Looking for an apartment in New York is the most time consuming, frustrating, torturous, nightmare of an experience from hell. First there’s the countless hours of browsing Craigslist, Naked Apartments, Pad Mapper, and every realtor’s website ever. Trying to sift through all the scams, figuring out which apartments are just “bait and switch” listings (yep, that’s a thing), and trying to guess from syntax clues which potential roommates are crazies. Then there’s emailing to set up appointments and trying to write an email in a way that doesn’t make you sound like a crazy.
After that comes the very exciting part of running all over the city looking at apartments that are the size of a small LA closet, have no windows, are actually just a platform built over someone else’s living room, have one shared bathroom for the entire floor of the building (seriously), and have rents higher than the average mortgage on a three bedroom house in any other city. After doing this for weeks and weeks, you decide that it’s probably better to never leave your current apartment, even if you have to stop eating to afford the newly raised rent. At least you’ll be skinny, right?
I’ve been on the apartment hunt since mid January. And this Friday, just like many others before it, I set out to look at some more apartments. But this time things went a little differently than before, I actually found 3 apartments that I liked all within my price range!
Apartment 1: Too Dingy
The first stop took me across the bridge to Williamsburg. Located in a fun and trendy neighborhood full of great bars and restaurants, tons of vintage shops, and soooo many cute boys, this place was already at the top of my list before I even got there. The first “Nope” was the climb up to the sixth floor of a walk up building that smelled like mold and old people, but it wasn’t a dealbreaker. Then I met the roommates who were a really great couple in their mid twenties. I instantly liked them and decided that I wanted to live with them, even if living with couples is generally a bad idea. The third bedroom in the apartment was also vacant, so that left the possibility of a crazy moving in which wasn’t exactly great. The building had an amazing rooftop terrace with a view of the Manhattan skyline. The room itself was ok, pretty small but not unlivable, with a window that looked on to another building. Then I walked into the bathroom and instantly “Noppppped” out of there. For visual purposes, take a look at an only slightly exaggerated image of what the bathroom looked like below. There was dust in the sink! The one place where water runs through and is practically impossible to get dusty was covered in a thick layer of dust!
Apartment 2: Too Pristine
Apartment number two was all the way up on the Upper East Side. Walking up to it on the clean streets lined with chain retail stores and designer boutiques, I knew this wasn’t exactly the type of neighborhood I wanted to live in. But then I walked into the apartment. This apartment was like nothing I had ever seen before in NYC. It was beautiful. A three bedroom duplex with a huge living room, decent sized rooms, and a bathroom in each bedroom! My. Own. Bathroom. I was in love. The roommates were nice enough girls, though a little bit older in their early 30s. I was beginning to reconsider my commitment to being “more of a downtown person”. What the heck did I know anyway, I’d only been here a year! Maybe I could be an “uptown girl”. But the girl who would live in an apartment like this just wasn’t me. She’s the girl that’s getting ready in the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada that’s not Anne Hathaway, the girl that’s polished and put together, the girl that grabs her designer bag and coffee from the corner Starbucks as she hops into a cab to her high power, glamorous job. This girl could be me in a few years, but it just isn’t me now. Again for visual purposes, see a slightly exaggerated image of what the apartment looked like below.
Before I had even reached apartment 3, I had heard back from both places saying that they wanted me to move in. So here I was, trying to decide if I wanted to live the Girls life or the Sex And The City one. On one hand I could live in a crappy apartment in a fun, young neighborhood full of people that were trying to figure out their lives, or I could live in a beautiful apartment in a more polished, grown up neighborhood with people who seemed to have things figured out already. Decisions, decisions….
Apartment 3: Just Right
As soon as I walked in I knew this was home. It took me about 30 seconds to tell the girl I’ll take it.
Located in the best neighborhood in the city (in my slightly biased opinion), the East Village, only a few blocks away from my current place, this apartment was exactly what I was looking for in a New York apartment. It’s in an old, red brick building (is there a proper name for those?), a walk up but only on the 2nd floor, has an exposed brick wall, and an old (none functioning) fire place in the bedroom. There’s a fire escape right outside my window, which looks out to Tompkins Square Park across the street and the Empire State Building in the distance. Sure, I’ll be giving up some of the comforts of my current place, like a doorman, a gym, laundry, and a roof deck. But who needs all those things when you have a beautiful place in the prefect location right? (I may come to regret this)
So after months and months of searching, I’ve finally found the perfect place! I’m so excited to move, and even more excited to decorate! Everybody celebrate!