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How to Get a Place on the Upper West Side for $1,200/Month

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Did you know that there are still all-women's boardinghouses operating in New York City? Apparently, not all of them have gone the way of The Barbizon, and there are currently 10 still running including the Brandon Residence for Women, where writer Catie L'Heureux lived until recently, paying $1,200/month for a room, a shared bathroom, two cooked meals a day, and a weekly cleaning service. She describes the experience in a piece for New York, and overall it sounds like a) not a bad deal, and b) pretty quaint, in a fun way. "Every week, a maintenance man arrives on each floor to make repairs: 'Man on the floor!' he'll say, and then go about his business ... Refrigerators aren't allowed, so during the winter I placed food up against my window; in summer, I'll buy a small cooler and get ice from the machine downstairs."
· Why I Live in an All-Women Boardinghouse in New York City [NYM]