Ok my apartment hunt dipped into an all-time low with the NYTimes internet ad for a $1200 apartment through a broker on East 58th and 3rd avenue. Turned out the apartment was closer to 2nd avenue, had major construction right across from it. The agent hadn’t met me in front and hadn’t given me the apartment number. I just rang every buzzer on the floor she had given me. Finally she showed up. As we were walking up the coppery steps cigarette butts lead a trail to the apartment. Inside were two chimps with laptops party-puffing away. The apartment was all greyed out from 13 years of puffing and no rehabilitation or care. I asked about smoking below the apartment, the floors reeked and were black. Yes. There is a chimp below who parties all night, they whispered. Ah Tony Eastside, New York City. You’ve got to love it. “The deal is off” I said as the broker tried to show me the beatup amenities. Afterall if the chimps are moving out June 1 and move-in is June 1 then really are you going to rehab the apartment? Hey I would love to live in that location, all designers, likeminds but not lungs. The outside of the apartment is quite nice. The space not bad but surely not drenched in sunlight. My lunch hour was over.
More internet ads from the times and craigslist proved quite farcical. No wonder the general public impression is the market bears a small studio in New York City at $1650 and upwards or no apartment at all.
I even looked at the apartment I had baled out of with district attorney help back in the mid-90s. A $1500 ala pre-internet in Carnegie Hill. So many years later $3,500 via no rent control or stabilization. i.e. so no hanging-in benefit has been lost. The apartment was a moving out from the landlord that eventually ruined my Newport apartment $75 credit search. I was his tenant for seven years always ontime with the $1300 a month rent. I took care of his townhouse. I even typed his school papers. I listened to him. Really, I had created an award-winning garden and I did not want to leave it. That’s what kept me in the hole that would eventually drown me. There is something very real about learning when to just let go. That learning is very helpful when searching for apartments in New York City, keep on trucking.
Back to the Future…
Finally, I said Unbuzz me as I pulled a free Village Voice out of a street box. I found two really good brokers. People who actually work on building a relationship with the person before them. The first broker to answer my calls, showed me the apartment on the mountain. My target was the waterfront so there was a little disception about his answer to my question as to which side of the “A” train is it on, water or mountain? Ok you are allowed a few white lies but only a few. oh the mountain would do. Its real estate right on the razor edge so no way was I paying prime. We made a deal and he turned around the lease in 24 hours. I be moving to NYC’s highest mountain, on top of it, a real 1 bedroom, this weekend all for hundreds under the prime market rate with a lease for 2 years, comes with $1 laundry downstairs, an elevator, a garbage chute, implied security via co-op marketing effort and it is drenched with sunlight. Could bicyling through Fort-Tryon be on the horizon?
So… what was the magic? Relationships. Listening and knowing what I wanted. Doing the right thing. Following through with my part of the deal. Knowing Manhattan’s real estate inside out. What did he say? Oh that he doesn’t know why but the most beautiful girls come from Texas, it must be in the soil. Hmm …. At any rate all but the soil part sounds like a good plan for a real life to me.
So… what am I telling you again. Get off of the computer and come to the mountain. Social media virtuality did not bring me to the mountain. Reality did.