Good morning, Monday. How art thou? I'll get right to it.
So this week we are moving to our new apartment just down the road from our current one. We had to flee a difficult situation in our lovely home (neighbors are fun), and now we are moving on. Considering it's Veteran's Day (thank you for your service), I thought I might relay a tale from this here veteran of New York City apartment life. It's a bit of a war zone. And in case you're not living in New York or never have, here' a little bit about how that all goes:
First, you realize you have to leave a lousy apartment situation and hope the landlord finds the feeling mutual. If so, you get out of your lease, which goes to 2021 and start the search. You cry day and night for two weeks because you so love the apartment you have and can't imagine life on any other block in Brooklyn. And those floors. Those floors are EVERYTHING. But you also can't imagine living in a toxic setting any longer, so leave you must.
Second, you start the search. Your goal is to move in December, but you want to start looking at the end of October. You toy with the idea of returning to Manhattan, but then stand entirely too close to a smarmy, French realtor in the tiniest elevator of all time and are shown an apartment that breaks your heart due to its squalor and your heart sinks. The 60s between 5th and Madison are clearly not in your cards. Plus, you have time for that. And that's just fine. Because you're a Brooklyn girl at this point, and there's nowhere else to go. But what about Greenpoint? Could you do Greenpoint?
Third, you realize you could not do Greenpoint, and you freak out because you must stay in Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens. You see one apartment on the Columbia Waterfront that literally makes you laugh out loud. Though nicely renovated, the layout is insane. Two bedrooms on opposite ends of the apartment, the narrowest living room/kitchen you've ever seen, and zero closets. You ask the realtor how anyone with more than 3 tee shirts could live here, to which he replies, "people make it work." Not this person. Bye, Felicia.
Fourth, you can't stop thinking about that place in Fort Greene. The one with the pornographically beautiful kitchen, but the Murphy bed. Yes, that's right- a Murphy bed. When youmentioned a Murphy bed to your dear friend and hairdresser, she said: "what is this, Nolita in the '90s"? Point taken. And though the loftlike living space was beyond grand, there were again no closets. Like zero. Dear God. Where would your shoes go?
Fifth, you are officially in a demonically possessed state of apartment seeking obsession. Sleeping and eating are not really a thing. You have to find the perfect apartment. And then you do. Truly.
You see a listing on Streeteasy for a place in Carroll Gardens, in a three-story house that slightly resembles a mausoleum, which you like. Next door is a massive blow up Jack 'O Lantern, belonging to the "undertaka/funeral directa" who owns the building. He decorates for all the holidays. This is a beautiful sign for a wannabe Italian like yourself.
Then you go into the building, which looks super grandma but kind of amazing. You enter the apartment and poof. You are home. Just like that. Because you're a Cancer, you just know what home is the second you see it and feel it. And this was home. It's spacious, light-filled, and quirky. It has a gorgeous view of lovely yards and brownstones. There is a second bedroom which becomes- wait for it- a closet. It's no Carrie Bradshaw situation, but it works for you. Plus you are now two blocks away from your barre studio, and a block away from the old Italian coffee place you secretly fantasize about making your office, so the old neighborhood guys can protect you over espressos should anyone be late paying an invoice.You realize Carroll Gardens may in fact be more your vibe than Cobble HIll. Sure, it's only a few blocks away but it feels different. A little more real and old school. And you can smell it and taste it and feel it and somehow you just KNOW.
And now, the games really begin.
BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS APARTMENT AND PLEASE CANCEL THE OPEN HOUSE AND DON'T SHOW IT ARE YOU GONNA SHOW IT WHO ELSE IS LOOKING AT IT HOW CAN I GET IT OK LET ME GET THREE MONTHS RENT IN A CASHIER'S CHECK AND FILL OUT THE APPLICATION THAT ASKS FOR EVERY DETAIL AND FIBER OF MY FINANCIAL WELL BEING EVEN THOUGH I'M RENTING AND NOT BUYING AND WHY AREN'T WE BUYING WE'RE THROWING MONEY AWAY WE'RE TIRED OF THROWING MONEY AWAY FUCK THIS OH WELL BUT THAT APARTMENT IS GREAT YOU GOTTA GET IT RUN TO THE BANK AND FILL OUT THE APPS AND HON SEND THAT DIGITAL TAX RETURN FROM 2016 PLEASE WOULD YOU? ALL INFO IN WAIT WAIT WAIT CREDIT CHECK EVERYTHING BLAH BLAH BLAH WHY IS IT STILL ON STREETEASY DID WE GET IT DID WE GET IT? WE GOT IT WE GOT IT RUN TO THE STARBUCKS ON MONTAGUE STREET AND SIGN THE LEASE WHILE YOUR DOG SITS OUTSIDE AND SHIVERS BECAUSE THEY WON'T LET HIM IN AND YOU SIT WITH HIM SHIVERING AND SIGN PAPERWORK AS THE SUN SETS AND HOLY SHIT THIS WAS A DAY HOW DID WE PULL THIS OFF AND YES WE ARE PAYING DOUBLE RENT TO MAKE THE PAIN GO AWAY BUT NOW WE CAN MOVE IN GRADUALLY IN NOVEMBER...
And so it goes. One whole week of looking and a whole two week to prepare. Giddy the heck up.
Move in day is Thursday and I can't wait to decorate but need to slow my roll because I can't have everything at the same time and that irks me. But what I can have is some breathing space and peace and quiet and happiness. And then you can all come over for dinner. The seating is going to be so good. I just thought you might enjoy a little glimpse into how New Yorkers have to deal with stuff. Lest you think it's all gallery openings and bullshit. It's not. It's bullshit, alright. Just not of the kind you'd suspect. Part of me wants to quit what I'm doing and go back to law school and fight for renter's rights. It's all so gnarly, but somehow we survive and eventually thrive because we love this big, dumb town.
Cause that's what's up this New York story kind of a Monday in the 212. Yours, in veterans and security deposits. XO