The immortal James Lileks has a nice bit in a recent bleat about house prices in New York and prices in his neck of the woods. I know exactly where he's coming from. It's one of the reasons I like Costa Rica so much (apart from the jaw-droppingly gorgeous women, the fact it never gets below 15 C or over 30 C, and the way you can get yourself mangled beyond recognition* in a bar for less than $20). When I first got here, I rented a huge apartment, ridiculously huge for a single guy. I had been living in a damp, decaying one bedroom terraced house in a grotty area of Bradford (quite simply one of the ugliest cities on the planet) and I rented a gin palace because, well, because I could. It was 2,000 sq. ft., 13 rooms, antique furniture including an absolutely vast king size bed capable of sleeping three (well, accommodating three anyway), brand new stove, washing machine, fridge etc, halfway up a mountain, surrounded by tropical vegetation, in a condo with armed guards and a housekeeper. $1100 a month. That will get you a minute one bedroom cubby hole in a rough area of London.
It was still a bit extravagant though, so I moved. I am now in a very quiet upscale neighbourhood, round the corner from the Japanese embassy and the ex-president's house. I share with a friend. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, utility room, dining room, living room, security guard, cable internet. $250 a month. Yes, a month. That is just a shade over half of what I spend on going out each month. God I love this place. I work like a loon, but this is still Partyville.
Not that I'm boasting or anything.
* Note for the irony impaired - by 'mangled beyond recognition' I mean drunk.
Contact me: d a g g i l l i e s @ y a h o o . c o m