Sunday, August 5, 2012

Apartment hunting in NYC

If you've ever lived in NY or have tried to find a place to live in NY you will understand how intense and difficult it is. As a newly arrived family we have no records here. No way of proving we can pay rent. I don't understand how people can come over and begin a life. I guess it's all about living with family and friends until you are established but then you need to be making 36 times what the rent is. When rents are at least 2000 and that's for a small place, that's a lot. So for us since we don't have 9-5 jobs with a pay stub and no record of income in the States we need a guarantor. That Guarantor needs to make 80 times what the rent is. Man, Daddy Warbucks where are you?????

We had been in our castle for a week and a half and now it was time to get out there and look. We had 4 1/2 weeks to find somewhere to call home. Somewhere where we could have our baby. The day was overwhelmingly hot and we stood outside the first building with hope. There was throw up outside the building, a firehouse across the way and a bar next door. It wasn't looking good for peace of sound but we were hopeful. The Super, 40 minutes late, showed us the "Large" 3 bedroom. I lived in New York for 17 years and so I know the way NY apartments used to be. They were never big but now they take studio apartments and chop them into 3 bedroom. We walked into the dark and tiny 3 bedroom apartment. As we looked around, I tried to imagine us living there and making it work. It was $4200. This was beyond our budget and yet and I thought, "Do we have other choices?" My heart was sinking and the pressure of finding our place to live was overwhelming. How could I make a place for my kids. There was hardly any room to walk. The Super kept telling us how large and quiet the place was, but on the first floor facing the street, I doubted it. We left and thanked him and I knew my husband was as worried as I was. As we saw the next few 2 or 3 bedroom apartments filled with students and their dirty dishes, laundry, beer bottles, and pin up girls, I began to wonder if there was a place for families in New York that rent. We were hot and tired and so I thought maybe we should go get something to eat. We were not far from Union Square park and a Whole Foods and figured a picnic would be good. As we walked into the whole foods we were taken aback by all the yummy looking bakery items, fruit, sushi and salad bar... "Everything would be OK", I thought. But as my daughters ran towards different items I found myself saying at every turn, that's too expensive. We settled on 4 slices of ham, some sushi rice wrapped in tofu and a smoothie. I longed for Thailand where the rent and food were cheap and I could feed my family without restrictions. But we were no longer there and we had left because we could not make money there and needed a different course for our lives. This was where we were and we needed to find a way to make it work not think about what we didn't have or what we did.

We walked across to the park and sat down where we could watch the men play with the over sized chess set. The girls were fascinated and didn't seem to notice what we had or didn't have to eat. We might not have a lot of money at the moment but our experiences were rich. Watching the chess players I began to remember that it is patience in life that helps you make the right move. We were only new here and we would need some time to find out place and make our move. I needed to think of this as a game and start to enjoy it rather then dread it. Each move would help us to the next step we just needed time and patience. For the moment we did have food and we did have a beautiful place to stay and I needed to remember that.


  1. Hunting for a New York home is definitely not easy to do especially since homes here are really costly. Nevertheless, New York is one great place to be in for it has plenty to offer its residents including visitors from New Chicago apartments and other places.

  2. John the Dublin taxi driver here.
    Find an Irish club. They will sort you out.
    Great to se you are still going strong.
    I hope you wander into a Jazz club and become a legend...