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NYC Apartment Hunting: Volume 1

June 20, 2010

So here I am. 23, recipient of an MA in Arts Journalism, great clips, freelancing gigs lined up, ready to take on the world. So what do I do next? Decide to move to NYC. (Naturally.)

The past two days, I have been looking in NYC for places to live, which is a task that is actually more daunting than I thought it would be. Although there’s plenty of housing available and people are great about making appointments, that doesn’t mean that finding a place is easy. Even if you’re me and pretty easy to please. Anyway, I’m currently headed back to Syracuse on the handy dandy Megabus and I have yet to land a place to call my own when my Syracuse lease ends June 30th. (ahh!) But not for lack of trying. So to vent/gather my thoughts, I’m going to share them with you in an enumerated list, which you can find after the jump.

1. Living in NYC is expensive.

I know that’s common knowledge, but seriously!* I’ve learned that people typically require an application, a fee to cover a credit check, they want both first and last month’s rent, and security. Up front. Which is understandable and just the way it is, but it’s a little crazy. OH! and on top of that, a lot of places want proof of income/employment. Don’t they know that you have to have a place to live before you have employment?! Ugh.

*Okay, I knew most of all of that before I began the apartment hunt.

2. Brooklyn is confusing. And kind of inconvenient. 

Being a young, culturally-aware female, I know that Brooklyn is kind of the place to be if you’re young and culturally-aware. And there are parts of Brooklyn that are awesome. The majority of my housing search has been in the BK, and let me tell you….I haven’t been impressed. Not only is it really hard to get from place to place in Brooklyn, it’s also not very homey. Not that I expect to live in the greatest place ever right when I first move, but I would prefer that I have a place that I find aesthetically pleasing. Or at least has an awesome bar across from it. (If my favorite place doesn’t pan out –see numbers 3 and 4–I might take a place based on its proximity to this bar.)

3. Sometimes what you think you want, isn’t what you want. 

So after running all over Brooklyn, where I thought I wanted to live, and spending the majority of time very confused and in transit, I remembered that I once upon a time had friends who lived in Astoria (Queens) and that I liked the area. So I ran to the nearest place with Internet access (a Burger King) and started Craigslisting places in Astoria. And lo and behold I found a well-written ad (bonus points!) for a place that was reasonably priced and the people were able to meet me the day of. So I got on the subway, rode it for an hour from BK to Queens (that’s another issue–why in the world is there not a subway that connects Brooklyn & Queens?! I know the G supposedly does, but it’s not good enough) and made it to this amazing apartment in Astoria. I want to live there sooooo badly. Why I didn’t just write a check? See No. 4.

4. The roommates have to say yes to you.

Even when you think you’ve found the perfect place (like the one I found in Astoria) that doesn’t necessarily mean the perfect place has found you. See, I’m not looking for a vacant apartment, because I can’t afford it, so I’m looking for available rooms in apartments that already have occupants. So now I’ve seen this place, met the potential roommates, and have to wait for them to let me know if I can move in. Fingers crossed! (And you should cross yours’ too. This place is seriously incredible.)

5. Apartment Hunting makes you sleepy. 

I am all kinds of exhausted.

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