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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Slight disappointment followed by uplifting pep talk

Harrowing as this is, I reminded myself on the train ride home from Brooklyn that I'm built out of stronger stuff and that this is actually the time of my life. That having been said, the broker was a slight disappointment. Mainly because I was going on the assumption that my experience would be identical to Karishma's. We weren't even looking for the same type of apartments. She was after a two bedroom for her and her friend. I put on my list studios and one bedroom apartments between $800 and $1000 a month and narrowed my search to a few nice neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The only neighborhoods with studios that cheap just happened to be Crown Heights and Kensington. Of the two Kensington apartments, one was unavilable tonight and the other was anti-Penelope. Not a good way to be if you want to be my living space. So we blew off Kensington altogether for this evening.

My agent was laboring under the peculiar delusion that I owned a car. I laughed and said I didn't have one. So, we took the subway from Eastern Parkway (which she informed me was the first parkway in America) over to Crown Heights and viewed two separate apartments, one a studio and the other, something she called a junior one bedroom. This translates to small as a closet with a stove. I wish I had taken pictures. The second place was much more open, yet it was a studio with no partitions between the living spaces, truly one room to live in. The kitchen in this apartment was smaller than a walk in closet, so small you couldn't open the cupboard below the sink without hitting the stove. Counter space? Fuggedaboutit!

Most people will hear me talking like this and say, "That's New York." And they're right...but this was really small for a kitchen. Really.

The first place, the landlord was reluctant to allow cats so he was charging a $500 pet fee, the other was down with the feline vibe but wouldn't pay the broker fee. As far as rent goes, the junior one bedroom was $900 and the studio was $1050.

New York apartment hunting maxim #248: "If you want space, get a 2 bedroom and a roommate."

The lesson I feel I've learned this evening is this: Not to box myself in. At first, I was all: "Room share makes more sense for now, then when I know more about the job I can move again into something more me." Then, it occurred to me that moving twice in less than a few months is absurd. So, I'm thinking broker is the way to go and they'll get me sorted out real quick. Now, I'm thinking I need to swing back the other way towards the center, towards compromise. Living alone was lovely, living alone was practically transcendent compared to the host of roommates I've had since college (including my ex). Yet, to completely rule out that possibility at this point is to, what? Box myself in. Boxing myself in leads to the feeling of claustrophobia. Leads to the feeling I had on the train as I left the broker behind at the Franklin Ave. stop. Good thing it was a long train ride. There's nothing like a long train ride to both rest your aching feet and to clear your head and get some perspective.

Breathe Tim.

So, when I get home I have an email from someone on craigslist telling me he'd love to have me come over and see his apartment.

And while talking to Karishma, the idea came up to go ahead and get a two bedroom and then try to find a roommate over craigslist or through friends. That way I can do the weeding out based on whoever calls me. With Rapid Realty, you only have to pay the deposit to get it off the market. Then, I'd have time to secure a roommate who could help me with paying broker's fee and first month's rent. It's not a bad idea. And that also just happens to be the key to not despairing anyway: realizing that no matter what the situation, you have more options than you think.

Anyhow, I leave you with yet another picture of a church up around Columbia University. This is St. John the Divine on Amsterdam and Cathedral Parkway (110th st.). I went there to meet a friend in the afternoon at a place across the street from where this picture was taken called Hungarian Pastry Shop. It was nice. I love this city. It's so vivid and cultural. And boy was it windy today. And my legs are killing me from all of this walking. Those were my final observations. Now I'm going to go sleep.

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