London Rental Opportunity of the Week: Finsbury Park's Tiniest Box Room!

It's… sort of nice?

01 November 2018, 1:48pm

All photos via Zoopla

What is it? Well, more than any bedroom-converted-by-means-of-a-small-free-standing-sink-that-can-just-about-be-labelled-a-"kitchenette" properties we've seen on here, this truly, very much truly, is just a bedroom someone stuck a shower in and called a "Studio Flat" to get a higher rate for it;
Where is it? Finsbury Park, a bus terminus attached to a semi-ominous public green space that is occasionally overwhelmed by crowds whenever Arsenal play at home or someone decides for some reason to have a massive Stone Roses gig there, and then the rest of the time the place is mostly deserted but for a big Costa and a sub-par bagel shop;
What is there to do locally? The single thing worth doing in Finsbury Park is also the single worthwhile thing doing in this entire wretched city, which is: go to Rowans, drink so much slush you get a headache, play a sticky game of bowling in your trainers and get a pizza delivered to the middle of the dance floor;
Alright, how much are they asking? God, I nearly wrote "Eight hundred of your pounds sterling, m'lord!" as some sort of bit, there, like those lads who turn up to first year of uni and their only three personality traits are "knowing every line of Blackadder," "drinking ale" and "being a virgin" ("I have a cunning plan… let us embarken to The Dragon for a frothy pint of Deuchars!" – that sort of thing). God. Good god. I need a holiday. Good god. Anyway: £800 p.c.m., m’lord!

The reason we all unite over the faltering popularity of the column "London Rental Opportunity of the Week" is that we all, broadly (*1), see the same flaws. We all have eyes in our head and a scrape of rationality in our bodies. We can look at an askew shower rail, or a bizarre slash of outlying supportive concrete, or some mildew, or a kitchen the size of an Amazon package, and go: hmm, bad. Crucially, the city's landlords and property developers do not have these traits, and so that is what divides Us from Them. They are slugs and we are falcons. We must peck them to death with our glorious beaks.

This one is trickier to get a bead on, though. Question: what’s depressing about this supposed studio flat? Is it the size? The shonky cupboard doors? The atomic spread of floor space you can easily walk around and in? The cold-looking bathroom? The lack of a real kitchen? All those things, yes, but those are not the main ones. What is depressing about this one is someone has tried to make it nice.


This is nice, isn’t it. You pull in Rowans – you, sweat slicked to your forehead with frenetic crowded dancing; you, somehow walking out of there in bowling shoes; you, clanking the cubicle door over and over again, clank clank clank; you, even though you’ve been here a thousand times before, fundamentally surprised to find yourself having to pay to get in; you, screaming yourself hoarse in the karaoke; you, making out with someone blurry and indistinct, your mouth full of blue slush and their mouth full of red; you, running home to this box room with that wild, light, frenzied feeling you get before a shag – and you come back here, and it’s sort of nice, isn't it.

The person who currently lives here is nice. They play you a record from their record box. They do you a glass of water and make you sit up and drink it. The foreplay is adequate to above adequate. They take you to breakfast in the morning. Lend you a coat to go home in. Text to make sure you got in OK. This is nice, isn’t it? For a small sliver of dystopia, for a horrid look at the future of what we all have yet to come: they keep it nice, don’t they?

But is "nice" worth £800 per month? Not so sure it is. "Nice", in this case, is a reaction to the space it's in: there is no way of making this room useable unless you keep it neat as a pin and have your box of records on the kitchen counter next to where your router is. Like: I’m pretty sure you have to be in bed to get anything out of the wardrobe. This isn’t a kitchen converted into a bedroom, or an en-suite room with extra features crammed in to make it a studio: it’s literally a double bedroom with everything else extra pushed in until it's bursting, the only device you have to heat food is a microwave, there’s no way of washing the clothes you barely have space for, and an estate agent just stood on your bed in their shoes to take photos of it.

I know you want to live next to Rowans – mate, we all do – but please consider living somewhere else. You are better than this. We all are.

@joelgolby (h/t @ChrisPJGodfrey)

(*1) Said this before but bears repeating: normally in the Facebook comments there is some lad who hasn’t discovered facewash yet who primly and aggressively announces "I could live in that. I don’t know what you snowflakes are crying about" when confronted with a sort of gloomy box room annexed to a nearby industrial exhaust pipe, and I’ll admit that yes, that there have been times in my life where, if there is a floppy mattress and a place to plug my PlayStation in, OK, I could fundamentally live and sleep and eat cereal nude in a room the size of a Mini Metro, but I’m not saying this is optimal. I do not think these people understand that those comments are actually an arch criticism of their own young male heterosexuality, the grubby lows to which we will exist in. If you would fundamentally live in a pigsty full of shit if you had a Nintendo Switch, a single mattress and one flat pillow to never change the pillowcase of: please keep your opinions to yourself. Also, please stop pissing in empty Dr Pepper bottles and just go to the bathroom in the night like a normal person.