Finding the perfect apartment in New York City is probably one of the hardest things to do here. There are so many factors that come into play - location to trains, travel to the city, are your utilities included, can you have pets, are you near to your friends, etc. The list goes on and on. There are so many sites these days to help you find the place you will live in for maybe 6 months, or maybe 10 years.
For me, I've lived in the city for 7 years now. That's surprisingly only two dorm rooms (shout out to Horan Hall & East Hill), and two apartments. I lucked out with both. My first off-campus apartment was in the Riverdale section of the Bronx - W238th and Greystone Ave - in a building called the GrandView. It was an old building, small freight elevator, but spacious two bedroom apartment. We didn't even have to look for it really. I had a friend from home who was living there with her college roommates and they basically just handed the apartment over to us. Easy as that. I bought most of her bedroom furniture as well, since she was driving cross-country to move out to Colorado. Lived at the good ol' GrandView for 3 years.
When I FINALLY decided to venture towards my true Brooklyn calling I panicked. I had heard horror stories of apartment hunting, and the last thing I wanted to do was be stuck in a shoe box just because I had given up. My friend Sarah that I was moving in with, and I started looking online at Zillow, NYC Apartments, and even went to see a broker. Trust me when I say NEVER USE A BROKER! You'll end up paying way more because of broker fees when you can go straight through a landlord. Finally, I stumbled onto the apartment through NakedApartments.com. It was a decently priced two bedroom, and the only image available on it was of the kitchen - that looked pretty solid as well. It was listed under the landlord so Sarah and I sent him a message and a few hours later he was calling my cell asking when we were available to go look at the place.
It was the first apartment we looked at, and right away we loved it. The current occupants was this young hipster couple that was moving to Chicago. They explained to us the logistics of the building, how long they had lived there (we would be the second tenants), and showed us where everything in the neighborhood was. The building was a block away from the J train, Rite Aide and Walgreens nearby, two grocery stores, a liquor store (MAS IMPORTANTE), and a post office all within three blocks of each. Not only was it a new building but it came with a washer/dryer IN the unit, central AC and heat, a PRIVATE balcony AND rooftop access. I emphasize these aspects because in NY this was a rare, rare find. Like I've said I've lived in this city for 7 years now and have a plethora of friends in all boroughs and I have never seen all of these amenities in one.
Once we moved in my interior design training from HGTV immediately kicked in. I began painting, and buying, and giving the place character. I would get high on Saturday afternoons and invite friends over for DIY projects and loaded the place with rustic but modern touches. Once everything was close to finished I thought to myself, "I should create an Instagram hashtag for my apartment!" Just like picking a hashtag for your wedding, this was a difficult process. Eventually I settled on the number of my building, my precise location, and a word I had fallen for when I dated this douche bag surfer last year.
Thus #22BrooklynBungalow was born.
I know that living in the city and finding the perfect place is always a hassle, so I hoped to share my wisdom with our readers and give them tips and tricks to make their apartment feel more like a home. If you have any questions on how to decorate your Tiny Little Box we can help you add the perfect touch!