The flipside of New Yorkers' competitiveness is paranoia: the suspicion your neighbor's paying less rent, making more money, and having loud, satisfying sex with your girlfriend. Tackle the most important of these, with MyApartmentMaps' NY Rent Stats
A new, financially dispiriting tool from an established renter's site, Stats reveals the widely-varying cost of apartments in all five boroughs using a GMap "spotlight" -- like a Room Raiders black light on the sordid sheets of the apartment-verse. Just select # of bedrooms and search radius (from an intra-hood 1/4 mile, to a sadly-considering-Bayonne 10 miles), and Stats'll return available pads (blue = cheap, red = really?); click to get exact price and links to listings, plus the specific $ amount the apartment is above average -- or below, in which case its parents will have to sign its report card. Because charts are cool, Stats also graphs low-to-high rent averages in your search area and across the city, shows price trends over four months, and lists average prices per apt type by hood -- though the average price for a SoHo studio is N/A, either because of the loft-leaning housing stock, or because people who can afford SoHo studios have a secret, luxury Internet you don't have access to
Stats also covers all major U.S. cities, so you're free to scour the rest of the country for places where you can get more bang for the buck. And so can your girlfriend.