Microsublet season is upon us, the time of year when Instagram lights up with friends, acquaintances, and mutuals sharing photos of their apartments at their very cleanest with requests like, “My v calming, chill studio in the East Village is available. Message me for deets!” or “Our cozy 2br in Crown Heights is still avail at the end of the month! Dates flex!”
There’s nothing wrong here exactly. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask for money in exchange for a stay in an erratically heated studio. Maybe it’s just that sublet feels like such a strong word for spending December 22 to December 26 in your friend’s friend’s sixth-floor walk-up, where the bathroom door doesn’t really close. Or maybe it’s the refusal to name the nature of the transaction outright: I want to rent my apartment for five nights between Christmas and New Year’s, $500 flat fee! I’m making an effort to pay for a portion of my trip to Palm Springs! Talk to me if you have grandparents coming to town to see the Rockettes! Or just say you need a cat sitter! Let us all be open about what’s really going on here.
Instead, the tone of these posts falls somewhere between a text to see if anyone happens to be around and offering to do a favor for a friend. No one wants to be a holiday landlord. (“Our sunny 2-bed is open! Incredible location!” “Hang out at my place with my plants in central BK!”)
It will be over soon enough, and your Instagram feed can return to the natural order of things: mirror fits and jokes about being extremely depressed.