My final round trip flight from OKC to NYC has been booked. Next time it’ll be ONE WAY to NYC! My mom and I will be traveling at the end of July to find a place for me to live, and for me to hopefully find a part time job as well. My goal is to find a room in a shared apartment in East Village, Greenwich Village, or West Village… but to make it more practical I’m looking as far north as Midtown. The fact that I’ve narrowed it down this much is a feat. In beginning my search (which at this point has been more research than actual searching since I still have a couple months until our trip) I had to grasp the major differences in apartment hunting in NYC compared to Oklahoma. The main difference, as expected: PRICE. When I first started looking into apartments, I was just thinking I’ll get my own place, just like I have in good ol’ Norman. HA. No. I’m looking at getting a ROOM for double what I am paying right now for my entire apartment, and that’ll be an NYC bargain. And when I say room, I am talking 10×10 cramped living space and a closet if I’m lucky. Needless to say, that realization took some time to adjust to.
Once I got over the cost, I started really digging for information. There is a LOT more to think about when it comes to renting a room in NYC than other locations. First and foremost: Roommates. People of all ages have roommates in NYC, think about Friends. They remain roommates well into their 30s. A roommate, or roommates, is a requirement for me to be able to afford living in the Big City. Since I don’t really know anyone in NYC, I am really having to think about what types of questions I will ask potential roommates who have room openings, and know that the apartment may be perfect, but if the roomie isn’t, it’s a no go. And on the flip side, they are going to be quizzing me as well. I’ve seen my fair share of scary roommates via Craigslist. Men wanting a FWB relationship in exchange for cheap rent (yep, I’d call that prostitution…), one posting stating you only have access to your room — no kitchen or living room privileges… basically they don’t ever want to see you, and even a guy who just wants a female roommate who will walk around in her underwear “as if he’s not there.” SICK. Thankfully in the recent weeks, as the fall semester approaches not only are there more openings in the area around NYU, but there are also postings from fellow students and 20-something professionals who seem much more normal. Such a relief.
One question I keep being asked… why Manhattan? To which I answer… why not? Think about it, I’m moving to NYC, of course I want to live in Manhattan. Not Brooklyn. Not Queens. And definitely not Jersey. My university is in Manhattan, therefore I need and want to be in Manhattan. I want to be right in the middle of the action and the NYC experience, not alienated in a borough with a long commute. It’s true what they say — your Manhattan friends aren’t going to visit you in Brooklyn (as I’ve been told by a few friends who’ve lived in NYC). And since I am making this move completely on my own, I’m going to live exactly where I want to live. I’m trading size for location, and I am fine with that. My apartment isn’t somewhere where I plan to spend too much time at anyway. And honestly, I’ve found plenty of places in my price range, and more are appearing daily. Some people still say I’m being unreasonable, and that I could find somewhere so much cheaper elsewhere. But I’m not worried, believe it or not, I’m a pretty smart gal, and I know what I’m doing.
Another aspect of moving that took me some time to get used to was the realization that I can’t bring all of my stuff — not half of it, not even 1/4 of it. I will basically start from scratch. It really made me face the fact that it is just STUFF. None of it really matters. I started packing up boxes last night of things to take to my mom’s for a huge garage sale we’re having at the end of the summer, and you know what, it was FUN. Just the realization of “I don’t need this, I don’t need that… what the heck is this?” was very humbling.
Basically… I’m really ready to start this moving process. Class starts in 117 days!