Down Housing Memory Lane....

Hey Glamazons! Whew...what a tumultuous past couple of weeks I've had! I promise I haven't been ignoring you guys (or friends either...sorry if I haven't called you back or forgot to make an appearance at your recent parties lol).
I was scrambling to try and find a place to live. If you don't know by now, one of the hardest things to do in NY (besides finding your dream job and a cute, straight man with money) is finding a place to live. And, even more ubiquitous to me, is finding your very own place to live....which I did! Hallelujah!
Even before I moved to NY, visions of Carrie Bradshaw's cute studio apartment were floating in my head. I just knew that once I moved to NY that I would not only find my very own place to live (just like hers in fact!) but that I would also land my dream job as a magazine editor. Well, fast forward a couple of years, and things didn't quite work out as I had planned. Not only could I not even afford my own place to live (we're talking starting rates of $1,500/month...which to me was like saying $1 million a month!) but I also ended up working in retail hell a little bit longer than I had planned (so glad I got out of that one! whew!)
As I sit and bask in the glow of my cute new studio apartment, I'd like to take a moment and just reflect on my long, hard housing journey in NY with you:
1. From the very beginning, craigslist.com has always been my friend. I found my first apartment on this site in Harlem while still in Texas. The ad posted for the apartment said that the tenant was looking to sublet her place (I remember reading it and actually having to look up the word sublet because I had no idea what that meant) while she toured with her acting company. The price was $800/month, included furniture, another roommate and a washer and dryer. I was sold! With no clue as to how it looked or felt, I moved in. Well, I spent the last of my savings to pay the first months rent and deposit (a total of $1,600) and had nothing left when I got there. My room was spacious, but the view was of a hulled out building next door. The neighborhood was sketchy once the sun went down, I was always starving and survived on my roommates vegetarian dishes and PB&J sandwiches. Then, my roommate decided she didn't want to renew the lease, so I had to find a new place to live.
2. While working in retail hell, I made a friend who said I could move into his extra bedroom at his apartment in Jersey City. So, I moved to Jersey City. I might also mention that my "bedroom" was the size of a tennis shoe box (I've seen office cubes that were bigger!) and my full size bed took up all of that room. (Side note: the girl I was subletting from gave me the bed and I was so happy! I still have it...it's one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept on.) However, the rent was super cheap, so I made do.
3. Once the lease was up there, my friend and I got a place in the city...so back to Harlem I went. By then I had gotten out of retail hell (he was still in it), was starting to make more friends and was actually able to afford something else to eat besides PB&J sandwiches! Things were looking up...until I got an eviction notice. Unknown to me, my roommate was not making enough money to pay the rent. We had to go to housing court...it was a big 'ole mess!
4. Back to craigslist I went and then found a place in Brooklyn. This was great because most of my newly made friends lived there and I'd be able to see them more. Plus, I had heard that the summers in BK were amazing and I couldn't wait to find out more for myself. The apartment had 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms...so I had 3 roommates and stole one of the bathrooms for myself (lol). Everything was cool until one of the roommates decided to move in their significant other without asking...and the significant other was not exactly a nice person. Soon my apartment began to feel more like a college dorm and I was logging in some long hours at my great new magazine job. The last thing I wanted to do was to come home to all of those people, so time to leave again!
5. This time, I hooked up with two other friends determined to find a place. Unfortunately, things didn't work out at the last minute and I had to be out of my old place. Panic! Thank goodness that I have a big mouth and told everyone I could about my housing situation ("Um, I'm about to be homeless...does anyone need a roommate or know of any place?!" was my plea.)
Luckily it paid off because I found an affordable place uptown through a former co-worker...with NO roommates! I immediately did a jig...and, fast forward to now, that's where I am.
Living with me, myself and I. It's such a great feeling! I relish every second of it. What I don't relish is all those boxes around me that still need to be unpacked...sigh. But, here I am! A single gal living in the city in her very own apartment! Oh, what a dream come true! I'm one more step closer to getting to Carrie Bradshaw status! Now if only I could get a book deal and find my Mr. Big =)


Alysha Kristine said...

I am glad you found an amazing place to stay and I can't wait to come visit u! I know your are sooo happy to have your own space in the big city! Love ya...xoxo =)

Internalist said...

WOW and I thought my experience was unique...silly me! A jersey girl and new resident to Manhattan, I will be moving for the 7th time in 3 years. So I completely understand. I move Monday and my hope...prayer...plea is to stay at this place until I finish my grad program in 2011, lol. Congrats to you!

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