Tiny apartments: How this New Yorker squeezes

Bonnie Lucas, pictured here in her 400-square-foot apartment, says its tiny size has been the key to her success. But a therapist warns compact living is not for everyone.

If you think your New York apartment is tiny, meet Bonnie Lucas. The artist eats, sleeps and works in an apartment under 400 square feet.

In Lucas’ Nolita apartment, there’s decades of artwork packed in every corner and a bathtub in the kitchen. She sleeps in a loft bed, which she has to climb over piles of artwork to get into. Her easel sits beside her stove, and when she wants to work she puts a board over the tub for a table.

You may think she’s crazy, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I moved to New York to fulfill my dreams of becoming an artist. The single most important thing in my career was this apartment,” said Lucas, who has an art opening this Tuesday at the renowned Esopus Space. “It enabled me to work part-time my whole life so I could create my art.”

But living in tight quarters may not always be the best for mental health, according to one therapist.

“People put up with this because they don’t have a choice — rents are sky-high,” says therapist Jonathan Alpert. “Small space hugely impacts relationships. This then leads to coping in unhealthy ways, such as marijuana and excess drinking. I’m convinced small space breeds pathology.”

And be warned, couples who try to save money by moving in together:

“Weekly I have new couples coming to see me who have tension. I often hear, ‘I feel like I don’t have any space’,” said Alpert. “These people are living in 400-square-foot studios or even smaller.”

Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter at @EmilyatMetro.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.