Highest Rents in NYC? No Way -- San Jose

Anyone who's ever gone hunting for an affordable apartment in New York City knows it's about as fun as dental work -- without the anesthesia. So it may come as some surprise that the New York metropolitan area rents are not the highest in the U.S. New York didn't even make the top five, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey, released last week. No. 1 on the list is the San Jose, Calif. area, with a gross median rent of $1,414 per month; San Francisco was second and Washington, D.C., came in third. For the New York area, which includes northern New Jersey and Long Island, the median gross rent was $1,125 per month; for New York City on its own, it was $1,086. The survey, however, didn't specify whether that money got one a large closet, a small studio or an extremely unpromising one-bedroom.