House-hunting in NYC is not for the faint of heart
Thank you so much for all the good-luck messages and the response on my previous post. You da best. Read the post HERE.
I’ve now been a resident of New York City for four days, and I honestly think I’ve gotten quite a lot done already. Most of it has been practical things and errands, so I’ll spare you of those details, but in addition to exploring “campus” I met up with my future roomie, Alejandro. By future I mean, six days into the forthcoming, and by “campus” I mean the entire lower half of Manhattan.
Pizza in Midtown. Photo creds: Alejandro.
I realize that some of my relatives in Norway might need an explanation regarding this housing deal, so please know that I’m not moving in with a stranger, and that this is not a domestic partnership or a “civil union” haha. We’re two ambitious individuals who need someone to share the rent with, and we also happen to be great friends. Win win!
Alejandro and I went to Augustana together, and he’ll begin his Master’s degree in International Affairs at NYU this fall. Yay! We’ll live with two other students, whom we have yet to meet.
I’m so happy to have at least one familiar face in this giant city. He’s lived here for several months already, so it’s thanks to his relentless search for apartments that we found the place in Williamsburg.
You see, finding the right place wasn’t easy.
Overpriced brokers, snappy landlords, and dirty rat holes are words that summarize this house-hunt. Lordy, I hope those of you who live in the Midwest and in Norway know how to appreciate the convenient and affordable housing market you have.
Prime ain’t cheap
We were initially hoping to find a place in Greenwich Village, because it’s right on the NYU-campus. It’s also one of the prime neighborhoods on Manhattan, but unfortunately “prime” isn’t cheap, and our budget pretty much forced us to choose between the two scenarios:
1. Good location (aka Greenwich- or East Village) in an apartment so trashy I could blow-dry my hair in the wind coming through the cracks in the wall.
2. Less ideal location (aka Williamsburg) in an amazing, newly renovated apartment where I actually can afford to buy a blow-drier to keep inside the rather spacious bathroom.
This is what I learned:
It seems like New Yorkers generally have a high tolerance for what a Norwegian would consider as “questionable housing standards.” Here’s what I’ve learned:
– Having a laundry machine is a privilege for the rich.
– Living alone is a lifestyle only the famous 1% can afford.
– Elevators are practically unheard of, even when the apartment is six floors up.
– People don’t get overly worked up if they have to share their place with mice and cockroaches.
– You’re lucky if you can bend over the sink to brush your teeth — without having to open the door behind you to make rom for your butt.
The place we found in Williamsburg is, in other words, great! Just one subway-stop away from Manhattan, and located in one of the trendiest neighborhoods in NY. I’ll post pictures when we’re all settled in next week.
I’ve also had some time to figure out the city with my running shoes on. An early morning along the Hudson hit the spot.
Later today I’ll catch up with my dear friend and marathon-buddy, Matthew! He’s rocking it in DC, but made the trip to NY for the weekend. I’ll talk to ya when we’re done exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
And so it begins
Good afternoon/evening/night! (Pick one that works with your current timezone. I’m jet-lagged, so don’t ask me which one is better, but I meant to wish you a good-something. That’s what matters).
I’m just stopping by for a quick post to say that I arrived safely in New York City!
After 14 hours of traveling and having carried about 50 kg (110 lbs) of luggage up five flights of stairs, I took a shower, ate some pineapple and laid down in bed where I’m now writing this post.
I’m staying in Greenwich Village this first week while I’m waiting for the apartment in Williamsburg to get ready. Ah, I forgot to tell you that I — finally – have a place to live here. Yay! I’ll tell you all about it in my next post.
I’m so excited to take on this new chapter, and I’m more than happy to share the journey with you. Feel free to subscribe to the blog by hitting the button to the right.