Welcome to your affordable new home in the heart of the East Village, which is affordable because, well, you have to bathe in the living room. In fact, there are two units available at 328 E. 6th Street, which have tubs in the kitchen and conveniently locates you over at least one Indian restaurant and within easy sniffing range of other typically tasty local joints.
One studio unit (No. 13) is decked out in some dramatic black paint over its old wood floorboards (above). The arty look is an appropriate cover for this old apartment, which includes a clawfoot tub in the living area, which was typical in tenement living. So when you’re done boiling a pan of water for the evening gruel you can conveniently toss the dishes into the tub. Or, perhaps you throw one banging party and use the tub as a monster ice bucket. The price: $1,800 a month.
A second available unit (No. 12) for $1,900 a month sports a different “interior design,” but comes with the same bathtub-in-the-kitchen arrangement (above). Perhaps the slight “upgrade” for this unit is due to the existence of an interior window. This “window to nowhere” (photo below) is not merely a decorative element. Back in the old days, before building codes required an exterior window in each room to promote airflow, light and some semblance of health for the huddled masses, landlords would install interior windows in interior walls. This would allow for some privacy and allow a little circulation inside these longer, darker, railroad-style apartments to prevent the spread of disease and illness. They are also referred to as tuberculosis windows.
And while “Orange is the New Black’s” Taylor Schilling has dubbed bedrooms in kitchens as “bitchens,” perhaps tubs in kitchens is a new portmanteau: “tubchens.”
And let’s not forget the shower-in-the-kitchen apartments that stand in eye-popping juxtaposition to the sleek, modern units that developers have been throwing up as fast as you can say “tax abatement.” Still, there’s something historically reassuring — if slightly less than upscale — about viewing these old tenement apartments. In a city that still can’t keep up with the influx of newcomers compelled to make Manhattan their home, these turn-of-the-century flats remain a source of endless fascination.