Posts Tagged ‘Apartment Hunting in NYC’



This weekend I became a little reflective as I was wandering around the streets of NYC with the family.  It was exactly one year ago this past weekend that I arrived in NYC with the task of looking at apartments in the Upper West Side for a possible life changing move to Manhattan.  I remember the trip vividly.  As I took the cab ride from La Guardia Airport in Queens and we crossed over the bridge into Manhattan I was no longer looking at the city as a tourist but with the wide open eyes of a new resident.  It was a beautiful fall day and the city was showing off in the sunlight but I had an uneasy feeling as the question “Could I move my children here?” hung over my head.

I scrutinized everything.  The garbage on the streets, the concrete playgrounds, the people rushing down the blocks, the noise level, the greyness of the buildings, the bright flashing lights, the crowds, the materialism, the over all American-ness of it all.  I sat down on the steps of the Met and the tears slid into my Starbucks cup as I wondered if Ron and I were making the right decision.  And then, something amazing happened and I saw beyond the superficial and remembered why I LOVED NYC and I began to see the possibilities.

I saw the beauty of the sun as it peeked out behind the incredible architecture of the vast array of buildings, I saw the endless culture in the world of the Arts, I saw families and children playing, I saw Central Park and nature, I saw a proud city of friendly, busy people with an energy all its own.  I felt the excitement and that excitement became mine.  I wanted this for my family.  We were ready, I was ready.  And so I began the search for a new home in a new neighbourhood.

I saw over 20 apartments that weekend.  Brownstones, modern buildings, pre-war, door man buildings, walk-ups, rooms with a view, rooms with no view.  It became overwhelming.  And don’t even get me started on the prices.  WOW.  It is not even comparable to anything in Ottawa.  It is a totally different mind set.  I had to get my head in a different space entirely to even start the search.  I pounded the pavement and learned the neighbourhood.  I stood staring at the schools, envisioning my girls inside them.  I embraced the culture, I squeezed every little experience I could into that one weekend.  The decision had to made.  Ron was waiting back in Ottawa, listening to my rambling, barely coherent, expensive cellphone calls about this apartment versus that one and local stores and restaurants. Patient and amused, as always.

Apartment shopping at its finest!

On the plane ride home I remember feeling exhausted and still a bit anxious but I was also impatient.  I was ready, I was sure and I wanted this move to happen.  Ron and I began the discussions in ernest, the countless hours debating the pros and cons, the waiting, the back and forth between his company.  The stress.  The secrecy and then finally the time to tell our family and friends.  At that moment it became real and there was no turning back.  After that everything really is a blur- selling the house, resigning from teaching, enrolling the girls in school, packing, saying good-bye…

And now we are here.  As we walked along the streets of Manhattan on Saturday, I couldn’t believe that a year had passed. When I looked at the girls expertly weaving their way through the crowds and Ron chasing behind them, I felt a few tears sliding down my cheeks.  They were happy tears, amongst all of the craziness, I felt content and at home.  Yes there are challenging days but hey, there are challenging days everywhere.  Who knows what life is going to throw at you?  Every day brings a new adventure and for that I am truly grateful.  Oh, and I am also grateful that the apartment I fell in love with was still available in February 😉

Ron & R goofing around on Saturday night!




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