The subject of rent control has prompted some big headlines over the past few years, but one out of Manhattan will likely cause fellow city dwellers' jaws to drop. A New York Times obituary notes that in March, 84-year-old Patricia O'Grady was hit by a car near her Greenwich Village home and died of her injuries. Her apartment, however, is what's causing a buzz, after the New York Post reported the late actress was paying around what it costs for a week's worth of Starbucks lattes as monthly rent: $28.43, to be exact. Landlord Adam Pomerantz, who bought the apartment building in 2002, raised O'Grady's rent just once, from the $26.45 she was paying when he bought the building, after he consulted a rent-control worksheet.
The apartment, which O'Grady moved into in 1955 with three other young actresses, could possibly be NYC's last cold-water flat, with no heat or hot water and with sparse updates—at her insistence. "What you're doing to me is torturing me. Please leave the apartment as is," is what she reportedly told Pomerantz when he once tried to install a real heating system for her. "I didn't even know that [cold-water flats] existed anymore," the head of the Metropolitan Council on Housing tells the Post in amazement. Pomerantz's plans for the apartment now: fix it up and try to get around $5,000 a month for it. The Post has photos of the apartment here. (Read more rent stories.)