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12 Pages

Landlords and Tenants: Who Owns Information, Who Pays for It, and How?

WithAnita Lowry

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest, but I’ve spent most of my adult life in New York City, so the central metaphor of my title-landlords and tenants-carries some rather conflicting connotations for me. When I was growing up, renting was just something that you did until you could afford to buy; but now in New York, and especially in Manhattan, I live in a city of renters-perhaps the last place in the country impervious to the American dream of owning a house with a two-car garage and the vehicles to go in it. In New York we tenants live in uneasy symbiosis with the landlords who own the roofs over our heads and determine anew each year the prices we will pay for them.