Bring Back the Flophouse

To revolutionize housing for singles, look to the past.

In his 2012 book Going Solo, New York University sociologist Eric Klinenberg argues that America is in the midst of a significant demographic shift, especially in urban areas. People living alone now make up 43 percent of all households in Minneapolis, 45 percent in Atlanta, and 48 percent in Washington, D.C. Nationwide, Klinenberg says, “28 percent of all households now consist of just one person—the highest level in U.S. history.”

Roam any grocery store, and you can see how effectively the nation’s frozen pizza manufacturers have accommodated this shift. Building codes and zoning laws are another story. The situation is particularly acute in New York City, where, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, 46 percent of all households are singletons. 

“New York City’s housing codes have not kept up with its changing population, and currently do not allow an entire building of micro-units,” declared a press release issued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office in July. Not to worry; the mayor has a plan: Developers have been invited to submit proposals for new residential construction on a Manhattan parking lot owned by the city. For this particular project, the city will waive zoning regulations that require all new apartments be at least 400 square feet. The new development will consist mainly of “micro-units”—studio apartments that combine general living space, a kitchenette, and a bathroom into a total footprint of just 275 to 300 square feet.

“We’re looking for creativity, affordability, imaginative design and responsiveness to the needs of real New Yorkers,” said Mathew Wambua, Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, at a July press conference announcing the project. “Show us something we haven’t seen before that is ingenious, sustainable, replicable and practical, and we will work with you to make it a reality.” This, alas, may be a mandate that no developer can meet. But that does not mean New York can’t have a wider range of housing stock than it has now. It just means it will have to go back to the past to get it. 

In the days before extensive housing codes and zoning laws, when developers had relatively free rein to meet the needs of the market, New York City’s housing stock, like those of many other metropolitan centers in the U.S., was far more diverse. At the lowest end of the market, in the Bowery’s notorious flophouses, consumer choice was remarkably (if depressingly) robust. According to Jacob Riis’ 1890 muckraking classic How the Other Half Lives, one quarter per day bought prospective lodgers the pretense of privacy in a partitioned room with just enough space to hold a cot and a chair. Fifteen cents netted a bunk in an open room with a locker for one’s clothes. One thin dime delivered the bunk minus the locker. And for 7 cents, you could get the budget bunk or, as Riis described it, “an apology for a bed” that consisted of “a strip of canvas strung between rough timbers.”

But the flophouses represented just one segment of a surprisingly vital residential hotel market that flourished in the United States during the late 1800s and first decades of the 20th century. As U.C.-Berkeley architectural historian Paul Groth documents in his 1994 book Living Downtown: The History of Residential Hotels in the United States (University of California Press), this market largely served “young men and women recently arrived” to the city who wanted to live by themselves rather than board with families in tenement buildings or single-family dwellings.

For the wealthiest citizens, there were “palace hotels.” White-collar workers lived in “midpriced mansions.” Working-class laborers occupied “cheap lodging houses.” At the very bottom of the market were the flophouses.

At all income levels, residential hotels shared certain traits. They were convenient, with a variety of commercial services incorporated into their structures or at least located nearby. They encouraged sociability and mobility, and they made efficient use of resources and space. Perhaps most important, they made autonomy and independence possible not just for society’s elites but for people of all ages and incomes. Residential hotels permitted 18-year-old laborers and 22-year-old waitresses to live by themselves for the very first time in the history of the world. They didn’t have to live at home under the watchful eyes of their parents, or board with strangers, or live with multiple roommates in a shared apartment. They didn’t have to save up for a down payment, sign a lease or a mortgage, or even invest in a set of bed sheets. They could purchase a foothold in the city a night or a week or a month at a time.

Residential hotels were liberating, tolerant enclaves, and as such they found adherents not just among booze-pickled tramps but also among cosmopolitan elites, young urban strivers of both genders who were more interested in establishing careers than families; actors, artists, prostitutes, criminals, and runaways. Consequently, when Progressive Era housing reformers began advocating on behalf of more comprehensive building codes and zoning regulations, it wasn’t just to eliminate insufficient window space and appalling occupant-to-toilet ratios. 

“Many of the [housing] conditions of the first half of the 20th century were horrific,” says Jerilyn Perine, executive director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, a New York–based nonprofit that aims to improve housing options in the city and helped persuade Mayor Bloomberg to experiment with micro-units. “The goal was to improve these conditions, but there was also a larger social objective, which was to encourage and support single-family homes and the nuclear family as the basis of society.”

Cities and states started implementing codes and regulations that privileged single-family residences and planned public spaces over the dense, mixed architecture that had formed organically to serve the needs of urban inhabitants. “When reformers elevated the ideal of the privately owned American home as the single goal of national policy, the idea grew dramatically in power,” Groth writes in Living Downtown.

 “All three levels of government have some regulatory framework that affects the shape of housing and who gets to live in it,” says Perine. “A lot of it makes sense, but over the years, regulations get left on the books that then don’t really keep up with how people are actually living. At this point, we’re just trying to educate people about how these rules essentially inhibit the market from providing more housing choice.”

Indeed, while architects and designers are eager to explore new possibilities, regulations regarding building materials, density calculations, and other factors continue to stifle the innovation that once arose naturally. Waiving minimum footprint size requirements to create micro-units is a good start. But as efficient and affordable as 300-square-foot domiciles may be, they’re full of redundancies too. This is, after all, the age of Zipcar, the urban-oriented car-sharing company, and of digital networks that, in theory at least, allow us to allocate resources in flexible, easy-to-track ways.

In such an environment, where urban space is scarce and sustainability is in vogue, yesteryear’s residential hotels seem remarkably relevant, especially if updated with today’s consumers in mind. Imagine, for example, a building where each unit is even smaller than Bloomberg’s micro-apartments. But along with one’s own space, one could use a variety of shared spaces. Some of these spaces (restaurants, laundry room, gym) would serve the whole building. Others would serve a smaller number of users. For every four units, say, there might be a private media room or luxurious spa, which residents could utilize privately, by reservation, à la Zipcar.

If the micro-unit experiment goes well, the mayor’s office has suggested, the city may consider waiving other regulations. With a little luck, there’s a good chance that the residents of New York City in 2020 will have almost as many housing options as their predecessors had in 1920.  

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • sloopyinca||

    Alt text: Not 1060 West Addison.

  • db||

    That's Wrigley Field!

  • sloopyinca||

    Not to worry; the mayor has a plan: Developers have been invited to submit proposals for new residential construction on a Manhattan parking lot owned by the city.

    Where's Howard Roark when we really need him?

  • ||

    In federal prison for crimes against the state, most likely.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Rand always has a little too much confidence in courts, didn't she?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's cute the way that she thought ensuring justice was their proper actual role in society.

  • ||

    She was a bit naive in that area, wasn't she? It is one of her many arguable flaws.

    Law =/= Justice in way too many cases.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Francon Quarry?

  • Killazontherun||

    Getting beat up by Green Arrow:

    1st page:
    http://goodcomics.comicbookres.....run64c.jpg

    2nd page:
    http://goodcomics.comicbookres.....run64d.jpg

    Warning: libtard ignorance from '72 may fuck up your day.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Simple answer: The Green Lantern's job is to make sure the planets in his sector remain populated and intact, not to kiss your boo-boos. Unless you want him to be lord and ruler of your planet and impose his own brand of "over" (like Sinestro did).

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Developers have been invited to submit proposals for new residential construction on a Manhattan parking lot owned by the city.

    So singles aren't worthy of eminent domain abuses? This is just another shot in the war on singledom. Even reason hates singles. They regularly push for government marriage benefits for practically everyone but singles. Oh yeah, I went there.

    New York City is currently a huge platform for forced social herding. Don't eat this or drink that. Don't even think about smoking anything. I can't believe they would do anything to encourage anything other than nice, thin and healthy coupledom.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "This is just another shot in the war on singledom. Even reason hates singles. They regularly push for government marriage benefits for practically everyone but singles. Oh yeah, I went there."

    Private marriage contracts?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Preferable to licensing, a contract between a couple and the state.

  • Paul.||

    Private marriage contracts don't convey privileges from the state. It's a no-go.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE MASTURBATORS????!!!!!

  • Rich||

    "Heh-heh, you said 'micro-unit'!"

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hey, just because I don't give her a key...

    Anyway, your support of state-sanctioned unions has, in fact, created a whole new victim class. Enjoy it.

  • ||

    Even reason hates singles.

    As well they should, it was a horrible movie!

  • Mensan||

    With a great soundtrack!

  • Paul.||

    Meh.

  • Anomalous||

    You're Mr. Sensitive Ponytail Man!

  • ||

    I thought the official libertarian position was complete deinstitutionalization of marriage.
    Everyone pays taxes an an individual. All marriage rights are defined in a private contract.

  • sloopyinca||

    official libertarian position

    Talk about an oxymoron...

  • ||

    Official libertarian position (whatever that means), yes. Reason writers', no.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    But flophouses are just like trailer parks.

    "Affordable" housing only works when it conforms to the Progressive paradigm of uplift and enlightenment.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "But flophouses are just like trailer parks."

    A separate gene pool?

  • ||

    It's one of those cheap plastic turtle kiddie pools.

  • ||

    Building codes and zoning regulations -- two of the many things that are worse than bubonic plague and anal rape. But we need them. For the children.

  • Brian from Texas||

    Love the Blues Brothers still. Can almost actually hear Louis Jordan's 'Let The Good Times Roll!' playing in the background.

  • sloopyinca||

    You know, you could have made this comment under my "Not 1060 West Addison" remark and it would have made sense.

  • ||

    That would be conformist. What are you, un-hip?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Squirrels?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Yes, squirrels. That was in rely to Sloopy at 1:29.

  • ||

    They're malign fuckers, those squirrels.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Malignant

  • ||

    Yeah. Or malign.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Don't make me due English on Sunday.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Case in point...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The new development will consist mainly of “micro-units”—studio apartments that combine general living space, a kitchenette, and a bathroom into a total footprint of just 275 to 300 square feet.

    And a long term lease.

    Because transience is icky.

  • Rich||

    Subletting FTW.

    Or, "That's my cousin."

  • Franklin Harris||

    "Did you get me my Cheez Whiz, boy?"

  • John||

    damn you beat me. that was exactly what I was going to post.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "That's the International Jewish Communist conspiracy in action, people!"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Speaking of limousine liberals:

    In my world, you don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and be against common-sense gun control — like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet.

    Yes, Tom; we all know how morally superior you are. You've told us once or twice before.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Nothing really to do with your point, but I thought the chain had its own policy banning the carrying of guns inside the theater? There were probably Colorado and federal laws in addition, but most places like that take the initiative as far as policy, no?

  • Rich||

    Well, to be fair, he *did* say "In my world".

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You do, however, get to call yourself "pro-choice" if you want to tell people they can't practice their chosen hobbies or eat foods you think are bad for them.

  • Rich||

    +16oz

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Or decline to pay unions a chunk of your paycheck.

  • Paul.||

    They're "pro-intervention"

  • ||

    I wouldn't have clicked on that link had there been full disclosure of the author. You tricked me.

    Is that the most punchable face you've ever seen?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Reasonable needs to add a hover-box that warns us about these things. Get on it, Amukadari!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'd be pleased if Reasonable would just show me pics like they used to.

    YouTube clips are no problem. Images don't show which givz me teh sadz.

  • robc||

    I wish reasonable had the option to block entire subthreads. I dont want to see the idiots who respond to Tony.

    That was a nice thing about incif.

  • amelia||

    I want that for certain individuals, like I want to be able to exclude brands I don't like from my searches on online shopping sites. I can understand why online retailers don't give me that capacity, but damn.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Sometimes we can't help ourselves, robc. It's *so* tempting...

  • Ted S.||

    When P wrote, "Yes, Tom", I naturally assumed it was Thomas Friedman. (I haven't clicked on the link.)

  • Killazontherun||

    Okay Tom, I'm not pro-life. I'm pro you dying from that super mutated syphilis you caught from that ladyboy in Thailand during your 'The World is Flat' tour.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    In my world, you don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and be against common-sense gun control — like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater.


    I suppose a nice pipe bomb would have satisified Tommy Sinophile. Maybe chlorine gas or mustard gas, readily available with sufficient knowledge, cash, and directions to a hardware store. Nope, guns are EVIL instruments of Satan that corrupt the poor, innocent minds. No one was ever murdered before firearms were invented.

    You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet.


    Tommy boy, remember when the EPA declared carbon to be a pollutant? Well I do, so here's what I need from you. Do the Earth a favor, put a plastic bag over your head and stop pumping carbon into the air, you filthy polluter.

  • Enyap||

    Has anyone ever seen Thomas Friedman and Matt Millen in the same room?

  • Enyap||

    Oh, and don't read the comments if you value your sanity, especially this shithead.

    "wills Los Angeles

    My design instructor at El Camino College told us if you can kill a deer you can kill a man. He also told us if he ever caught anyone near a gun he would give us an F for the course. Guess what. He saw one of his students carving a gun handle, he got his F. Is that extreme? I don't think so... Sanctity of life should be the motto of every human being. If you gotta have meat go to Costco."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    This morning on Meet the Press, David Gregory flung down the "gun violence" card. His guests (I cannot even recall who they were) looked at him as if he had just farted.

  • John||

    They are getting desperate. I read this morning Romney is with in the margin of error in Minnesota. Obama's approval rating, thanks to Bengazi, is dropping like a rock. Next Sunday expect Gregory to claim Romney plans to reintroduce slavery.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You mean he doesn't?

    The rhetoric of the left makes me think that's exactly what will happen were he to be elected.

  • ||

    Not full on slavery yet, only slavery of teh wimminz. The rest by next Sunday.

  • Lord Humungus||

    RAPE CAMPS!

  • ||

    Not paying for their birth control is SLAVERY!!!

  • ||

    Why do the Republicans hate Women?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    My Team Red friends tell me it alllll started when teh wimmins got the vote....

  • Generic Stranger||

    Too late; Biden did that weeks ago.

  • ||

    You know Brooksie, for the life of me, I cannot understand why you willingly subject yourself to all this masochism. David Gregory is just an awful human being. It's like Chuck Schumer taught him how to ask loaded questions.

    I just can't watch politically oriented stuff any more. Between Morning Joke and this twaddle, how you have avoid a coronary is beyond me.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It helps if you pretend it's a comedy show.

  • Paul.||

    Wait, it's not a comedy show???

  • Killazontherun||

    David Gregory and Chuck Todd in an arena with strait razors strapped to their forearms. The winner allowed a merciful death from a bullet to the head instead of the slow bleed out of his ill fated opponent would be a swell comedy show.

  • ||

    Do you have a newsletter to which I might subscribe?

  • Killazontherun||

    Yes, but they are filled just with poems about Spiderman in a a, b, b, a, a, b, b, a, c, d, e, c, d, e rhyme scheme.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I thought the chain had its own policy banning the carrying of guns inside the theater?

    You can't leave this stuff up to the property owners; only the federal government, with the assistance of Mayors Against Legal Guns, can cast a magic spell which will keep guns away.

  • Lewisite||

    I wish the anti-gun/2A crowd would just cop to it and say what they really mean (a little honesty would be refreshing). The truth is that all of the overlapping laws, high moral posturing, and rhetorical bullshit will never satisfy them, because it was never their endgame, but merely a means to an end. State and federal authorities kicking in doors and seizing ALL firearms, prison or death for resisting is the only acceptable outcome. They pray that the bible thumpers and “bitter clingers” die resisting, urbanites are then “pacified”, and suburbanites find redemption in being disarmed. Pro 2A advocates cannot even begin to explain to the gun grabbers how dangerously fucking stupid their endgame is until then, let alone the dangers of an extremely militarized quasi police state imposing its will on an unarmed but "enlightened" populace. Liberals just want to feel safe, you know.

  • robc||

    Of course, if the antis got the laws and policies they want, the pros would win the war.

    If nothing else, the US military has proved it sucks at fighting asymmetric warfare.

  • Generic Stranger||

    There would be a large number of defections amongst the US military in that kind of situation. Many of them are pro gun, and a lot take their oaths seriously. You could see entire units switch sides and bringing their equipment with them. Shit could get real bad before it was all over.

  • Redmanfms||

    The U.S. military is very good at asymmetric warfare as it has but many, many, many, many, many TaliQueda dicks in the dirt, and put even more VietCommie dicks in the mud 40+ years ago.

    The failure is not in warfighting, it's in the policy planning, because politicians are all fucking retarded. The ones who bleat the loudest about "nuance" and "soft-power" are the most retarded.


    I for one, really wouldn't like to be in a shooting war with the U.S. Army, especially if they had the Air Force providing CAS. The kill-to-loss ratio in Vietnam was something on the order of 60-1 (depending on which VietCommie casualty figures you believe) and I suspect it's higher in GWoT(tm). With such a kill-loss ratio, they be able to wipe out most of the adult population of the U.S. And that's assuming the kind of asinine RoE's used in Vietnam and GWoT(tm) are in effect. Let LeMay's bastard child loose with carte blanche to perform Arc Light strikes on civilian population centers in the "resistor" states and the "war" (well, Biblical massacre) would be a short one.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Let us bow down and praise Him.

    In the poisonous atmosphere of this campaign, it may be easy to overlook Mr. Obama’s many important achievements, including carrying out the economic stimulus, saving the auto industry, improving fuel efficiency standards, and making two very fine Supreme Court appointments.

  • John||

    The NYT hasn't endorsed a Republican since 1956. Basically, there is nothing a Democrat could do that would cause them to abandon him.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Let me change something and see how the liberals reacts.

    "In the poisonous atmosphere of this campaign, it may be easy to overlook Mr. Obama’s many important achievements, including carrying out the economic stimulus, bailing out billion-dollar corporations, improving fuel efficiency standards, and making two very fine Supreme Court appointments."

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    ...and getting his golf game down to 3 under par.

  • Rich||

    "Other than *that*, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Anybody looking forward to that new Daniel Day-Lewis movie, There Will Be Lincoln...der, or was it Saving Private Lincoln?

  • John||

    My Left President.

  • ||

    John, that was without a doubt the funniest thing you've posted in a while!

    I laughed for a few minutes and SOD knows I needed one this afternoon. Well done! -D

  • Paul.||

    Agreed, John deserves a vigorous golf clap.

  • PapayaSF||

    +10

  • ||

    studio apartments that combine general living space, a kitchenette, and a bathroom into a total footprint of just 275 to 300 square feet.

    That's still on the big side -- when I met my GF, she was living in a converted room of about 100 sf. Hotplate, shower, toilet, small bed, tiny closet. Tiny, but enough, and the rent was what she could afford.

  • Brandybuck||

    Why do they hate the poor? Why are they making the poor live in apartments smaller than 400 square feet? They should be building mansion! Mansion!

  • Rich||

    Lighten up, Brandybuck. It's creating jobs for micro-unit loft builders.

  • amelia||

    I've never been able to tolerate less than about 350 sq. feet. I chose larger studios in skeevy neighborhoods for the space and cheap rent. Nifty bachelor pads from the 1930s with features like telephone chairs that fold out from the walls. Always with a full bath. I love those places.

  • Ted S.||

    Our beds are the murphiest!

  • amelia||

    They knew how to build a studio back in the day. Some of those old buildings are lovely and ingeniously designed.

  • ||

    There should be a minimum-square-footage law!

  • ||

    It's just wrong that poor people have to go through life being deprived of the living standards of rich people.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    “A lot of it makes sense, but over the years, regulations get left on the books that then don’t really keep up with how people are actually living.

    The point of these regulations is to change how people are actually living or want to.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It's almost as if the possibility of getting rid of regulations that can't keep up with changing lifestyles hadn't even crossed Bloomy's mind.

  • ||

    Bloomie is big on "The Law of Diminishing Expectations."

    And, apparently, living space.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    OT: thanks for your answer yesterday, I saw it late.
    I think we are in agreement, as I had no issues with what you wrote.

  • ||

    Thanks Pantsfan, and it's also a Cassandrian warning, since that type of policy is already starting to creep into the US medical system, particularly with CMS. Thanks Obamney!

  • Paul.||

    Groovus has undoubtedly changed his mind, and is too polite to tell you.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Residential hotels permitted 18-year-old laborers and 22-year-old waitresses to live by themselves for the very first time in the history of the world. They didn’t have to live at home under the watchful eyes of their parents, or board with strangers, or live with multiple roommates in a shared apartment.

    I wonder how much the fear of immorality enabled by that situation drove the early progressive to eliminate residential hotels.

    The early progressive were religiously motivated self righteous busybodies. Come to think of it, so are modern progressives. They've managed to keep the worst bits of Christianity while jettisoning the best parts.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    They've managed to keep the worst bits of Christianity while jettisoning the best parts.

    Booze and wafers?

  • Alan||

    Forgiveness, Love for others, and not stealing.

  • robc||

    There seems to be an inverse correlation between attitude towards booze and quality of the bread in communion between churches/denominations.

    On one end, catholic wafers suck. On the other end, go to a rural southern baptist church in a dry county and you might get fresh baked bread with your grape juice.

    Somewhere in the middle, my church gives us some sort of mediocre cracker.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The Catholic Church requires unleavened bread for the Eucharist. Though back in the day I went to some Agape masses (simulating the 1st century church) where the bread actually looked like bread and was pretty decent.

  • Whahappan?||

    Orthodox FTW! They serve decent bread, AND they serve booze at their functions!

  • ||

    There wasn't a 1st century Church. The Catholic Church didn't really get established until the 4th century AD at the First Council of Nicaea.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You tricked me.

    Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Anybody looking forward to that new Daniel Day-Lewis movie, There Will Be Lincoln...der, or was it Saving Private Lincoln?

    The only thing which could make me less likely to see it is if that fucking masturbatory monkey Scorcese had directed it.

  • John||

    Why do you hate good movies? Speilberg is a great director. Daniel Day Lewis is a very good actors. What is not to like about it? Do you just hate movies that take on big topics? Do you prefer small movies, you know those indie flicks where the protagonist comes back to his small home town and deals with the death of his abusive dad and coming out about his homosexuality? NTTAAWWT. Do you like sensitive movies Brooks?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I heard that in Transformers 4, it comes out that Megatron's mom forced him to perform electrolingus on her when he was just a prototype. So even Michael Bay is sensitive to these topics.

  • Alan||

    +1

  • ||

    I find Spielburg films to be unnecessarily sentimental.

    Did you see War Horse?
    Was there a good reason why the boy's parents had to be destitute turnip farmers? And their evil landlord was going to forclose on their farm? Unless the horse saves the day?

  • Paul.||

    The Landlord was a metaphor for Spielberg.

  • ||

    Do you mean Abraham Lincolm, Vampire Hunter?

    I saw that. I can't say that it was false advertising.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    It's kind of hilarious to imagine flophouses being allowed to exist in today's America. As it is, in a decent suburb I've gotten harrassed by the cops just staying at a Motel 6. Because apparently they think it's a cesspool and normal people would never stay there just to save money. If $50 a night gets you harrassed by the cops, imagine what flophouse prices will get you. We have too much "being poor is a crime" attitude in this country for that kind of place to ever be allowed to exist.

  • John||

    You mean the pigs even hate Tom Bodette? That is unAmerican.

  • ||

    It's because Tom Bodette advocates wasteful energy usage with all that, "We'll leave the light on for you!" business.

    I'm surprised the Greenies haven't taken them to task for it, with their hatred of the poor and all that.

  • ||

    My wife and I separated recently in NYC and I am looking for an apartment. Since parts of my future are pretty up in the air, I'm just looking for a shitty temporary place. And everyone I talk to about it in the real estate industry keeps trying to talk me and push me into a bigger, more expensive place than I want just because they figure I can afford it. It drives me crazy.

  • amelia||

    Well, that's their game of course. One problem with about shitty, temporary places in rent-controlled cities is that people sometimes wind up living in them for the better part of a decade because the disincentives for leaving are so hard to tolerate. Not that you need advice, but here I am, giving it...the key is to really save money while your rent is cheap so you can get out when you decide to...

  • ||

    Well yeah I've got money saved now so I can sort of "get out" whenever, I just don't want to take on big financial commitments right now, even ones I can "afford".

  • amelia||

    Smart thinking. I wish I were smart enough to save money.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I'm just looking for a shitty temporary place.

    FTFY.

  • Killazontherun||

    What it should lead to is dead cops. Lots and lots of dead cops. 'Stay out of my business and you get to breath' should be the national motto.

  • amelia||

    It exists in SF's Tenderloin, despite occasional efforts in good economic times to gentrify the place. Long live the TL.

  • amelia||

    Certain blocks reek of urine all the time though. Even I avoided those.

  • ||

    Motel 6 is AWESOME.

    In fact, the rooms are clean, safe, and spartan. They don't skimp on securitym but you will have no amenities. It's totally marketed to working poor people who want a safe, cheap room. If you want a scummy dive, try a Super 8.

  • Paul.||

    And if you call the front desk after 11, you can have a hooker in your room in 30 minutes or less, or it's free!

  • amelia||

    The problem with Motel 6, for me, is the bright blue vacation-themed bedspreads under fluorescent lights. They hurt my eyes. I actually prefer Super 8.

  • ||

    In my recent experience, the Super 8 had nicer decor, but it was more likely to have roaches and the door locks were inadequate. It was sketchy as shit.

    You don't stay at a Motel 6 to enjoy the room. You stay there cause it's cheap, you sleep on clean sheets, and you don't worry about someone breaking down your door in the middle of the night.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Motel 6 is the shit until you bring bedbugs home in your luggage after an ill-advised overnight stay in Toledo.

  • ||

    Never had that problem. All the Motel 6's I've stayed in have been antiseptically cleaned like a hospital room.

    I also have never seen a problem with hookers or crime.

    And all of them have had parking lots that are completely empty by 9 am. Nobody sleeps in.Nobody hangs out in the hotel. Everyone is going to work or getting back on the road.
    We got up at 9:30 and appeared to be the late sleepers.

  • sloopyinca||

    This is New York. Why would you think the city that confiscates brains when its residents die would let the free market come up with a solution to a market problem?

  • Paul.||

    The market is the problem.

  • Alan||

    These flophouses sound like a low-class hostel.

    Of course, hostels have rules preventing stays over one or two weeks in any given calendar year, precisely to avoid them becoming flophouses - but certainly micro-units don't need to be more than 100 square feet, with a shared bathroom, lounge, and laundry facilities. The latter is not only more efficient, but also more sanitary. You don't really want to give young men their own bathrooms ... they'll never get cleaned.

    Anyway - yes, way too many housing regulations. As far as I'm concerned, almost all of them violate pre-existing rights as per the 9th and 10th Amendments of the Constitution.

    It's a pretty miserable community that denies a person's right to seek shelter.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Just like slavery.

    Having a politically opinionated boss is nothing new. What distinguishes the recent spate of C-suite missives is the overt suggestion that people may risk voting themselves out of a job. Yet while such tactics may be questionable, they’re almost never illegal. “Ethics and law don’t always match,” says Risa Lieberwitz, a labor and employment law professor at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. “While it seems undemocratic for someone who has that much power over you to tell you which way to vote, the law gives a lot of power to private-sector employers.”

    Pointing out the potential adverse effects of a second Obama administration is just like running a chain gang. No word as to whether the reverse is true.

  • robc||

    Ask conservative hollywood-types why they keep their politics secret until they become stars.

    This had always been the way things work, forever and ever, on both sides.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    You're talking about NYC.
    The city that has no idea how to prepare for a hurricane.

  • sandi||

    I've never been to NYC

  • db||

    I suggest we take up a collection to get sandi tickets to appropriate destinations!

  • Ted S.||

    She should make certain to try the khlav kalash.

  • ||

  • db||

    Just a question:

    If NYC issues mandatory evac orders and by some coincidence disallows return past next Tuesday, what happens to the NY election?

    As far as I can tell, NY, NJ, CT, MA, RI are not in play for Romney to win, so those votes in the Presidential election don't matter. Of course for Congressional and local elections, it will, but that doesn't make much difference. PA is a slightly different story, as low turnout in the eastern part of PA could easily swing the state to Romney's column and deliver the 20 electoral votes from the state.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    A few years ago at least (when I lived there), upstate New York was pretty much mixed between Rs and Ds. So maybe it would matter.

  • Rich||

    Thanks, A.P.

    I like number 9. That car *will* survive!

  • ||

    “The goal was to improve these conditions, but there was also a larger social objective, which was to encourage and support single-family homes and the nuclear family as the basis of society.”

    Bullshit.

    It was meant to keep the blacks from moving in.

    I am sick of the lies progressive make to hide their racist past.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What do you mean, "racist past?"

  • John||

    OMG Andrew Sullivan is stupid

    “You put a map of the Civil War over this electoral map, you’ve got the Civil War…”

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit.....civil-war/

  • sloopyinca||

    Sullivan is unaware of Romneybot's lead in WV apparently.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Sullivan is unaware of Romneybot's lead in WV apparently.

    FTFY

  • John||

    Get this

    Also from today’s edition of ABC’s This Week:

    ANDREW SULLIVAN, DAILY BEAST: Well, I’m sorry, but Romney was a severe conservative from January to October, and now he’s a new candidate.

  • ||

    Severe??? On what fucking planet? Yes, he's already been walking back even moderate positions.

    Sullivan needs a safety helmet and adult supervision, along with soft plastic nubbed utensils.

  • John||

    It is like Romney won't live up to the idiotic straw man liberals created for him. So it is all because he changed. Yeah that is it.

  • VG Zaytsev||

  • ||

    Romney was a severe conservative from January to October, and now he’s a new candidate.

    Romney wanted to raise spending slightly less then Obama did....that is severe.

  • ||

    That obsession with Palin's uterus and Trig's parentage really did a number on him. The man is a loon.

  • John||

    Palin drove him insane. Maybe she really is a witch.

  • ||

    I'm convinced Tina Brown kept Sullivan on as the media equivalent of an extremely charitable drunk pity fuck.

    I guess she was Concerned he would become a hobo wandering around muttering to and soiling upon himself.

  • Paul.||

    Instead, he's wandering around muttering and soiling upon us. Mission accomplised!

  • Ice Nine||

    John|
    OMG Andrew Sullivan is stupid
    “You put a map of the Civil War over this electoral map, you’ve got the Civil War…”

    To make matters worse he foolishly chose to say it in the presence of the ever-erudite George Will - who promptly if more gently let him know that he was exactly what you said.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    He was probably thinking of this map but got distracted by the studio lights.

  • sloopyinca||

    Why do you hate Mexicans, PantsFan?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I didn't make that map.

  • sloopyinca||

    Don't hide behind that lame Canuckistani excuse. If you didn't believe it, you'd have cited the creator. You flappy-headed monster. You don't fool me with your xenophobia against people with intact heads.

  • ||

    That can't be accurate...

    Canada has a debt to GDP ratio of 35% and a AAA credit rating.

    Time to convert Dollars to Loonies.

  • SIV||

    Canada is benefiting from commodity inflation stoked by world wide monetary policy.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Plus Canadian Dragon's Den is superior to US Shark Tank, even though half the panel is the same.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Paparazzi photographer who took topless pictures of Duchess of Cambridge set to be arrested by French police

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....z2Add9N4C5

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Before you know it the gypsies will be stealing your babies.

  • ||

    Fucking gypsies. Is Canada actively looking to recruit Europe's trash now? And I shudder to think the kind of free gov't bennies they get if they came as "refugees."

  • Sevo||

    Dagny T.| 10.28.12 @ 8:21PM |#
    ..."And I shudder to think the kind of free gov't bennies they get if they came as "refugees.""
    And the solution is?

  • Ice Nine||

    You know who else looked for a solution to the gypsy problem?

  • C. Anacreon||

    Natalie Wood?

  • sloopyinca||

    I fear that Brett L might go on a three-state killing spree if the Cowboys somehow come back and beat Eli and the Giants in the next couple of minutes.

    I'm not sure if that makes me sad or happy, but I fear it nonetheless.

  • ||

    I suspect the Patchouli Poisoning Syndrome is starting to manifest itself. I told him to stay away from hippie chicks.

    Say, has anyone seen Hugh Akston lately?

  • sloopyinca||

    Your mom has.

  • ||

    Good, I was worried that she would eschew companionship since becoming a widow.

    I feel comfortable leaving her in Hugh's capable hands. He told me you are quite the connoisseur of his back rubs, Magic Fingers. I'm sure he misses your gentle touch.

  • sloopyinca||

    I met Hugh down in LA once while Banjos and I were out with EDG and his lovely wife. He's quite a nice guy, actually, and exceptionally bright.

  • ||

    That doesn't surprise me in the least to hear that. -)

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Small town outside Cheyenne, last I heard.

  • Paul.||

    Say, has anyone seen Hugh Akston lately?

    Tied up in my basement.

    Reckanize.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    You were saying?
    Which states are first?

  • sloopyinca||

    Out of bounds by a few inches. Damn!

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    one of his molecules was out

  • sloopyinca||

    I'd love to see the Cowboys win, but I would hate for Dez Bryant to have any part of it. He's a piece of shit.

  • Ted S.||

    Shouldn't everybody root against both the Cowboys and the Giants?

  • sloopyinca||

    Any predictions on the baseball game tonight? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say the Tigers actually get a run.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    They couldn't hit a wiffle ball off a T at this point.

  • ||

    There are underground flophouses.
    They are called "couch surfing" networks.

    If you're poor and you like to travel you can find places to stay for free all over the world that way.

  • ||

    It's not exactly the same thing but I recently used AirBnB to stay for cheap-ish at a bunch of cities in Europe. Definitely recommended, and I enjoyed not having to pay shitty hotel taxes.

  • Paul.||

    Government regulator inbound...

  • ||

    No kidding. It is too cool to go un-fucked-with for long. People with extra space making some cash, and travellers getting to stay with a local for a price they both agree on, connecting across international and language barriers via the internet, it was a beautiful thing.

  • Sevo||

    Paul.| 10.28.12 @ 8:33PM |#
    "Government regulator inbound..."

    You bet! SF city thugs are leaning on this already. For the chidrunz, doncha know...

  • ||

    Ride sharing, couch surfing, pretty soon cooking your own meals at home and inviting friends over will be seen as a public health hazard that must be stopped.

  • Sevo||

    HazelMeade| 10.28.12 @ 9:22PM |#
    "Ride sharing,..."
    Son, did anyone in the car pay for gas? In any amount, son?
    Well, in that case...

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Sounds like a good way to wind up stabb'd and robbed. Sometimes these people operate underground for a reason.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa (LAOL-PA)| 10.28.12 @ 11:46PM |#
    "Sounds like a good way to wind up stabb'd and robbed. Sometimes these people operate underground for a reason."
    Going out on a limb here: No taxi is safe without a medallion?
    Have I got it, Tulpa?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    No, you haven't. Your implications are backwards. (plus I was against the medallion law as it exists, just pointing out that there is a public safety justification for a much less restrictive medallion law)

    There is a commonality in that both types of business offer useful cover for those who would prey on unwary outsiders. Of course, B+B's don't roll up to the arrival door at the airport.

  • ||

    That's why you have ratings. If you're not sure, just don't accept a ride from anyone who hasn't had a history of positive feedback.

    How is this different than EBay?

  • ||

    You'd be amazed at how people can come up with ingenious methods to ensure that the people they are hooking up with are legit.

    Generally couch surfing networks are an online community, so you just have to get others in the community that you trust to vouch for a person. It's a bit risky like online dating. You can get beaten and raped by an anonymous person you meet on OKCupid too, but that doesn't mean it's unsafe to use OkCupid.

  • Mensan||

    So, I get home today after a rough 14.5-hour long 12-hour shift. I log into Facebook, and I'm visually assaulted by Obama propaganda. It seems every one of my Obama supporting acquaintances has been sharing pro-Obama crap.

    I can't help but to wonder if people still enthusiastically supporting the Executioner In Chief are suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome (yeah, I know it's Battered Person Syndrome in the ICD-9), or from Stockholm Syndrome.

  • ||

    Dissociative amnesia. They just couldn't handle the cognitive dissonance. You should also get used to the ICD-10, or at least get your feet wet, since its integration is slated for implementation this time next year.

    Also, why are you not an ARNP or DNP yet?

  • Mensan||

    Weighing my options right now. I'm leaning more towards CRNA. I like the OR.

  • SIV||

    The last-ditch die-hards are reverting to "here is PROOF that every one not voting for Obama is a KKK RACIST, with the possible exception of my misguided facebook friends who most certainly will wake up and realize this has been the best 4 years EVAH!"

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Then there's this facebook group: Women Against Romney

  • SFC B||

    There was an email sent out by the Obama campaign to the people on their email list including links to a bunch of "truths" you can share with your undecided friends. Bacially your friend is forwarded you spam emails about saved soda can tops buying kidney transplants for orphans.

  • Technomad||

    Er, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this what the YMCA used to provide? I was mulling a trip to San Francisco some time ago, and looked into staying at the Chinatown Y (I'd stayed there the other two times I hit the city by the bay) and found, to my sorrow, that the Y is apparently out of, or getting out of, the business of providing cheap, clean, safe accomodation.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    They have everything for young men to enjoy
    You can hang out with all the boys

  • Mensan||

    If Dr. Maximus is still on this thread, I have a question regarding or previous discussion of Gary Johnson's erratic movements. Didn't Johnson break his back? I don't know if he had any cord damage, but if he did have minor damage, could that lead to impaired motor response?

  • ||

    A cursory search about his hang gliding accident yields he suffered, in addition to a broken knee (which he later had scoped) and a fractured rib, he suffered a burst fracture to his T-12 vertebrae.

    Typically, it's below the point of injury that would be most affected, most notably standing balance via the hip flexors.

    Injuries of the T-9 thru T-12 shouldn't allow for his jerkiness and exaggerated head, upper torso, and BUE movements that he appears to exhibit sometimes, though standing for long periods of time can certainly (and probably does) give him some discomfort.

    It's remotely possible of delayed or impaired motor response, but not very likely, given his extensive HX of extreme sports. If anything, his HX of broken legs would most likely give him problems in balance dept. and a T-12 would affect areas relative to the pelvis and pelvic girdle.

    The guy is one tough sonovabitch, that's for sure.

  • Paul.||

    Meh. It's not like he walked on the moon.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Walking on the moon is easy. There's barely any gravity.

  • tagtann||

    Dude seems to know what he is talking about, i think.

    www.Anon-Yes.tk

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Fucking Tigers. Fuck!! 3-2 SF. Great time for the bats to hibernate again - the Series.

    Oh well - was fun while it lasted.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    CNN has gone full disaster porn mode.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    lulz. Yeah, we were just watching that little girl report from wherever she was. Raining hard, kinda windy, not a sould on the street....

    "Well, we just want you to be safe..." So we'll put you in the middle of this storm to report basically nothing. Good lord.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    TOUCHDOWN Broncos. I don't care, but I can't watch the Tigers get brutalized in the series any more. Scratch that - I haven't watched any of the games (superstitious). So we start watching tonight - BAM - down 2-0. I think it's 3-3 now. Time for bed - happy Monday soonm Reason!

  • Sevo||

    OT: Traveling in Europe, Euro green stupidity.
    Italy has instituted momentary switches on hotel (and other?) hair dryers. Now no one leaves the dryer running on the vanity, so there's no gain. The cost is transporting a decent dryer to Italy, not to mention the swap-out costs for all those dryers.
    Green net: Negative.
    Again, Italy. No coffee in the rooms (I'm presuming this is regulation rather than the Italian concept of 'service'). Oh, good. A couple of trips on the elevator to the lobby rather than a heater for the in-room coffee!
    Green net: Strongly negative.
    I was tempted to duct-tape the hair dryer switch "on" and leave it as we checked out...

  • sloopyinca||

    Giants score in the top of the 10th! Scutaro...

  • Sevo||

    So, as luck would have it, we in SF won't have to deal with the stench of that hag Pelosi at the ball park.
    Good news!

  • SIV||

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    For some reason, "From Russia With Love" is leaving Netflix Instant on Thursday. Watch it now!

  • شات عراقنا||

    thanks

  • tipuasher||

    I knew some of these but of course not all of them. recognition for this first-rate review. recognition for this first-rate review.
    http://g50.info

  • cinsel chat||

    good thanks sohbet
    cinsel sohbet

  • HECM Calculator||

    A reverse mortgage should be an income source of last resort. There are a lot of pitfalls with taking out a reverse mortgage in its current form, not the least of which are the high fees to the banks and mortgage brokers.
    http://www.reversemortgagelend.....dvantages/
    http://www.reversemortgagelend.....-mortgage/

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement