I think the best place to live in Manhattan would be aboard a houseboat in the 79th street boat basin. That dream is actually not as far out of reach as some. For the first time in decades, the city is allowing new residential slip rentals, which average less than $500 a month. Moor something like this 67 foot live-aboard trawler in that spot, currently for sale on eBay for $50,000, and you end up with triple the square feet of most apartments in this area, at less than a twentieth of the price. All that, and two blocks from the subway, and four blocks from the Natural History Museum.
While my lovely partner and I disagree on few things, I would jump on this in a New York minute, and she is not nearly as keen on the idea.