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Take a look inside a $650 NYC micro-apartment that's the size of a parking space — and doesn't have a bathroom in the unit

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Take a look inside a $650 NYC micro-apartment that's the size of a parking space — and doesn't have a bathroom in the unit
  • A Youtube video of a tiny, $650/month apartment with its bathroom in the hallway went viral.
  • The renter, Alaina Randazzo, says she left a luxury apartment and now saves $1,850 per month.

New Yorkers love to complain about living in small apartments, but they've probably never lived in a place as small as Alaina Randazzo's place— which doesn't even have a bathroom in the unit.

A video from YouTuber Caleb Simpson featuring Randazzo's 80 feet by 150 feet apartment — the equivalent of a standard parking space — has been viewed by more than 2.3 million amazed (and horrified) viewers, many of whom were shocked that the 25-year-old chose to live in such cramped quarters.

But what it lacks in square footage it makes up for in price — Randazzo pays only $650 a month for the apartment, which is located in Manhattan's midtown. That's an impressively small number, given that the median New York rent is now $4,100 per month, according to a report from Douglas Elliman.

Randazzo, who works in fashion media, told Insider she previously sublet a room in a luxury high-rise for $2,500 a month. But she didn't like the "micromanaging" management at her building — or the fact that she never left the building because it had so many amenities.

So earlier this year she began looking for a new place. She had initially wanted the apartment directly below the one she currently has. "It had a bathroom in the unit, and I think an oven," she said, but someone snapped it up before she could see it. Despite its small size, Randazzo told Simpson getting her current apartment was actually quite competitive.

"There were so many people touring the apartment when I came, and the agent was just like, you're really fun, I think you should have it," she said, calling the unit a "hot commodity."

The Missouri native moved into the space in February. She said she initially had some reservations about the unit, and her parents worried that it might be a hoax, but so far, so great. She's saving and investing her money, and with more pocket change, she's much more likely to bop around the city, exploring local cafes, traveling, and spending money on premium dog-watching services for her dog. "I mean, he's pampered," she says.

"I feel like this apartment's definitely for someone who's on the go because I honestly will use it just to sleep here," she said, noting that she often spends time away for work or travel. "Last week was fashion week. I was literally not home."

Take a look at what might be the smallest apartment in New York City.

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Randazzo's living room fits a plant, a small table, and a tiny pull-out couch that took her a long time to find

Randazzo's living room fits a plant, a small table, and a tiny pull-out couch that took her a long time to find
The only light in the apartment comes from a skylight, but she's managed to keep a fiddleleaf fig plant healthy.Alaina Randazzo

Size is a constraint when furniture shopping for a micro-apartment — and Randazzo says it took her a while to find a couch that fit her living space. "There really wasn't a small couch available," she explains. "Hopefully, maybe they'll make more of them now that they know micro-living is a thing."

She often pulls her table up to the couch for work from home days

She often pulls her table up to the couch for work from home days
Randazzo's couch acts as an office, but also folds out into a bed for visitors.Alaina Randazzo

While not the comfiest, she says the couch works well in the space — and when friends visit, it pulls out into a bed.

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Above the living room, Randazzo sleeps in a lofted bed and stores clothing on a rack and in bins.

Above the living room, Randazzo sleeps in a lofted bed and stores clothing on a rack and in bins.
When Simpson visited her apartment, he said her bed was actually quite "comfy."YouTube/Caleb Simpson

Above the living room, Randazzo sleeps in a lofted bed that's not for the claustrophobic. The bed is about 18 inches from the ceiling.

The bed area is also where she keeps bins of clothes and a rack of clothing, and it also features the only light source in the apartment: a skylight.

Despite the close quarters, she says it remains a good Goldilocks temperature: not too hot, not too cold.

However, it's tough to bring guests up to her bed. "It's actually impossible, I tell them 'you won't fit,' she told Simpson.

Randazzo says organization is important for tiny living, and her space looks more cluttered in photos than in person

Randazzo says organization is important for tiny living, and her space looks more cluttered in photos than in person
The view from Randazzo's couch onto the kitchen and storage areas.Alaina Randazzo

Randazzo notes that a small space can quickly look cluttered — especially in photos, sharing that she was surprised by how her apartment appeared in the video: "I spent so much time cleaning!"

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She cooks 2-3 nights a week using the kitchen's two-burner stovetop

She cooks 2-3 nights a week using the kitchen's two-burner stovetop
The kitchen has a microwave and a stove top but no oven.Alaina Randazzo

Randazzo says she favors meals like avocado toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast since they don't require an oven (an appliance the apartment doesn't have).

She also only has two small racks for food storage, so she tends to buy the ingredients she's going to use on the day she's going to cook them.

The only issue Randazzo said she struggled with in her micro-home was bugs and mice — familiar foes for New York renters. In the summertime especially, she doesn't like to keep a ton of food in the apartment at one time, worrying it could attract bugs.

The staircase leading up to Randazzo's lofted bed has a "Harry Potter"-like storage closet underneath it, which she doesn't love

The staircase leading up to Randazzo's lofted bed has a "Harry Potter"-like storage closet underneath it, which she doesn't love
There's a storage closet under the stairs, but Randazzo must move her entire living space around to access it.YouTube/Caleb Simpson

Randazzo says she would have preferred the apartment to come with a ladder, rather than the slanted closet beneath it that's difficult to open.

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Every morning, she visits the roof for natural light. In the winter, she uses sun lamps

Every morning, she visits the roof for natural light. In the winter, she uses sun lamps
The apartment comes with roof access, which Randazzo often uses when she's feeling her space has gotten a little claustrophobic, she said.YouTube/Caleb Simpson

Randazzo, who says she used to have floor-to-ceiling windows in her prior apartment, has a skylight, but no other window in her living space. On any given day, she says she doesn't mind — the box-like studio helps her "zone in" and be productive.

But, first thing every morning, she says she goes up to the roof for natural light.

In the winter, when the city grows dark and gloomy, Randazzo says she keeps busy by doing yoga and reading a lot, relying on sunset lights for the effect of natural light. "I feel like there's just an answer for everything nowadays; you just figure it out."

Though the internet went wild over her bathroom being located in the hallway outside of her living space, she doesn't mind it

Though the internet went wild over her bathroom being located in the hallway outside of her living space, she doesn't mind it
Her bathroom is located down the main hallway of her apartment floor.YouTube/Caleb Simpson

The bathroom, located in the apartment building's main floor hallway, doesn't bother Randazzo. " I feel like everyone was going crazy over that," she says of the viral video. "Don't you share a bathroom when you are in a regular four-person style apartment anyways, and isn't the bathroom usually in a hallway in that sense, too?

"It's in the hallway, but it's private. I have a lock to it," she notes, adding that she keeps her "nice makeup" in there without worry, and appreciates not having to share it.

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The apartment allows her to invest and spend money on travel

The apartment allows her to invest and spend money on travel
The apartment pre-move in.Alaina Randazzo

Despite how well the last year has gone, Randazzo is still mulling over whether she'll sign on for another year.

"I have plans to travel a lot still," she said, expressing an interest in creating travel content as a creator for fun and noting that she's traveling to Iceland next month for work.

"If you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck... I just feel like, personally, that's no way to live," she added. "I guess it pertains to certain people — if you would live this lifestyle or not — but New York is really expensive, especially with food and everything."

"I mean, when you're young, why not try it?" she said. "And if you don't like it, then you don't have to stay."