I’m a New Yorker and all New Yorkers are obsessed with real estate. We talk about it. We dream about it. And we read about it. Show me a New Yorker who never checks out the real estate section of the New York Times or who doesn’t hyperventilate at the low, low prices in other cities, and I’ll show you a zombie (or someone suppressing their natural inclination to hover over the thought of an extra 50 square feet of hardwood floor, roof deck or storage space.V
Classic monsters seem to be just as obsessed as my neighbors.
Lairs, castles, haunted houses, caves, ruins, towers, attic hideouts and isolated cabins are Home-Sweet-Home to a wide range of MONSTERS and supernatural beings. Even the candy cottage in Hansel & Gretel was a magical perfect match for a wicked witch luring children to their doom. There’s something about gingerbread real estate made of actual gingerbread that tweaks the imagination.
Let’s munch on a few shingles and bricks.
Modern monsters — the vampires, werewolves and wizards that populate paranormal romances, urban fantasy and all sorts of contemporary genre fiction — usually live in a variation of the lair associated with their classic origins. Suburban vampire families aside, don’t you picture a vampire in someplace dark and brooding with space to roam and a private room for coffin storage? A vampire would do very well as one of my neighbors. A big downtown loft apartment, a small but pricy West Village brownstone with a coffin room/wine cellar, or one of the triplexes in my building with dark basements, would all do very well.
I’ve pondered the plight of the urban werewolf. New York, especially the Village/Chelsea/Union Square areas that I haunt, has a laissez-faire, live-and-let-live attitude, but a naked werewolf returned to his human state would be hard pressed to navigate the streets and get home without being noticed. New York is a 24/7 town. The “Naked Cowboy” (famous for singing in Times Square while wearing next to nothing and boots) in NOT naked, so I’m stumped about a werewolf’s habits and habitation in the city.
As for wizards, ghosts and the rest — their only problem finding housing would be the same as the rest of us… it’s expensive! Other than being priced out of market, I think most supernaturals would feel right at home in New York. Maybe not zombies… cabbies would run them down and I can’t see a zombie managing the new bike share program — too complicated.
So New York is not for zombies, tough on werewolves, but a pretty good location for a supernatural being with the right budget.