After having read an article, I wonder if it was always this expensive to live in New York City, especially Manhattan? I am not very familiar with the history of the city or that area, but at the turn of the last century, was rent particularly high compared to any other city in the US? What about during the mid-century, or after? Are the astronomical costs of today just a modern phenomenon? Here is the article: http://homes.yahoo.com/blogs/spaces/homeless-man-dismal-n-y-housing-blog-goes-225903039.html I am asking this to get insight into the history of New York City, this isn't motivated by politics.