My First Apartment In…Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Welcome back to my 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.

Now let’s introduce our next interviewee…

Laura Keller
Photographer and Translator
Check Out Her Instagram – Laura Keller

In what neighborhood was your first apartment located? 

In 2010 I moved to New York and deemed Brooklyn my home. I actually have never lived in any other borough since. Although I had never intended on finding a place in Brooklyn, after looking at spots in Manhattan and Queens, Brooklyn was the [borough] which resonated with me the most. My first place was off the Parkside Avenue stop, Q and B train (back then, now only the Q runs there). The area is called Lefferts Garden, although it had more of a Flatbush feel to it. It was literally right across the street from Prospect Park.

What size was it? (i.e. studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, etc) 

I shared a three-bedroom apartment with two other people. It was pretty spacious, even for the other apartments I had afterwards. Our large living room was a real gem and led into an open kitchen. The building itself was pretty old with the classy tall, high ceilings you can find all over Brooklyn.

What did you absolutely love and/or hate about your first apartment? 

I liked my roommates, the cats my one roommate had, the window light the apartment got from the outside and just the overall airy feel of the place. What I slowly got to hate over the next 9 months I stayed [there] was the noisiness of the building (it hosted several different parties and was quite large) and the overall neighborhood, which didn’t have much to offer at that time (in terms of bars or restaurants or hang-out spots).

Also, for the first few months of my stay, our building had bed bugs, something I hadn’t been familiar with before moving to NY. It’s quite a story to be a part of the bed bug epidemic, which haunted New York back then, in your first apartment here, but 8 years ago this wasn’t too much fun. Luckily we were able to get it under control, but it was just another reason for me to slowly say goodbye to the apartment and also neighborhood. Supposedly, the entire building had somehow caught bed bugs and it proved to be a real pain to get rid of. I was happy I didn’t own much of my own furniture then. (Edit – YIKES! What a thing to go through in your first place!!!!

What did you love about your first neighborhood? 

The proximity to Prospect Park and the fact that I could cross the street to be in it, jog around it or just overall enjoy it. It was also only a 20 minute ride from Union Square by train. 

Any words of wisdom to share with first timers looking in the city?

It’s hard to judge whether or not you will like your neighborhood in the beginning. Look for good pointers, such as coffee shops, restaurants or however else you like to spend your time when you are not at home. Although I didn’t consider this to be much of an issue in the beginning (since Manhattan was so close), I moved to Park Slope shortly after, and the difference between both neighborhoods was like night and day. Having shops and other amenities around you can make out a huge difference if you are into those kind of things.