Do you remember a year or two ago when there were all these "Sh*t So-and-Sos Say" videos on YouTube? I think it started with Sh*t Girls Say, and then it exploded from there until it was like, "Sh*t Golden Retriever Owners Say" and "Sh*t Purdue Students Say," etc. Well, there was one I really liked - it was "Sh*t New Yorkers Say." Don't worry, you don't have to watch it to get the point of my post. I'll explain. Amidst moments where the characters stand around tiny apartments yelling, "This place is huge!" there are a couple of moments where a character declares "I love it here," and by here, they mean the City. And a few moments later, that character declares, "I hate it here!" This happens to me all the time. I think that living in NYC automatically gives you a love/hate relationship with it. There are so many wonderful things about the City [if you're not from around here, you may find it grandiose that we refer to it as "the City" but that's what it's called. I spent nearly 32 years living in NJ. Everyone there calls it "the City." Philly, at the other end of our state, is nice, but it is not "the City."]. But there are some pretty annoying things about it too. This past weekend, I had basically one long "I hate it here" moment.
After we had our appointment last week where we found out Manuji is probably totally fine, I allowed myself a day to feel super happy and so forth. And then I remembered all the stuff we have to do before he is born, and I felt a little (more than a little) freaked out. Chief among those things is finding a new place to live. Our lease is up May 1, but we'd like to move in April so we have time to get fully unpacked and settled before the baby is born. [It feels weird to think this might actually work out and we will actually have a baby to take home, I feel like I'm jinxing it when I think that far ahead, but whatever, we have to plan].
So, this weekend, Jeeves and I spent a lot of time online trying to find an apartment, and we even went to look at one. We live downtown, and we like it here. It's very convenient for my work (I walk to work), and it's close to the subway that takes Jeeves to work. Where we live has lots of parks, a good grocery store, access to multiple subway lines, good restaurants and take out, and it's not insanely crowded. It's safe. It's a nice neighborhood and it's fun to walk around. Our current apartment is a one bedroom/one bath. I'd estimate it's about 800 square feet. Anyway, if we could stay downtown and get a two bedroom, that is our first preference.
Well, we went to look at a 2 bedroom/2 bath a bit farther downtown than we are. You guys. Uggghhhh. First off, let me say the rental price was about $600 more than we are currently paying. Which is fine, and it was within the budget we set for ourselves. I e-mailed with the leasing office at the building at 2pm. When we arrived there at 4pm, someone had already put in an application for the apartment. That's right, it was gone. But we could see it and put in a back-up application if we wanted. So we looked at it. On the bright side, it's a very new apartment, so everything looks pretty nice. And unlike some apartments in this part of town, it was on a high floor and had really good natural light (and pretty views). The closet space wasn't bad (not as good as what we currently have, but we will never again have closet space this good in NYC). The bathrooms were pretty nice. The bedrooms weren't big, but they were a serviceable size, certainly fine for us and a baby. Then we walked into the "living room/kitchen." There was no island or any sort of divider between the living space and the kitchen - it was just one room. And it was SMALL. SMALLLLLLLL.
"Where's the oven?" I asked the lady showing us the apartment. "Oh, the microwave doubles as a convection oven." The microwave was not a huge microwave - it was microwave-size. I may have mentioned on here before that I like to cook. A lot. I don't see how you could fit a tray of cookies into that "oven," let alone cook a dinner. The dishwasher was also, weirdly, half-sized.
In our current living space, we have a small sofa, a coffee table, an IKEA chair with ottoman, an "entertainment center" or whatever you call them to hold our TV. We also have a small dining room table with four chairs. There's also a bar for all of Jeeves' scotch/bourbon/esoteric booze for fancy cocktails, a microwave cart that holds my standing mixer, toaster oven, and food processor, and a little wine fridge. And junk. And like, 4 bookcases. It may sound like a lot, but look in your living/dining room - I bet it's not that much different. In fact, if you live in an actual house, I bet you have more stuff than we do.
If we were to try and get this apartment we saw, we would have to get rid of the dining room table (which is already tiny) and chairs and probably 3 bookcases just to fit it in. And frankly, probably more than that. And even with that, it would be tight. The place was small. I asked the lady how many square feet it was. "It's 852 square feet," she declared. Well, no wonder it seems tiny. An 852 square foot 2 bedroom/2 bath? That's small. It's only 50 square feet bigger than what we currently have, but they had to create a second bathroom and a second bedroom out of that.
We left, quite dejected. I don't think I have crazy requirements for an apartment. I basically told Jeeves when we started looking that the place needed to be 1) in a neighborhood where I feel safe walking by myself at night [pretty easy to accomplish in NYC these days]; 2) it had to have a dishwasher; and 3) there had to be a washer/dryer in the building. That was basically it. I don't think I'm being unreasonable [though trust me, I've had people argue with me that not having a washer/dryer in the building is fine. No, it is not fine. I lived without a washer/dryer in the building for many, many years when I was in Jersey. It is a total pain in the ass. And with a baby who will theoretically be spitting up and pooping all over his clothes all day long? No thank you. I need a washer/dryer somewhere in the building.] Apparently I have to add "semi normal-sized oven" and "bigger than 850 square feet" to the list of requirements.
I'm nearly 36 years old. I'm not an age where I want to be throwing out furniture because we have to move into a smaller place in order to get a 2BR. So, we started looking into Brooklyn. And uptown. Look, we'll deal. We'll find someplace to live in New York that will not require us to go to a laundromat or throw out our dining room table. But the process of finding a place in New York City when you don't have a gajillion dollars to spend makes me hate it here. It makes me want to pick up my toys and go home. I spent a good chunk of the weekend depressed about this dumb apartment search, and I should add that my acid reflux and heart palpitations came roaring back, which is probably not a coincidence. I'm pretty sure my OB is going to make me go to a cardiologist to get everything checked out. Blerg.
There were good things, too, in the weekend. We finally booked our "babymoon." We're doing a long weekend trip to California - flying to San Francisco, renting a car, and spending a few days on the coast between LA and San Fran. Jeeves could actually see the baby kicking (my tummy moves when he kicks now), and got to feel the kick too. We watched some of the Olympics. So, I'm stressed, but I really can't/shouldn't complain. You'll forgive me, I hope, if this post sounds quite whiny.