Since moving to New York I hadn’t had to make many decisions beyond the following:
- Which ridiculously fantastic restaurant shall I go to tonight?
- Should I take the subway or a cab (again) because it’s cold / I can’t walk in these heels?
- Do I want to shower and be 20 minutes late for work or not shower and be 10 minutes late?
- Which dating app guy should I meet first based on ‘potential husband’ vs ‘likely to be good in bed’?
- Am I too old for this mini skirt? (the answer is always no!)
So having to suddenly decide whether to keep living in or leave my adorable little studio was really, really tough.
The new apartment option came to fruition via a girl I met on a dance floor at a birthday party. We bonded over our Jewishness, and are now great friends and partners in crime. It’s rare to find someone who likes to go out in search of men as much as I do.
She also happened to be moving out of her East Village apartment 1st April 2016, which was precisely when my sublet contract ended. It seemed that the perfect next move had fallen into my lap.
East Village is one of the most vibey and awesome parts of the city. It has a unique, artistic, authentic energy, with more culture than mid town and less tourists than the West Village. If you had to compare it to London, it’s somewhere between Camden and Shoreditch. It’s also brimming with New York’s hottest bars and restaurants; my weakness!
The apartment itself was up a small flight of stairs, rather than the five floor walk up that made me curse daily. The bedroom was large. There was a dishwasher, and real kitchen counter tops. I’d save $450 rent a month, which I badly needed (I wasn’t saving a penny). And I’d have a house mate, who seemed super cool.
“No brainer!” I hear you shouting. And it was, until the girl who owned my sublet told me that not only could I stay on if I wanted, but that the rent was coming down (unheard of!), which would make it only $100 a month more than the East Village place.
This caused a serious dilemma. A studio at that price was gold dust in New York. Especially a big (‘New York big’), quiet, attractive studio. If I stayed, I wouldn’t have to move my stuff, wouldn’t have to buy any furniture, and could still live alone.
Living solo is a wonderful experience. The minute you walk through the door, you relax. You never have to speak to anyone, or wear a bra. You pee with the bathroom door open, every time. All the shelves in the fridge are yours. You can cook up a chaotic storm in the kitchen at midnight, and leave the dishes till the next day (or the next). You can masturbate any time, anywhere, and never have to think twice about inviting a guy over.
I was also getting used to my local hood. I’d found the corner shop which sold the best organic veggies. I’d saved up enough points at my local Dagostino grocery for free Tupperware! I loved my laundry lady, who also did a stellar tailoring job. I had my local East River run down to a tee. And I’d finally sussed out the best massage and nail place, which is no easy feat.
On the other hand, where I lived (Kips Bay) was not hip. The area was zestless; the streets plain and un-picturesque, and the bars studenty. I had to walk to Gramercy or Flatiron to find restaurants I actually wanted to go to. There was no cool cafe to roll out of bed into for poached eggs and people watching.
The studio was 12 minutes walk from the subway, which in New York is far and annoying. I didn’t feel like there was more exploring to be done in the area, and I was itching to get to know downtown better.
I spent a week going back and forth in my head with the decision, torturing myself. Am I ready to leave the safety of my studio yet? Will I develop serious FOMO if I don’t move to the East Village? Timing of the new place is perfect; surely it’s meant to be? But I sleep so well in this bed! You get the idea.
The decision was made on a brutal hangover. I eventually gained the strength to leave my apartment, head pounding, to do my usual East River run, as the sun was setting soft pink. When I’m that decrepit, only a run can sort me out.
As I approached the water, I decided I was definitely going to stay. How could I leave my cozy hangover nest with excellent proximity to water?
After jogging south for 20 minutes or so, I turned right in search of my potential new neighborhood. By now it was getting dark.
It was Sunday, but when I reached the East Village, the streets were alive and buzzing; the air was palpably electric. Quintessential New York restaurants were packed everywhere I looked, and I just lit right up.
I came to New York for new experiences, adventures and to live the hell out of the city. I’d already ‘done’ my current apartment and area. So, I reasoned, why wouldn’t I seize the opportunity to live in one of the best locations in the city? Sure it was going to take some adapting from living alone to not, but I could always move into another studio if I missed it.
And with that, the decision was finalized. I got home and sent the texts, confirming that I was going to take the new apartment. Once again, I was ready to make the move.