A recent parody of Bushwick’s many outrageous sublet listings has gone viral after it went live last Sunday on a Facebook group for performing arts professionals seeking housing in New York City.
Facebook user Anthony Grrasi [sic], a member of the citywide group called “Gypsy Housing,” posted the imaginary space, a treehouse located in Maria Hernandez Park listed for rent at $1,000 a month, on August 22, creating a lively dialogue among members of the 7,650-person group.
Grassi tells Bushwick Daily that the post is a reaction to, and critique of, the bleak realities of seeking housing in New York City in 2016. The post effectively echoes the weird conventions of broker-speak, describing the treehouse as located in a “decent size tree” in the middle of park with “true oak wood floors and walls and ceilings.”
In this town, where residential square footage is at an an ever higher premium and vans, igloos and boats floating on superfund sites have all been considered legitimate, saleable housing, a satirical listing like this may feel all too real to some. If you live in the crawl space below a loft bed in an East Williamsburg factory conversion, $1,000 a month for a spot that’s marketed as “pretty small but stability is whats key here” may sound familiar.
Keeping up the realtor tone, Grrasi describes the treehouse as “a vibrant breathe of fresh Bushwick air in a prime location.” The post’s punchline lands with a curated pitch for tenants: “great for any self proclaimed artists, students, young adults whose parents pay their rent, or people that just want dig in deep in the gentrification game.”
At publication time, the post has accumulated twelve hundred reactions on Facebook, 129 shares, and 192 comments.
One commenter’s thoughts might resonate with frustrating and borderline existentialist apartment hunters: “Is it sad I’d prefer treehouse to my wburg flat?”
Another comment reads: “Can I create a small tree house inside and sublet in order to reduce the costs?” (Isn’t that what we are all thinking?).
Last winter, The New York Times published an article in its real estate section titled “New York’s Next Hot Neighborhoods” in which its reported proclaimed Bushwick “over—” which would be a relief for many. With the impending L and M train shutdowns, numerous locals are hoping that real estate businesses will lighten their iron grip on Bushwick.
Like most of us, Grrasi, who isn’t currently seeking housing or roomates, has had his share of bizarre experiences with the informal housing market, so he was glad that his joke post was well received on the group. “it’s pretty cool to see no one really got butt hurt, ”he says.
On that note: happy apartment hunting, Bushwick!