocking NYU students for our near-cartoonish privilege? So many questions!

The New York Times has never contacted me about my apartment hunting process, likely because my shopping strategy is little more than a Google search for “mini-storage units large enough for my body”. Fortunately the Times walks us through every step of Csordas-Jenkins’ search as she scopes out potential pads.

First there was the Sullivan Street studio, a $1,795 a month, a ground-floor apartment which Csordas-Jenkins’s realtor dismissed for being too dark. “I do think it depresses people when they don’t have enough sunshine coming in,” she told the Times.“They say: ‘I should have just waited it out or gone a couple of flights higher for the sunshine.’”

An uncanny observation, as we have heard many students lament not holding out for that penthouse room warmly lit by the morning sun.

The second apartment was a $1,950 room on 25th and 2nd — too far away. “It seemed like the potential for a really stressful situation for me if I woke up late and had to wait for the train,” the theater major said. Because ugh, taking the train.

But fortunately, dreams come true, and the third apartment fit juuuust right. Csordas-Jenkins’ parents agreed to sign the lease on a $2,100 apartment in Union Square, near NYU dorms Carlyle Court, Third North, U-Hall, and Palladium. With the help of a rented Zipcar “so Vanessa wouldn’t have to go back and forth in a taxi,” Csordas-Jenkins was all moved in.

Hopefully she and her former roommates will all sleep a little easier now.

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    Share Your Thoughts


  1. Maureen S. says

    It costs $17,264 to live in an NYU Residence Hall around Union Sq. Over 9 months (Sept – May) this is $1918/month to SHARE a bedroom with 1 roommate. Both roommates combined are paying $3836/month to share the dorm!

    Vanessa’s apartment costs $2100. If she got 1 roommate (as in a typical dorm), her rent would only be $1050/month. So it sounds like a lot but she is getting the better deal. Living off campus is less expensive! Especially once you leave Manhattan.

  2. Katie Henry says

    This girl definitely has a lot of privilege, but the article becomes a lot less bizarre if you know it’s part of a weekly NYT Real Estate column called “The Hunt,” which shows the process of a person (or couple, or family) finding a new apartment. It’s not a stand-alone article about a random NYU student.

    Also, in answer to your question, white noise machines are inexpensive sound masking devices for people who have trouble sleeping. They sound like fans (but don’t make you cold), block outside noise, and are seriously the best thing ever.

  3. Michelle Machlin says

    Her single dorm room would have been $17,264 for two semesters. Instead her parents are paying for an entire year’s rent ($25,200). That’s almost $8,000 extra a year or an entire semester’s rent in the dorms. I doubt her apartment’s rent includes utilities such as electric/gas, water, cable, or internet. That’s an additional $250 per month bringing her living costs to $28,200.

    As far as getting a roommate? Did you read the article?!?!?! This girl is way to overdramatic to have a roommate. A roommate might interupt her sensitive sleeping schedule.

    Way to go to the parents. You have miserbly spoiled your daughter. Hope that theatre degree pays off, but I suspect she will find herself going back to school for another degree when she finds out her theatre degree won’t get her a job.

  4. Eva W says

    As a theatre major who was accepted to NYU but could never financially afford the education or spending my college years in Manhattan (my NYC dreams had to wait until I was a career girl paying my own way), Vanessa’s story makes me sick. If you don’t like noise and you have trouble sleeping, why on earth would you move to the City That Never Sleeps?! Being an actor requires a thick skin, less than desirable conditions and flexibility – good luck surviving, princess.

  5. John M says

    If you people would even care to pay attention to the details of the article, this girl has a medically diagnosed sleeping disorder. She isn’t being overdramatic, just pragmatic given the fact that she ended up in a room with incomplete walls. She was probably incredibly unhappy and even says that it was affecting her school work. Have compassion, people.

  6. Ken Greller says

    The point isn’t how much money Vanessa comes from, or how much she technically is saving by moving out. What’s infuriating is that this was AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN EARNEST BY THE NEW YORK TIMES, GUYS.

    Great work, Kelly.

  7. Kuan Butts says

    @ Mark Corrigan

    Thank you. Your observation just made my day. Maybe, if theater doesn’t pan out, she can career shift into the lucrative field of an architectural historian.

  8. Michael Mornard says

    She doesn’t need to major in drama, she’s got that down already.

    Poor sensitive little princess. * tiny violin playing My Heart Cries for You *

  9. Maureen S. says

    @Michelle I understand that Vanessa doesn’t want a roommate. I’m simply pointing out that living off campus can be less expensive than a dorm, even in Manhattan. In a dorm, you SHARE a bedroom, and combined, you and the roommate are paying NYU $3836/month. Whereas you and your roommate could theoretically share a bedroom in a $2100/month apartment, coming to $1050 each.

    Anyway I don’t disagree she sounds spoiled, however what do you expect at NYU? I only hope for her sake she is rich and not drowning in student loans like the rest of us.

  10. Vincent Brunhoff says

    There was no way this article was published “in earnest”. Obviously the author was having a great deal of fun at Vanessa’s unwitting expense. Not hard to imagine the author gleefully giggling as this was being written.

    I have sympathy for Vanessa. Yes, she’s written as an overly-dramatic princess and a special little snowflake – and perhaps she is – but she most likely didn’t deserve this. Mocking a young, naive, earnest, and not-quite-world-wise undergrad isn’t difficult to do.

    At first it seems to be a funny and amusing piece. (I laughed.) But after some thought, it’s also nasty and cheap. There is a person here and she was treated unfairly.

    Vanessa, you got screwed.

  11. Mark S says

    @Ken: if the article was ONLY about the NYTimes, then Kelly did a pretty bad job at conveying that. It’s odd that this is considered news, and Kelly does make fun of the Times for that, but the majority of the article is dedicated to mocking Csordas-Jenkins for her privilege, which she acknowledges in the article:

    “I am grateful for my parents because I know how expensive my tuition is.”

    Now, I’m all for articles that call out “spoiled brats,” even if they add little to the conversation, but Kelly conveniently left out how Csordas-Jenkins has “sleep disorder.” Maybe Kelly didn’t read that part, maybe she forgot to mention it, maybe she knew that an article that made fun of the student body and the NYTimes would get a fair amount of page views (for fuck’s sake, I’m commenting), or maybe she disagrees with the medical community’s consensus on sleep disorder being a medical condition (the cynic in me would live to hear this argument).

    Regardless of that, when I read the original article, I realized that the most bizarre part of this is the way NYULocal made this something worth commenting on (it isn’t). So thanks, y’all. I had a fun time.

  12. Chris Alyn says

    There was a moment when I thought that my anger at this young woman and her absurd parents was unfair. Is it? Probably. But so is her privilege, really.

    My anger also extends to NYU, who has clearly failed to educated this young woman sufficiently enough that she can exercise reasoning skills (e.g. not participating in an article that flaunts her privilege in a city where there is such a staggering divide between wealthy and poor).

    There is no part of that situation that is o.k.

  13. Jessica Powell says

    This is not well researched (NYU is roughly the same price) and a cheap stab. I think you’re representing the NYU community in a terrible light and I disagree with this piece whole-heartedly. I encourage you to take it down… after all, it’s not making you look very good and you’re mocking someone with a disorder.