I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts lately. For the past 2 months, Sarah and I have been completely consumed with “apartment hunting”. We have also been shopping,
sipping chugging prosecco, and watching an unhealthy amount of bravo — but mostly apartment hunting.
What’s so hard about finding an apartment in Manhattan, you might ask? Well, a lot of things. To put it lightly, we have champagne taste and a beer budget. Our thriftiness gets us far when searching for designer deals but once we leave the doors of TJMaxx, our luck isn’t so hot. In some cities, our budget would get us a luxury building, walk-in closets, marble bathrooms, and possibly a butler named Niles. In Manhattan, it gets us a space smaller than my freshman dorm room and a neighbor on the “Most Wanted” list.
Viewing an apartment in Manhattan is a lot like a first date. It goes a little something like this:
Getting ready for date/cab ride to prospective apartment: You’re feeling excited and hopeful about the possibilities that lie ahead. Maybe you will have fun and interesting conversation on your date. Maybe this apartment will be rent-controlled, glamorous, and have no history of bed bugs! Anything is possible.
You arrive to your date/apartment: Confusion strikes. Wasn’t your date supposed to be at a swanky Italian restaurant? This is The Olive Garden. And this apartment certainly does not look like the Carrie Bradshaw brownstone featured in the craigslist ad. You start to grow skeptical, but try to remain positive. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Right? WRONG.
The date has begun/you enter the apartment: Your date just ordered a Dr. Pepper and says he doesn’t drink, anymore. Also, you quickly learn he’s unemployed and “taking some time off to figure things out”. That’s weird, because you’re pretty sure when you met he mentioned working on Wall Street. As for the apartment, you are winded from walking up 4 flights of stairs and overwhelmed by the distinct smell of curry. You enter the gypsy den, raise an eyebrow to the broker and he explains that the photos on craigslist were of ”another unit in the building”. You are not amused.
Mid-meal/checking out the apartment: Your date is rambling on about a Star Trek Convention he attended while you politely nod your head and wonder what time Lohemanns closes tonight. He notices that you look bored and you notice that he has a lazy eye. Your glass of cabernet tastes like feet but you chug it and order another to get through the next hour. In the apartment the broker explains that you can do so much with this space. He insists that a queen size bed can fit into a bedroom smaller than a mini-cooper. You skeptically glance at him, knowing he is lying, smile and say “oh absolutely!”
He notices that you look bored and you notice that he has a lazy eye.
Check arrives/exiting the apartment: 3 glasses of wine and 2 Dr. Pepper’s later, dinner is over. The bill arrives and your date doesn’t even flinch. You split the bill and silently consider joining a convent (they get their meals paid for, right?). Your date tells you he had a great time and hopes to see you again soon. You look him square in the eye (not the lazy one) and say you two will chat soon. Did you say soon? Because you meant never. Meanwhile at the apartment, the broker is telling you about the 15% Broker’s Fee and how this place is such a steal. While exiting the building you wonder if your hair has absorbed the curry smell. The broker says to call him tomorrow if you would like to apply, and you tell him, sure, let’s chat soon. Did you say soon? Because you meant never.
Watch as I prune and pretend to look interested.
It is at this exact moment where you start to wonder where you went wrong. You make a mental note to blame your mother, ask for a raise, and start drinking less.
I lost count of the number of apartments we viewed, but today — in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, we submitted an application for an adorable apartment in the Upper East Side. Has our luck turned around? Answer coming soon. In the meantime, let’s all stay dry and avoid island hair.