After 6 months of relying on walking and subways to navigate the city, jaywalking could be my new favorite thing. I love not feeling compelled to wait for cars that aren’t there. Like the law-abiding citizen that I am, I started out waiting my turn at every intersection. I was in no rush, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I don’t know if it was the peer pressure or the freezing cold, but now I have to get to the other side of the street immediately. All these other people aren’t about to leave me behind. And don’t even get me started on people walking too slowly or stopping in the middle of pedestrian traffic.
As basically a native New Yorker now, it’s only fitting that I share some of my experience here to help prepare others.
Renting an apartment in NYC is like nothing else I’ve ever seen, it’s a zoo. There are realtors and their exorbitant fees — we’re talking 10-15% of an annual lease for spending an afternoon unlocking the doors to a few apartments where you don’t even have to walk through the door to survey the entire space. Mine was late to our appointment, was conducting other (more lucrative, as he explained in obviously differing terms) business the entire time we toured apartments, and then spent maybe 15 minutes giving me the application and instructions. Anyone else thinking they’re in the wrong line of work about now?
Once you’ve found the place, there’s no leasing office or staff to help or answer questions about your move unless you’re lifestyles of the rich and famous-ing it. There’s one superintendent, or in my case when I moved in, one fill-in super who was literally put out that I would ask for my key the same day I signed the lease and then had a text war with me over my misunderstanding of the way locks work here. In case you’re wondering, you’re required to provide and install your own deadbolt. The place just comes with a baby lock that doesn’t look like it’d hold up to a puppy much less a burglar.
Almost no apartments have laundry in the unit, so laundry is not a thing I do anymore. I bought supplies with the intention of using the (not-free) laundry room in the basement of the building next door. Instead, I now drop my laundry off at the laundromat two doors down on my way to work in the morning and pick it up on my way back that night. It’s like magic. I never thought I’d do this, but the lady down the street washes and folds it while I’m at work, and I don’t have to spend 2-3 hours sitting in a room watching my clothes spin in a machine. Worth every penny.
While the living arrangements may be a shock to the system, especially for someone who spent most of her life in Texas with all the square footage and all the parking lots, I liken it to choosing a hotel when you’re vacationing somewhere like Disney World (or ahem, NYC). My apartment is in an ideal location, I’m close to the subway (whether I’m heading to work or to Broadway), and the space is completely adequate for just me (as you can see from my pictures). It’s the perfect home base for me to explore NYC, I wouldn’t trade it for a thing (I wouldn’t turn down a gym in the building, though).