Sunday, August 3, 2008

NYC Apartment Hunting Day 3-A Bit More Promising

Location, location, location. We took a look at two apartments in SOHO today. Since SOHO is a highly desirable area, especially for the young folks wanting to be in the heart of trendy night life, Parisian-style cafes, and massive shopping with boutiques upon boutiques (really a rich girl's paradise), the area is astronomically expensive. Both apartments we saw were in the $1,900 range but they were so tiny it would probably be hard to fit more than a Queen size bed and two chairs. In one of the SOHO apartments, the toilet was in the box they called the living room, the shower was near the bed area, and the kitchen sink would have to double as the bathroom sink. Definitely the kind of commuter (a claustraphobic's worst nightmare) apartments where you shower and sleep then blow away your money dining out every night.

An apartment we saw on the edge of the East Village wasn't in an ideal part of town but the apartment is fantastic! Good size, tons of closet space, a normal bathroom, ample storage space, and second floor. It has lime green and orange paint, and a disco ball, but the apartment has charm and character. Rent is $1,975. The downside is that it's a Co-op and subject to the Co-op Board approval. Your credit can be great, your income can be 40x the monthly rent (which is the minimum norm here) but if they don't like you after the interview, then you're out of luck. There were other couples looking at the apartment as well and they seemed like nice well-to-do professionals who have been apartment hunting just like us. We filled out an application and now we just have to wait.

The last apartment we saw was almost an afterthought and we called this one at the last minute - literally calling the lady as we were filling out another rental application. This one was in a nice part of Chelsea. Rent is a bit high at $2,100 but when we walked in we had to pinch ourselves because it looked so normal. It's on the 6th floor of an elevator building, with a doorman, very spacious, ample closet space, washer and dryer on every floor, open and airy, normal bathroom, normal kitchen, close to all the major subway lines, and it came with furniture! The downside yet again is that it's a Co-op so although we handed over a security deposit check and the owners seemed to like us, we have to wait for the Co-op Board to call us to schedule an interview. This one was by far the best we've seen and we're crossing our fingers for this one. More importantly, we're hoping they didn't run away with our check.

After a long day of walking almost 4 miles between apartment showings, we gave our feet a break at Maroon's on 244 West 16th Street for Jamaican and Southern cuisine. It's in the basement of a residential building. This is my second time here. Maybe my third time will be at their new location opening up soon in Harlem.

This is the Maroon's Grilled Herbed Salmon with mashed potatoes and crispy (nori-style) spinach. The salmon was rolled (like a Cinnabon) with herbs:

Grandma's Crispy Fried Chicken with mac and cheese and collared greens. Uncomplicated, straightforward, satisfying: