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A 225-square-foot Greenpoint basement bedroom for work, life, and inventory

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“We just wake up, stretch, shower and start working.”

In mid-September, the New York Times Real Estate section broke from their typical coverage of million-dollar apartments with spectacular interiors to focus on how terrible the city’s real estate scene actually is. See: 25-year-old John, who proudly showed off the Williamsburg closet/bedroom for which he pays $450/month. While it’s hard to top that, the Times takes a stab with the story of Vinicius Viera de Viera and Carolina Monteiro Viera, a married couple of 33 and 20 who live and run their online sales business out of a basement bedroom in Greenpoint.

The bedroom, minimally described, is 225-square-feet, L-shaped, and gives way to the apartment’s utility closet. It also has one clothes closet and access to a “narrow stone courtyard” (Times speak for alley?) that “filters wan light” into the room. The couple sleep on a sofa bed that they fold up for the work day, especially during the holiday shopping season when two or three part-time workers join the couple in the bedroom/office. At the same time, the couple suspect there’s some 2,000 units of inventory in the room—incense and Tibetan singing bowls and the like, which make up the stock of their online store Incausa.

What would round-the-clock life be like in a bedroom-office like this? “You’re lying here and you’re being bombarded with thoughts about work, work, work. When I go to sleep I see the counter and the calendar and I start thinking of inventory.” Viera de Viera offers up another gem: “We just wake up, stretch, shower and start working...This whole year I’ve hardly gone outside during daylight hours!” Yeesh.

The couple gets points for pragmatism, though; a life-balance goals sheet hangs above their bed and reminds them to do things like drink eight glasses of water a day and stretch. “We are trying to transform it into a Zen space,” Vieira de Vieira tells the Times. “We’re very minimal.” Whether that’s through want or necessity is unclear.

The couple pays a stunning $1,200/month for the bedroom and access to the upstairs kitchen and living room. A roommate lives in another bedroom upstairs. At least we can say with confidence it’s not the worst we’ve heard. Heck, this is actually the story of every entrepreneurial and determined person who’s been suckered into paying New York City rents. We’re rooting for you both.