My First Apartment in…Hell’s Kitchen (a/k/a Midtown West)
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…
In what neighborhood was your first apartment located?
I lived in Hell’s Kitchen for my first six months in the city, right on 50th and 10th. I found a roommate who needed to fill the room on Craigslist, didn’t even see the apartment except in photos, and moved in on one of the hottest days in July.
My roommate was truly amazing. She was like a big sister and built-in guide to the city. The room however, was a surprise.
What size was it? (i.e. studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, etc.)
It was a RAILROAD apartment. You know the kind, where the rooms all flow into one another. It went: kitchen, my roommate’s bedroom, my bedroom, and the living room, all in one long line. The bathroom was off the kitchen. It was $1,000/month per person, over 6 years ago.
What did you absolutely love and/or hate about your first apartment?
The apartment format was pretty clearly the downfall of this apartment. I had to walk through my roommate’s room to get to the kitchen and bathroom, and she had to walk through mine to get to the living room. Luckily, we liked each other, and I was saving a ton of money and living in MANHATTAN. Living the dream.
What did you love about your first neighborhood?
The neighborhood was super convenient. There were a ton of restaurants and bars, and I could walk to work! Yep, I saved money by walking to my very first job out of college. Plus, from Hell’s Kitchen, it’s pretty easy to get on a train and go anywhere.
Any words of wisdom to share with first timers looking in the city?
Mentally prepare! It’s competitive out there. At one point when looking for my first apartment, an apartment I was thinking about was taken in the 10 minutes I took to decide! You have to know what you want, keeping in mind that there will be a sacrifice, especially living in Manhattan. So think about what you want; location? Price? Dishwasher? Think about what’s most important, and what you could do without. Then, make sure all your paperwork is ready. You may have to hand it in at a moments’ notice. My second apartment was much easier to rent because I had a broker, but it’s still competitive and fast-paced.
The apartment search is intense, but if you can do it, you’ll feel so accomplished! I now live in Brooklyn after six years of Manhattan. While I am sacrificing the convenience of Manhattan, you can’t beat that view.
[Edit: Here’s the view that she’s talking about. I would agree that it’s hard to beat!]