Beyond the good-will, post-Sandy PR from new media companies like Airbnb were the real, on-the-ground realities of price-gouging and odd cancellations that are the persisten reality of any rental marketplace.
I was certainly familiar with the site, but had never used it. (I like hotels. I like lobbies, bathrobes, and overpriced Diet Cokes.) Because Manhattan was cut off from the rest of the city and half of it was without power, my options were limited as far as neighborhoods were concerned. And I needed an entire apartment for a week (I have two little kids, so sharing space with other people just seemed too weird). But as I started looking, I was enthused: There were several properties that appeared perfect for us.
Sadly, I wound up renting none of them. Not because I didn’t want to, but because none of them actually existed as advertised.