Living where we were on the Upper West Side of Manhattan was great. The subway station was right outside our building, the building itself had a friendly doorman, its own laundry facilities, and we lived right next to a collection of handy shops including a Rite Aid (pharmacy), Westside Market (food store), Chipotle (mexican food), Five Guys (burgers), Starbucks (…well, you know), and restaurants. We also lived one block away from Riverside park where we could go for a walk or a cycle all the way down Manhattan, and only a few blocks from Central Park which is easily one of my favorite places to go in New York. Despite all these huge perks, we just couldn’t get used to the apartment that we lived in. We rented a room and bathroom in a 2 bedroom apartment that was owned by a couple in their late 50s. They were friendly enough but we always felt distinctly aware that it was THEIR place and we were just staying there. Yes, this is technically true but it just didn’t feel like ‘home’. They were also pretty old school and didn’t really use computers so the internet speed was unimaginably slow and with the building being a pre-war structure we could get absolutely NO cellphone reception. So if we ever needed to use the internet or even contact each other we would have to go out of the building (and to Starbucks if we wanted to use our MacBooks). This became a pain VERY quickly and it was a huge driving factor behind our decision to leave. Of course we couldn’t have realized these things before we moved in. You never know what someone is truly like until you live with them and as for the internet and signal strength – well lets be honest, aren’t these things practically required to survive these days?!
Anyway, we started our hunt for a new place to live and decided to mix things up a bit. We’d heard that Brooklyn was getting increasingly popular due to its close proximity to Manhattan whilst still being relatively affordable. Not that long ago Brooklyn was a place you just didn’t go (or so we’ve been told). Now however, gentrification had its claws in, and as the place was softening more and more people were making the move. We decided that this would be the best plan for us too as it would free up money to put towards more traveling and eating out here and there. So after some more craigslist hunting we finally found a place that we loved the look of, arranged a viewing, asked about what kind of internet/cellphone situation we were dealing with (they didn’t understand the question thank goodness), and secured our spot in the borough of Brooklyn, New York.
We loved the look of the place from the start. It was, in our minds a classic NYC apartment. We couldn’t have asked for more! We were eager to make the shift. So on May 29th we packed up our bags and caught an Uber over to our new home. Yes, finally we had a place that we felt we could call ‘home’. We had a nice sized bedroom and our own bathroom. The other tenants, a couple more or less our age, were very welcoming and friendly. Fun fact: we found out that the building used to be a Hospital back in the day. Apparently Barbara Streisand was born here, and Albert Einstein spend some time here for surgery.
I made one more trip back to the old place later on that week to collect our deposit from our previous landlord and we were all done with the Upper West Side. As for now, it was time to get familiar with a whole new area and most importantly, figure out which trains we needed to catch to get to work!