9 moves and 18 roommates later I have survived my first year living in New York

IMG_2788Make it

If you can make it here you can make it anywhere, but at what point are you making it? New Yorkers have provided me with the 1 to 5 years range. From my experience stability = making it and the two categories to master are work and home. Just as you think one option is solid, the other see-saws or crumbles right in front of you. Personal example: Finally getting a job that allows you to save up to be on a lease (ranging from $1,650 – $2,700 upfront), cut to that random day you lose the job for unknown reasons and now struggling to pay next months rent where ever you are, and also starving for work. Guilty to say, I enjoy cans of tuna and Wheat Thins for all 3 meals way more than I should. Meow.

There are so many topics to cover that influenced where I am today. Living and moving in New York, public transportation, making friends, what to wear, food and booze, the kindness of strangers, free stuff. Touching on the first topic below is my not so brief take on moving and living throughout Brooklyn.

Nomadic living 

I have lived/moved a total of 9 times in my year of being in NY. What? Why? This is not normal, normal people do not share this experience with me. The root cause of my many moves is coming here with a couch to sleep on for 2 weeks then figuring it out from there. Quick crashes at friends place a few long stints at AirBnBs and several subleases, tally that up, add a storage unit and you have the equation for my moving.

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Why did I invest in subleases when I can put money towards an actual lease with my own room? The room alone requires key pieces of furniture like a bed and at least one dresser, I owned neither of those nor could I afford them when moving here. I did sleep on an air-mattress for a total of 2 months in my first sublease and trust me, that was way longer than I thought one could find rest from plastic filled with air (I found it most comfortable sleeping diagonally). Subleasing a room provided temporary relief meeting the basis in the hierarchy of needs. By leasing someone else’s room for 1 or more months gave me a bed to sleep in and great insight into how people live in New York.

Roomie experience 

For a room around $800 in Brooklyn, you will on average have 2 roommates. Common living areas range from warm inviting open seating to dirty unwelcoming bad to no seating. Kitchens cause the most drama revolving around the lack of space in high traffic area being use. The majority of places I stayed have decent size for kitchens but splitting cabinet, refrigerator, and counter space between minimum 3 people confines and occupies quick.

Cleanliness

Wow, sure you can imagine the hustle and bustle personality type in New York, melt that with clean freaks and/or slobs and you have a difficult living situation usually bringing new creatures as roommates. New York housing doesn’t have garbage disposals so every kitchen drain comes with a sink strainer. Sink recipe reaches Michelin star status when you add dishes and cups containing milk, salad dressing, old meat, anything burnt, marinate 24-72 hours and 1 flatmate will resentfully cave in. As mentioned above, a continuous dirty kitchen is a welcome-home-mat for bugs or if it’s that bad mice will scamper microwave to sink to stove every time you turn on the lights.

Food restrictions

Included with Prime and only $21

Food restrictions are as diverse as our cultures in New York, some easy to relate and follow, others making no sense and you are not sure how to play along. I decided to keep an open mind when it comes to food and New York, so when moving in with someone and they mention dietary restrictions I took it as a fun challenge. Restrictions lead to creativity. Strict rules of no pork products guided me to finding the best tasting brand of turkey bacon, also costs way less. I lived with a vegan that personality was as cool and positive as the experience. Not knowing the depths of vegan lifestyle expanded my thoughts and action on the subject asking questions and generating good conversations, a plus for getting to know a new roommate. I read up on some of the vegan cookbooks he had on file, Veganomicon taught me the ease of roasting vegetables and properly cooking grains and now having a go-to vegan meal that is cheap, delicious, and will feed me for almost a week.

Trippin and bitchin

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My dad just shipped me 2 boxes that were in a corner of the living room that no one used btw, for less than 48 hours and I come home to this note on my door. Can we say take a chill pill?

I have been chewed out for “leaving” little scraps in the drain strainer after scrubbing the kitchen and dishes clean after cooking. Another space I lived in I left a bowl in the sink just once out of my 2 1/2 month stay, I was sick with the flu and passed out unintentionally. Waking up the next morning there was that passive-aggressive note along the lines of, “It is disrespectful, don’t be a mess and clean up after yourself.” Let me tell you, this guy had it out for me because I was not attracted to him…he was my 1 out of 2 flatmates within the sublease, sorry honey living together does not mean fucking each other. Both upset sublease mates were those passive aggressive note writers (see picture), at this point it is evident that they have issues well beyond me, like themselves, but they thought I was a great outlet for their internal dissatisfaction.

Settling in

The most useful part of all the moving was it allowed me to shop real estate. My go-to neighborhoods are Flatbush and Bed-Stuy with the absolute never again Broadway Junction. I gained value in what I wanted in a home such as lighting, bathroom space, room size, and who I match with best when it came to finding roommates. Officially and FINALLY the signing of my first lease took place this month! My room is mine, I can decorate it how I want and retreat to it to do whatever I please, like evil slumbers lasting all weekend. My roommates are 2 fantastically adorable girls that have style both in decor and fashion, an appetite for food and fun, and bring laughter and joy to this crazy New York world we are all surviving in. One thing is certain in my future, I do not need to focus or find another place to move for a year. Can I get a New York amen?!

Hostile roommates? Hot water that shuts off after 5 minutes? What is your experience living in New York? Share/vent/bitch it all out in comments below.

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