Chamber pots for NY couple paying $300 rent?

People do all kinds of things to save money on rent. One site brings us the story of chamber pots in a studio with no bathroom.

By Kim Peterson Dec 19, 2012 4:58PM
House for rent in the middle of winter -- David Joel, PhotographerAre chamber pots making a comeback? One site says a couple living in Brooklyn's somewhat upscale Park Slope neighborhood have been using chamber pots instead of a toilet.

This seems too ridiculous to be true -- and in fact it seems likely that the posting is a parody. But according to The Hairpin website, Marcela and Ryan Marshall pay just $300 a month in rent for an apartment that doesn't have a bathroom.

The couple is trying to make the best of it, finding pots from an artist who glazed them with sea glass. They started out sharing one, but quickly found that it didn't work out very well.

"It's not necessarily for the squeamish, but we've been doing it for three years now, and it's helped us feel closer to the building, to its history, and to each other," Ryan Marshall told the site.

They empty the chamber pots into the gutter in the early morning, they said, and then rinse the pots with water.

The posting on Hairpin fooled even some of its regular readers. It got picked up by the Daily Mail, and then it went viral on Twitter.

Would you do the same for $300 a month in rent, especially to live in New York? "Never! Not in a million years!" said one commenter on the Daily Mail's report on the issue.

Others were more sympathetic. "As a born and bred New Yorker, I believe this is extreme but people do make some huge sacrifices to live here, especially Manhattan," said another.

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Dec 19, 2012 5:36PM
The "gutter" they refer to is probably linked to the strom sewer system and their waste is discharged directly into the nearest waterway.  I doubt this is legal.
Dec 19, 2012 5:50PM

Thats disgusting.  WHy don't they get a bedside commode...its used for old folks or people who can't get to the bathroom.  What the heck...does it mean "to be closer to the building"  its history and to each other.  These people have some mental issues. 

Dec 19, 2012 6:27PM
That is just illegal and hope someone reacts. That is a BIO Hazard and goes directly into the storm system then to a local water supply. It is no different than years ago dumping all waste into the rivers. It is like off loading your RV into the storm drains.
Dec 19, 2012 5:14PM
that's plain nasty... how do they wash?
Dec 19, 2012 6:48PM

Someone probably divided up an apartment to make extra money.  This apartment probably is not  a

"legal" rental & how they are disposing their waste probably is not legal either. 

Dec 19, 2012 5:25PM

"They empty the chamber pots into the gutter in the early morning"


Around here, people do clean up after their dogs, who cleans up after them?  Their neighbors must love them, it reminds me of Cousin Eddie flushing out his RV's toilet into the storm drain in front of Clark Griswold's house in Christmas Vacation.


Another notable quote: "As a born and bred New Yorker, I believe this is extreme but people do make some huge sacrifices to live here, especially Manhattan,"


Yes, bred in New York, where garbage is put out at the curb on the sidewalk, the supreme ego trip, does this make people like that the Manhattan Hillbillies?















Dec 19, 2012 6:18PM

The gutter????  Just where does that urine and feces end up?!!!


Dec 19, 2012 6:37PM
That would really suck if you had the flu or diarrhea.  Maybe they can just used some of the saved rent money and buy depends.  Then they can just wet and crap themselves to their hearts content.  The big apple is a dump.
Dec 19, 2012 6:53PM
They really do have mental and hygiene issues!  This is unreal!  As someone mentioned previously, one can purchase a camping toilet that is pretty much full size and waste is delivered to a sanitary bag with certain chemicals in place to congeal urine and reduce odor in general.  I'm blown away by this couple!  There's no mention of a tub or shower either!  I hope their landlord reads this article. 
Dec 19, 2012 6:41PM
  What these poor uneducated urbane hillbillies need is not only a chamber pot, but a slop bucket. In the old days a complete set of china included not only the eating and serving dishes, but the basins and ewers chamber pots and large two handled slop jars. The jars were emptied into the buckets and carried to the privy and dumped. To bad these folks don't have a privy, because the city storm drain is no place to dump human waste.  
Dec 19, 2012 7:21PM

It isn't legal to dispose of human waste that way.  They could make an arrangement with a local business to flush waste there--but otherwise, they should be using something that is legal. A 10-gallon bucket with a toilet seat attachment, a tight lid, a thick plastic bag, and kitty litter should be legal.  Put some kitty litter in the bottom, do your thing, and throw a cup of kitty litter on top.  Put the lid back on.


Then, you are just disposing of kitty litter, like any person with 10 cats.  You should make an arrangement to have a place to dispose of it correctly--but kitty litter or a camp toilet is what these people should be using.


Dumping a chamber pot into the gutter is just plain gross--I hope they get caught and fined.

Dec 19, 2012 6:38PM
composting or incinerating toilet. please.
Dec 19, 2012 6:24PM
You could give me a Park Avenue penthouse, all expenses paid and a million dollars a month stipend and I would not live in that hellhole of a city...I don't even want to go visit.
Dec 19, 2012 7:03PM
what happens while waiting to throw it out?  that sounds crazy.  also, what about toilet paper?  they might as well just poop in the shower and ram it down the drain.  This story is awful.
Dec 19, 2012 6:22PM
No toilet no shower this place must be a funky mess!!
Dec 19, 2012 7:18PM
Dec 19, 2012 7:24PM
...definitely a class act...unfortunately low...
Dec 19, 2012 6:19PM
The whole island ain't worth that much trouble.  Remind me not to visit there anymore.
Dec 19, 2012 8:37PM
Some please call the Health Dept on these people and the landlord!
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