Welcome to my new feature, My First Apartment! In this piece, I interview New Yorkers on their experiences in their very first apartment here in NYC. They give the lowdown on the good and the bad plus some tips to help you along with your own home search.
Let’s get started with our first interviewee!
In what neighborhood was your first apartment located?
My first apartment was in Inwood, i.e. the neighborhood at the tippy top of Manhattan, on the very last stop of the A train!
What size was it? (i.e. studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, etc)
It was a 2nd floor studio walkup, but the true selling point for me was that it had a balcony, which my chihuahua and I regularly enjoyed hanging out on, no matter the weather.
What did you absolutely love and/or hate about your first apartment?
I absolutely loved that I had my very own place in the center of the universe, and that my return address on mail read: New York, New York. I kind of felt like all my dreams had come true, at the ripe ol’ age of 23;-)
I found out shortly after moving in that there was a little mouse that lived in the wall behind my kitchen cabinet, which was definitely something I struggled with. I was too much of a sap to ever put out a mouse trap, so it basically meant I kept very little food in my apartment and ate most meals out. We coexisted until the day I moved out, and I like to think he’s still ruling the roost uptown with his new roommates!
What did you love about your first neighborhood?
I loved living half a block from the subway, it’s SUCH a game changer for commuting! And since it was the last stop/first stop on the train, I could score a seat anytime of day or night. My apartment was also a block away from Inwood Hill Park, which is a gorgeous green oasis, including hiking trails, canoeing, and tennis courts…the Central Park of Inwood, I like to say.
I also loved karaoke night at the local Irish Pub, Piper’s Kilt, as well as enjoying Pumpkin Ravioli and a glass of cracking cold white wine in the garden of the Garden Cafe, two perfect neighborhood spots.
Even though my first apartment was held over 12 years ago (how did that happen?!), I still call Inwood one of my very favorite neighborhoods in all of NYC.
Any words of wisdom to share with first timers looking in the city?
The advice I got when looking for my first apartment was “refuse to live anywhere with more than a 5 minute walk to the nearest subway”, and I couldn’t agree more! Even though I was WAY uptown, the subway was literally a 2 minute walk, door to door. Flash forward a few years when I lived in Midtown East off of 1st Avenue, and the walk to the train was 15 minutes, plus always so crowded I would often have to wait during rush hour for several packed trains to go by before even squeezing in! So, moral of the story: don’t be afraid to look a bit deeper in Queens, Brooklyn, or the Bronx, as long as a subway line is close by! You’ll probably always score a seat and have lots of time for reading and/or snoozing!;-)
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