If you’ve ever searched for an apartment in New York City, it’s pretty much the worst “shopping” experience you could ever imagine.
Unless you’re really balling financially, you’re looking at buying in-demand, fundamentally flawed inventory (it’s on the first floor of a building situated directly on a highway, the light in the front hallway can only be activated by motion sensor) from salespeople whose complete lack of ethics would make even Bernie Madoff blush. Having been through it myself three times now, I can say it is a uniquely miserable experience.
Dan Brill, a copy writer at the advertising agency Droga5, chose to vent his frustration with the hyperbolic and outright untrue real estate listings he saw on Craigslist by imagining how the brokers who wrote them would advertise run-of-the-mill convenience store items like orange juice or Kleenex.
The resulting Tumblr, “The Broker Bodega,” is a work of art:
“Lightly used” Kleenex
“Luxury” Solo Cups
“XXXXTRA CHUNKY” Soup
“STUNNING DUPLEX COOKIES”
Brill came up with the idea for the Tumblr after looking at scores of Craigslist ads hyping mediocre real estate and urging people to act immediately or risk missing out on the deal of the century.
“It’s kind of entertaining looking at those ads,” Brill told Business Insider. “It’s this weird brand of absurdist humour. It’s amazing what the brokers come up with.”
The Tumblr blog has resonated not only with annoyed apartment-seekers, but the brokers themselves, who, Brill says, have been sharing the ads with their friends on Facebook and Twitter.
As for Brill, his search, as maddening as it was, ended in success when he found an apartment he liked in the Boerum Hill neighbourhood of Brooklyn.
“It’s cool to see we have our own little world of shared experiences here in New York,” he said. “To find humour in something that is just such a nightmare for everybody is something they connected to.”
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