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Fun facts: As of December 2016, the average rent for an apartment in New York was $3,046. The rent for a 23-sq.-meter unit at a micro-apartment that went up in Kips Bay last year comes to $2,570, according to 6sqft.com.

Then there’s Mark Reay, who just decided not to go that route. A 50-something model, photographer and actor who has lived most of his adult life in and around Manhattan, Reay knew he couldn’t or didn’t want to exist anywhere else but in New York. But after the “Lehman Shock” and the effects of the Great Recession settled on the city like a permanent smog, coming up with the monthly rent became increasingly difficult for Reay, even as he pared down his lifestyle to its barest essentials.

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