I just moved back to NYC and forgot how hard it is to find a good apartment. It’s a hyper competitive market with too many residents and not enough (affordable) options. My roommate and I have scoured Craigslist only to come up short-handed 11 days before we’re scheduled to move. Just short of selling our bodies for the right apartment (just kidding mom), we’ve taken creative measures to find a place that fits our needs: two good sized bedrooms, a safe neighborhood, clean, low street noise, no broker’s fee and a reasonable price. Here’s what we’ve done so far:
- Changed my roommate’s last name to Silverstein on all email correspondence (try calling a property management company on a Jewish holiday and you’ll understand).
- I attended not one but three Sunday services at the local African Methodist Episcopal church in Fort Greene (I’ll speak in tongues for the inside scoop on an affordable brownstone on Lafayette).
- We pimped out my roommate’s cute poodle at the Park Slope block party to get attention from children and their property-owning parents.
- I walked into the local art school and pretended that I was a student to see if I could get on the apartment mailing list.
- After daily calls to one super of a warehouse building, I offered to bake him a pie every weekend if he would give us first dibs on a two bedroom with high ceilings and an ensuite washer and dryer.
- I asked a 90 year old woman sitting on a stoop in Clinton Hill if she knew of any apartments in the area that were available. Too bad she became alarmed when I started reaching for the knob on her oxygen tank.
If there is one thing that this city has taught me, it’s that anything is possible. I am optimistic that we’ll find the right place. It’s only a matter of time.