On the Move Again

 

Last year when we were searching for apartments in New York, we looked at 35 apartments in the swift span of two days. After a few hours of running from one building to another, it felt like looking through a kaleidoscope, the unique details of each apartment melding into the next, with just a semblance of focus on one or two units. We were living in San Francisco at the time, and had only one weekend to look.


We looked at units on the Upper East Side, and found one on 72nd Street that was spacious with a nice kitchen and mediocre closet space. Having a nice kitchen was a priority and continues to be a priority today. I remember telling my coworker, Angela, at the time about the apartment on 72nd, and I received the most interesting response from her. She tilted her nose in the air and informed me stiffly, "Not high enough."


I still chuckle about what she said. She told me she had an apartment on 86th Street, but I didn't know anything more about that apartment except that it was on a higher street, which it isn't necessarily desirable for us.

 

Ultimately we chose a 900 sq. ft. unit in mid-town in a high-rise building that was convenient to work, spacious by Manhattan standards, and had a fresh coat of paint. The last advantage also worked against us as it served as a disguise to a significant flaw of the apartment that would ultimately lead us to look for a new home again this year.  After a few minutes of walking around the unit, checking the closets and looking into the cabinets, my husband detected the second hand smoke. The real estate broker and the leasing agent immediately suggested that he might be confusing the smell of fresh paint with cigarette smoke. The leasing agent further reassured him that the apartment's lease had very strict language against second hand smoke.


As you may know from the recent post, the strict language didn't help us one iota when we moved into the apartment. In fact, the building maintenance manager told us, "off the record," of course, that it was more likely that we would get evicted before he does. Why is that? (1) He is a senior citizen, (2) he's been living in the apartment for at least five years, (3) his apartment is rent-controlled. It has an anti-discrimination case written all over it.


Alternative solutions were also exhausted. The apartments have been sealed to the best of their ability since August of last year. We asked if we could relocate to another unit, or if the other guy could be moved. The answer in August was no. This year with three months left on our lease, the answer moderated to yes, but with limited options. There were no units on the market with our apartment's layout, so we could move to another unit and downsize to 650 sq. ft from the current 900 sq. ft. and pay the same price we're currently paying, for a one bedroom that is almost one-third less space! Also, there are no guarantees that we would not encounter the same second hand smoke problems in the new unit or further in the future, if a new tenant moves into a neighboring unit. Additionally, we would incur the entire expense of moving. Doesn't it feel like they want us to move out?


So we looked for a new home last week. We found one on the Upper East Side that was spacious with an interesting kitchen layout. Nice right? But upon closer look at the picture above, you can see that the refrigerator buts up against the sink, also there is no additional cabinet space. Oh and there's also no air conditioning in the unit either. Have you ever suffered through a muggy summer on the East Coast? It had just come on the market that Thursday, and a few hours later before we could even blink.


That last apartment wasn't something that we seriously considered for the shortcomings noted but it definitely taught us that we needed to make decisions faster. We did finally make an offer on an apartment that came on the market last Friday. It has a nice kitchen, full amenities and most importantly a washer and dryer (!!!) in the unit, which is very rare in Manhattan. The lobby looks like a hotel, and actually living in Manhattan feels a lot like living in a hotel. We submitted the application very early Saturday morning, thinking that we should at least sleep on it, after all the application fee required a significant deposit that we would lose if we changed our mind. Since the leasing office was closed over the weekend, we weren't informed until Tuesday morning that there was one application ahead of us. Ugh! Why didn't they tell us on Monday that someone was ahead of us? 


At that point we decided to pound the pavement again, and submitted an application on an apartment that has a nice kitchen, good closet space and a large living room. We did get the apartment, and we're moving on Thursday. I hope that this will be a place that we will love and eventually call home. We didn't enter into our current apartment thinking that we would move again the next year, so hopefully we do not have a repeat of the last year's events. 


I want to express my warmest gratitude for all of the support, prayers and well wishes left on the last post. It provided a good push for us to move forward and I'm convinced it gave good karma in finding the new apartment.

67 comments:

nancy at goodfoodmatters said...

Good for you, Christine. I hope that your move goes smoothly, and wish you happiness in your new home.

La Table De Nana said...

Spring Forward:) We just changed our clocks..(J did:) )..and I am off to bed..just looked to see what is new..and it's you w/ a new apartment.What good news.
I wish you happiness..1000 sq ft in NY sounds huge:)

I hope you will host an open house for us to cyberview:) Just glimpses:)

Like you do so well..That was so quick from the time of deciding and now Thursday..

Good luck and Bon Courage.

Unplanned Cooking said...

Congrats on the new place! I remember apartment hunting in NYC. It was a nightmare.

Unplanned Cooking said...

Congrats on the new place! I remember apartment hunting in NYC. It was a nightmare.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Congratulations!! I hope this home gives you the space to bring your fabulous dishes to life. NYC living...a headache sometimes, but still fabulous. Still on the UES?

Trissa said...

This is fantastic news! Can't wait to see what dishes you come up with in your new place.

sophia said...

Wow, I can imagine that looking for an apt in NY is even more haggling than in LA! Congrats! I'm so glad you found a great place!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

My goodness I'm exhausted just reading your post! Good luck Thursday and I will pray that it does become a home!

Pierce said...

Congrats! The photos are great and thanks for sharing them!

Sook said...

Congratulations, Christine! The apartment looks great!

Kim said...

I had no idea that apartment hunting in NYC was so exhausting. I hope your new home is everything you want it to be. Best of luck with the move:D

Kathleen said...

Christine, I hope your move goes well! Congats on getting the new place.

Cucinista said...

So glad you finally found a place! Having just done this myself and experience the complete nightmare that is apartment renting in NYC, I have total sympathy for you. Well done and good luck settling in.

Janice said...

What an adventure you've had finding an apartment. Congratulations on your new home and hope that it will be your home for quite a while. Hope the move goes smoothly on Thursday.

A Canadian Foodie said...

Good for you! Scary, though to have that kind of pressure... but, living in San Fran... and now New York - has certainly given you a world of life experience as both cities are incredibly different. I love them both - I think San Fran is more at home for me... yet NYC is a place that I cannot get enough of... pretty sure I wouldn't want to live there, though. But for a young single professional - perfect!
Thanks for the tour... and yes, what was the rent?:)

Angie's Recipes said...

oh...that high! I would probably have a heart attack to look down from the window....other than that, the apartment looks very bright and neat. Do you apply "feng shui" into it when you looked for the apartment?

HippieMom said...

What an adventure!! Ouf!(@;-)
I am glad you found a place ☺ Hope you enjoy your new home.
x♥x♥.

Simply Life said...

Oh I'm so happy you found a place and can't wait to see pictures of it when you're settled in and calling it home!

lostpastremembered said...

Christine: So happy that you found a place. I have been there before. I found my place because it was mis-listed. Such serendipity... and I found it by accident because I made the same search mistake! I hope you love your new apartment and it loves you back with a great kitchen to cook in. May the only smoke you smell come from your own stovetop-smoking!

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Good Luck for a smooth transition! I hope you enjoy your new house!

Mum in Bloom said...

I don't miss apartment shopping & this brings back memories or when we lived in Toronto.. only we found more bugs in the less desirable places - ew! Can't wait to read about your first cooking adventure in your new kitchen.

kat said...

I'm glad you found a place. Apartment hunting is so hard. I know how hard the time constraints can be. When we moved from SF to Mpls we had 3 days to buy a house!

Joanne said...

Good luck with everything chica! Trying to find housing in this city is rough. Keep us posted!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I'm so relieved and happy for you! I hope all goes well with your move!

Penny said...

Way to go Christine. I hope you will show is pictures of your new place. Good luck with the move.

ChefDruck said...

Christine,
Manhattan is a crazy place, but I know that you will find the right place to call home. It sounds as though you are both remaining level headed and refusing to be pressured into anything you don't want. I remember when we found our last place in the city with a washer dryer... it changed our lives to not have to go down to the yucky basement to do laundry!

Can't wait to see pics.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Good luck with your move, Christine. I know how unsettling it is to pack up, and re-establish in a new place, but I'll bet you will make this new place feel like home very quickly!

5 Star Foodie said...

So glad that you found a new apartment, good luck with the move!

Emily said...

Sounds like you've had a big headache with apartments, but I'm glad you have found one that meets your specifications and doesn't smell like smoke! Best wishes for the move!

The Chef In My Head said...

Dear Christine, Congrats on your new home!!! Such a different world than here. Growing up, I always wanted to live in New York. Alas I am still here in Texas and now all grown up. Let me know anytime you want to swap homes for the weekend! ~LeslieMichele

lululu said...

it reminds me of my apartment hunting in hk. i wasnt as aggressive as you were though. 35 apartments in 2 days? you are crazy! but i know it could be extremely painful. my experience told me that having a professional and smart agent to work with you is super crucial.
glad that u've found what you want. now, hope the moving goes well too!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a nightmare! I can't even imagine what it must be like to find an apartment in Manhattan.

I hope your new apartment turns out to be the perfect place and that you will be second-hand smoke free for good!

Bellini Valli said...

Finding that perfect place in the city...any city..is always a challenge. But I know you will find your dream home around the corner.

Barbara said...

So pleased you found an apartment you will be happy with, Christine! Will be anxious to hear how your move goes...smoothly, I hope. And also hoping there will be no hidden surprises, but knowing Manhattan, it would not surprise me.
My daughter will find out on Tuesday whether she gets the gallery location she wants. Someone else is looking at it....I get so sick of hearing that!

Liren - Kitchen Worthy said...

Congrats and good luck! You totally scored a great space, and the location looks terrific, too! Makes me want to move back home!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Congrats Christine - I am SOOOO pleased for you guys!

Trix said...

I'm glad that the long search is over! I hope that your new pad is awesome, and homey, and quiet, and smells great!

A Year on the Grill said...

too funny about your snooty (maybe) friend... I lived my year in NYC at 86th and 2nd ave... If she only knew what type of neighbors she had

Pam said...

So glad you found a place and home is where your heart is! Can't wait to see photo's either!

xoxo

3 hungry tummies said...

I'm so happy that you managed to find a new home at the end! Happy moving!

Velva said...

Congratulations! I am looking forward to all the new posts about the move. :-)
You will love your new apartment. You will just need a little time to settle into it.

high low said...

When you're all moved in and settled, let's toast to your new apartment! Congrats!

Chow and Chatter said...

i wish you all the happiness in the world in the new place love Rebecca

Esme said...

Best of luck moving-may you have a smooth transition.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Hi, This is my 1st time here, love your blog with all nice photos and foods. I will visit you more often from now.

Debinhawaii said...

So glad that you found a place. Here's to a smooth move in and many happy times there for you! ;-)

alison said...

lovely post,nice photos,nice blog!congrats ,i will return here,it is warm and fine!and thank you for your visit!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I hope it all works out well for you guys, keep us posted!

Mimi said...

Congratulation on your new home. I hope your move goes smoothly.
Mimi

Sara said...

Congrats on the new place!

Joie de vivre said...

I'm so glad you found something! Hoping the air is fresher there too!

Katy ~ said...

YAY! I'm delighted for you. Looking forward to seeing your new abode.

Tiny Urban Kitchen said...

So glad to hear that you found a place! Hope it works out for you. See you soon!

Meena said...

Wish you all the very best and hope u find a lot of happiness in the new home!

Kelsey B. said...

Congrats! Apartment hunting is THE WORST! I am glad it worked out!

Diana Bauman said...

Been thinking about you Christine. I'm so glad to hear you found an apartment. Praying the transition will be a smooth one. Take care!

sweetlife said...

congrats on the new place..I hope you are uber happy there!!

sweetlife

sweetlife said...

congrats on the new place..I hope you are uber happy there!!

sweetlife

sweetlife said...

congrats on the new place..I hope you are uber happy there!!

sweetlife

Stella said...

Hey Christine, I have an award to pass on to you if you so please...It's waiting at my station in the blogosphere!

alwayswinner786 said...

Christine it's great to see you find a new home.
May God bless lots of happiness in your new home.
Love Always.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Wow what a crazy week you must have had. You poor thing.

The Diva on a Diet said...

I've been away, so am just catching up with your blog. Wow, that was quick! As NYC apartment searches go, I'd say you did really well. Congratulations!

Here's wishing you many happy, smoke-free, years in your new home!!!

xoxoxo

Laurie said...

I'm so glad you found a place you like! I actually went searching for this post after reading your most recent because I wanted to know how your housing story ended.

El said...

I'm so glad you found a place. I hope you love it and may you never, ever believe anyone in real estate again :>)

Megan Gordon said...

Just discovered your blog and can so relate to the exhaustive apartment hunt. I recently did the same thing in San Francisco and am still recovering :) Looks like a lovely spot you've stumbled across. Congratulations (and good luck with the laptop search, too)!

sewa mobil said...

Good luck with everything chica! Trying to find housing in this city is rough. Keep us posted!