For Just $2,300 (!) a Month, a Luxury ‘Fart Fan’ Apartment in Astoria

It’s no secret that new apartment developments in Astoria and greater Queens are often lessons in poor design, high rent, and extreme-amenity hyperbole, especially those labeled “luxury.” In fact, we have several blogs dedicated to these sad facts, among them Astoria Ugly and Queens Crap.

But I got a fresh reminder this week when I asked my architect friend John to look at some photos of a new apartment listing in Astoria (more pics/info here, too).

The kitchen photo shows what, at first glance, looks like a really nice kitchen (compared to the usual NYC fare). But as I looked at the photo for an extra half-second, I noticed the dishwasher and stove are immediately adjacent to each other, meaning they can’t be open at the same time, ever. But there was no apparent reason for this major design flaw, as there is tons of room on the other side of the sink, where a dishwasher would fit in nicely to a logical, ergonomic left-to-right flow as you load dishes from the oven/stove > sink >dishwasher.

A white dishwasher smashed up next to a stainless steel stove. (Photo:

Still, overall, to an untrained eye, the kitchen does look nice — a giant fridge, dishwasher and a washer/dryer are hard to come by in NYC. (Of course, all of you who don’t live here are perhaps coughing up your last meal at the rental price of $2,300 a month for a one-bedroom.)

When I showed John this, he let loose with a keen assessment. It should be noted that some of this is speculation on his part, as he tries to surmise the “whys” behind the bad design.

“It looks like a large column is in the corner, along with some plumbing & HVAC chases, so they wanted to keep everything close to it (bad detailing with the counter and backsplash, by the way). However, the dishwasher may have been originally located under that bar or on the other side of the sink. Somewhere in the construction process, the plumber may have goofed or the owner got cheap (more than likely) to run piping and drainage that far from the chases.”

But Wait, There’s More — a Fart Fan!

Another kitchen view shows a different apartment with a dishwasher to the left of the sink. Yay. But it still has issues I never would have spotted without John's help. (Photo:

I think they started to run out of money, judging by the standard white finish of the DW and stainless steel of the other appliances, which also makes me think they were afterthoughts to begin with…There’s no fume hood over the stove, just a bathroom-style “fart fan” exhaust (yep, that’s a contractor term) up on the ceiling by the column (the little square thing in the ceiling, again, an afterthought).

And, notice how cheap the millwork is. Concealed hinges are nice, but the angled upper cabinet by the end bar is just out of place. How does one reach up into it?

Lastly, if you look at the listings, you’ll see it comes with a big patio — also a “luxury” detail since private outdoor space is rare in NYC. However, for inexplicable reasons, the developers decided to glass in the patio.

As John said, this also makes no sense: “Yeah, that won’t get hot in July.”

2 thoughts on “For Just $2,300 (!) a Month, a Luxury ‘Fart Fan’ Apartment in Astoria

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