I don't mean to brag, but I recently found myself in America's Heartland, proud home of chain restaurants and the last vestiges of the country's working class. Perusing an Omaha newspaper, I stumbled upon some rental listings; their prices made my insufferably cheap blood run cold. "How much do you think a one-bedroom apartment in Omaha costs?" I asked my pal. "$800?" she replied. "Less," I said. "$700?" "Less." "Jesus, $600?" "$525," I solemnly informed her, "Utilities included." I don't think I've ever seen her so upset.
Not to say that Los Angeles, the city we both call home, is a prohibitively expensive hell. Compared to a place like New York City, it may as well be Omaha. While a recent New York Times writer's claims that a two-bedroom bungalow in Echo Park can be procured for a tears-of-joy-inducing $1,250 per month are completely and utterly delusional, the fact that the average Angeleno can afford to live in something larger than the glorified closets their New Yorker counterparts inhabit is an undeniable fact. Here's what your rental dollar'll get you on both coasts. (SPOILER ALERT: Los Angeles wins, hands down.)