Craigslist Survival Story

No good “moving to NYC blog” would be complete without a post on how crazy housing situations are in the city. So here’s mine:

Everyone knows how insane NYC housing prices are, but most people have no idea how insane the housing search can be. After realizing that I would not be able to find a sublet in the city while still living in Texas, I  decided to book at 10 night stay on Airbnb with 3 30-something guys I’ve never met. Sounds legit right? For those of you who have never heard of Airbnb, it’s a website that allows individual home owners/ lease holders to rent their homes, apartments, rooms, and even sofas to strangers from around the world. With cockroach infested, “rent by the hour” type NYC ho(s)tels starting at $200 per night, $115 for my own room in an East Village loft was a steal. So fingers crossed, I moved myself and my 2 suitcases into the loft with 3 strangers and hoped for the best. Turned out to be an excellent set up, with 2 great Australians and 1 NYer. I even learned a bit about rugby and Australia’s view on the 2nd amendment, but that story is for another time.

I found my actual apartment through the Russian Roulette that is craigslist. com. There are some seriously delusional people on CL who list apartments for weekdays only or for a live-in female dominatrix or restrict the hours you can be in the apartment because its also their workplace. Dear NY: a sheet hung from the ceiling of a studio does not make it a 2 bedroom. I learned all kinds of new terms like a “railroad bedroom” (def: you have to walk through the bedroom to access the common spaces, you room is essentially a train station), “flex” (def: someone put up a wall in the living room and viola- your 2/1 just turned into a 3/1), and “dorm style” (def: shared bathroom on your floor with all your random neighbors). The craziest apartment I looked at was a 7 bedroom, 2 bath, 5th floor walk-up, “furnished” bedroom (a full-size air mattress on the floor and a clothing rack) where the roommates didn’t even know each others’ names. All this splendor for a small fortune of $1300 per month. But hey, it can always be worse: http://www.worstroom.com/

After sending what seemed like a million and a half emails to everyone on CL, I finally found a great place. Real estate moves fast here: I had the apartment within 4.5 hours of its initial listing on CL.  My sublet is in a shared 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 3rd floor walkup above a dive bar and martial arts studio that I’m renting from a club manager who moved to Italy for the summer to open a sushi restaurant. Makes perfect sense. :-) Great roommates, great location, great space. While our place has some East Village charm (um, why does the kitchen fill with water when the washing machine is on the spin cycle?), I really lucked out on finding a place with a W/D, private patio, a grill, and a full-size (i.e. not Manhattan sized) kitchen.

So now with the living situation secured, the job hunt begins. Stay tuned for more details on my NYC adventures!

-Meg

P.S. If you know anyone looking to hire a extraordinary saleswomen with account and people management experience, you know where to find me!

And so it begins…

“In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

After 2.5 years of encouragement from friends and family, I’ve finally done it- created my very own blog. In all honesty, I was hesitant to create one in the past because I thought (1) my life is not that different from yours (2) I’m generally a very private/ guarded person (3) I was still looking for that “unique” perspective and (4) I didn’t want to become one of those self-indulgent jerks who think everyone is interested in what their dog ate for breakfast, pictures of their completed DIY projects, and their kid’s friend’s preschool birthday party.

That being said, my recent relocation to New York City created an optimal situation to finally start blogging, so here goes nothing:

The intention of this blog is 3-fold:

1) Experience and document the new cultural, social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual adventures I take on in NYC.

2) Update distant friends and family on the on-goings of my life.

3) Eliminate the need to send my mother daily texts to ensure that I have not been left for dead in a Manhattan dumpster to inspire a future episode of Law & Order: SVU.

So in closing, I sincerely hope you will follow along for the foreseeable future as I simultaneously learn how live (survive?) in NYC and blog (without being a self-indulgent jerk). There will be no set schedule for updates, however I intent to post at least 2-3 times per week.

Finally, please feel free to ask questions/ provide helpful hints and suggestions for activities in the comments section.

Enjoy!