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To The Time Machine! When One Could Buy Two Apts. for $500

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How much would you sacrifice to buy a pair of Lower East Side apartments for $500? For both of them! Would you move in to a building if there was no heat, electricity, hot water, or any plumbing? That's what Lisa R. told Gothamist she did without when she moved into a shell of a tenement on 11th Street and Avenue A in 1980. She lived without heat and running water for two years and showered using a hydrant across the street. Ultimately she purchased two units together directly from the City, which had taken over the abandoned property. Thirty years later the window on Lisa's library is still boarded up?a reminder of when she took steps to prevent neighboring drug dealers from regularly breaking into her home?but she owns her own double apartment on a street where a brand new 2BR runs about $1.5 million, or 3,000 times what Lisa R. paid for her apartment.

· Apartment Voyeurism: The Woman Who Paid $500 To Own TWO East Village Apartments [Gothamist]