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Rent a Poodle

Or a projector, or a parking space.

Illustrations by Tim Lahan  
  • A Temporary Best Friend:

  • Social Tees Animal Rescue

    325 E. 5th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-614-9653;

    Since 1991, this nonprofit has been rescuing animals from kill shelters (cats, dogs, exotics) and putting them up for adoption. Take one of the pups for a walk around the neighborhood—free of charge—for either 20 minutes or an entire afternoon. (For longer stints, there’s a foster-parent application process.) In the warmer months, those in less of a hurry can opt for a jaunt with Speedbump, the resident tortoise.

  • A Moto Guzzi B7:

  • Jupiter’s Motorcycle Rentals

    119 8th St., nr. Second Ave., Ste. 100, Gowanus; 718-788-2585

    The first Moto-share program in the country—serious bikers pay for monthly access to a whole fleet—also offers daily rentals (from $99 per weekday, $120 on weekends) for those who want to take a quick zip out to Brighton Beach or the Catskills. This April, four 24-hour pickup stations, à la Zipcar, are scheduled to launch in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Jersey City, and East Hampton.

  • A Projector and Screen:

  • Rooftop Films

    232 Third St., nr. 3rd Ave., Suite E-103, Gowanus; 347-725-3874

    From May through August, this nonprofit is busy with its internationally renowned outdoor film festival. But they’ll still find time to rent you equipment year-round (an eight-foot-wide tripod screen and digital projector for $120, an additional $75 for the portable PA system) suitable for an in-home (or on-your-own-rooftop) theater experience. Prices are negotiable; struggling artists will likely get a discount.

  • A Fully Furnished Apartment:

  • Cort Furniture

    140 E. 45th St., nr. Third Ave., fifth fl.; 212-867-2800

    Cort can furnish rooms, apartments, and entire offices—fast. (Think speedy setups for divorcés.) Browse the new, loftlike midtown showroom for mid-century sofas, 1960s modular chairs, and lounge-y, start-up-friendly office furniture. The recent-grad-friendly one-bedroom option—a small apartment’s worth of furniture—goes for $230 per month for a year.

  • Local Art:

  • Artsicle

    Size-based pricing ($25 a month to rent a small work, $65 for a large) caters to commitment-phobes who have grown tired of that pesky blank space over the couch. Of the 3,500 artists featured in this digital catalog, hundreds are based in New York—including Lego sculptor Nathan Sawaya, abstract painter Vince Pomilio, and mixed-media artist Jenevieve Reid, whose renderings of Brooklyn water towers are on heavy rotation. Deliveries come in two weeks, with nails, wire, and hanging instructions included.

  • A Parking Space:

  • ParkAtMyHouse

    Back in 2011, New York became the first Stateside outpost for this Craigslist of parking, which allows locals to rent their private parking spaces to out-of-town visitors and garage-weary commuters. The Britain-based start-up now has a number of strongholds in the city, including JFK-convenient Rosedale (averaging $16 a day) and Barclays Center–adjacent Prospect Heights ($20 a day), as well as commuter-friendly Hoboken ($22 a day).

  • A Quarter-Size Violin:

  • Virtuoso Resources

    261 W. 93rd St., nr. Broadway; 917-365-7808

    Today your child wants to pick up a violin. But before you invest in one on a whim, you can test the waters thanks to owner Harold Hagopian, who offers minimum three-month rentals from $25 a month for violins and $60 for cellos. The Juilliard-trained violinist is known for pairing small hands (patrons as young as 4, although teens pass through too) with just the right size instrument—and for doling out free cello-shaped chocolates.

From the 2014 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine