Friday, April 1, 2011

A Is For...

As a means to make myself write more, I've decided to participate in the A To Z Blogging Challenge. I will try to write 26 blog posts in the month of April, each starting with a letter of the alphabet. Oh, and I guess those letters are supposed to be in order.

So A Is For...

"Are You Kidding Me With This?!"

Now it is a well known fact amongst New Yorkers that one of the most difficult undertakings is finding an apartment that is affordable, liveable, convenient, and in a desireable neighborhood. Costs of a one room studio (like the one inhabitated by yours truly) are nigh astronomical, especially in a chic neighborhood like the West Village (my dream -- as of yet unrealized -- is to live there in a brownstone with exposed brick).

Listings are often posted 15 days before the desired move-in date. If you are looking to move April 1st, there is no point in beginning your search before mid-February, and even then you aren't likely to find something until beginning of March. In my case I had to move in 2 weeks early or risk losing the place. You need to have your paperwork organized and ready to turn in the moment your mind is made up -- and you better make up that mind of yours right quick. You have to make 40 times the monthly rent or have a guarantor who makes 80 times (at least!) or many places will not even consider you. And did I mention that there were some places I looked at that were 6th floor walk-ups? 6th floor! I didn't even know those existed!
As this was my 3rd New York city move, I was a bit more prepared this time around, and when all was said and done it was beyond stressful, but survivable. Actually not nearly as bad as it could have been. (See: my move last year). However, despite my explaining the process over and over again to my parents, they still do not seem to grasp the concept of why moving in New York is so difficult. Why are brokers entitled to first month's rent (at least!) as their fee? Why do you need a broker in the first place? And what do you mean your couch won't fit??

I've tried explaining the process over and over again and why I am so lucky to have found the place that I did, in the building that I did (on the 2nd floor!), despite the fact that it is a 1 room studio so far east I'm almost in the river, I'm shelling out more than half my monthly paycheck to live there, and I can only fit my bed, a bookshelf and an armchair. I don't have a dishwasher, but hey, I'm a New Yorker. I don't cook. My father joked that I could use a napkin for an area rug, but I'm quite comfortable! It's the perfect size for a 20-something and her cat. And I'm so excited that this is my first place alone there is a lot I'm willing to overlook. It's very Carrie Bradshaw. Plus feline. And no sweaters in the stove.

In order to help ease my parents' minds I sent them this link:

I am hoping this will put things in perspective for them and they will be happy about my current living arrangement. No, Dad, I don't have a doorman, but yes I have a deadbolt and two chain locks on my door. I'm also never going to tell them that a previous tenant in my building was evicted for prostitution. There are some things better left unsaid. But hey, I have a full bath and 3 closets. 3! Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

This woman's apartment is where the title of this entry stems from. Color me jaw-droppingly impressed. Because there is a lot I am willing to do to live in New York and I'm constantly in awe of the lengths people go, but I don't think I could ever survive like this with my sanity in tact. If I lived in that apartment, this would be me in short order:
Only cuter of course.


MonkeyLOLogist said...

I think it's interesting how people's concept of "spacious" changes. Not that even you would describe your current abode as spacious, but a luxury of space to you as a New Yorker is still little better than a closet to other people.

Sometimes I watch House Hunters on HGTV (yea yea I'm a dork), and on one episode a couple in Texas is looking at one giant house after another that costs @200k, and the wife walks into the master bedroom and says with her southern drawl, "I don't think this is enough room for all of our things..." Then on another episode a couple is looking for an apartment in San Francisco and they exclaim in joy at all the space available in a one bedroom apartment going for $500k.

Joanne said...

Good luck with your new place. I lived there for 31 years and I know very well how hard it is to move!