old_hornet (old_hornet) wrote,

MWFAD #1 Apartment hunting

I arrived here in the big city on August 2nd, 2006.  I had been here a few times before, usually staying either close to the office or with others from the team so I didn't really have to know how to get around.  For once, I was more of a follower.  But when I got here in August, things were different.  I was on my own.  Usually when I end up in a new town, I am pretty adapt at learning my environs, noting landmarks and street names.  Here, you get around underground.  No landmarks to peak of, and for some reason, when mumbled, all subway stations sound the same.

So, my first adventure was going to the wrong hotel.  Well actually, I was at the right chain, just the wrong one.  Of course, I had taken a fifty dollar cab ride to the first one.  The second ride cost me forty dollars out of my own pocket.  I couldn't see charging the company because I was an idiot.  It just didn't seem right for the first day on the job.

After the first week at the very expensive room with no view that was in an area that got me dizzy just looking around, my helpful travel agent told me about a brand new hotel in Brooklyn.  The rate was half of what I was paying, so, being a responsible employee, I moved from the Financial District to Brooklyn.  I arrived at the HIE (code for Holiday Inn Express) on the 10th.  It had opened the day before and there were still balloons in the lobby.  I ended up there for three months and became very good friends with all of the staff.  The only problem was my boss was not thrilled with my living in a hotel for twenty-eight days a month.  I was encouraged to find an apartment as soon as I could.

Apartments in New York are different that apartments in Chicago.  For example, a 700 square foot one bedroom, with a living room, eat in kitchen, A/C and washer/dryer in the unit cost $689 at the time.  The complex had a gym, pool, sauna, and was in excellent condition.

Here is just some of what I found here:

A garden apartment ($1,700) meant that it was below street leel, had moss growing on the walls (I think this was the garden), and had no windows so you had to prop open the back door to get any ventilation.  A musician, his girlfriend, and her three kids had lived there.

Needs a little work meant that the land lady was in the middle of a nasty, protracted divorce, she and her husband had bought this one bedroom five floor walk up as a fixer upper five years ago and just never got around to it.  If I was willing to do the work, she was willing to buy the paint.  Did I mention that at one point in its life, this was a beautiful living space with transoms over the doors and plaster and lathe walls?  How did I know they were plaster and lathe?  Because there were half a dozen places where the plaster was long missing and I could see the original lathe work.  When I got there to look at the apartment, there were over a hundred people waiting to see it in front of me.  The occupancy rate in downtown Brooklyn was somewhere around 99.3%

Tomorrow, I'm your Uncle?
Tags: apartment hunting, new york city

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