The first of my “apartment must haves” is always location. New York City is all about where you live and what neighborhood you consider home. A common conversation amongst New Yorkers is often “so where do you live?”. Say the wrong area, and you’re immediately judged, as shallow and sad as that may seem. Currently residing in Harlem, I find that I get these judgey looks quite often when asked this particular question. Not that it really bothers me, but it definitely can be somewhat off putting when I tell someone where I live and their response is a judgemental “oh”. Which is why, this has become number one on my list. Not just for everyone, but for myself. I want to live somewhere I am proud of.
New York City has five boroughs, 59 community districts, and hundreds of neighborhoods so you can imagine that narrowing it down on where to look has not been easy. My first step was narrowing down my borough options.
Borough #1 – Staten Island
That was an immediate NO for me. This little island off the island of Manhattan is difficult to access without a car and with a fear of ferries. While a nice water adventure here and there can be fun, an every day occurrence is just not for me.
Borough #2 – Brooklyn
This borough was an option at the beginning of the search due to price. However, this borough also has great prices because its so big and there are so many neighborhoods that it’s difficult to even figure out whether you’re living in the projects or the high life. Brooklyn is an extremely large community and I feel like I’d be swallowed up, so in short, another No.
Borough #3 – Queens
Queens is a foreign land to me. I went to Queens for a job interview once and it felt like I stepped into a whole different country filled with a diverse group of people that could not speak enough English to get me to a bus station out of there. Long story short, I ended up taking a $45 taxi ride back to my apartment and called it quits with Queens. No, no, no to Queens
Borough #4 – the Bronx
I don’t know why, but I feel its always necessary to say “the Bronx” when referring to this borough, and me being the picky person I am, I don’t really like that for some reason. Why does it have to be the Bronx like its some kind of area that people should gasp when they hear. This could be though, that a lot of people do have some type of feeling when told that the person they are speaking with actually lives there. The Bronx has always been notorious for its crime and unsafe neighborhoods; and while there are nice places there, I don’t think it is for me.
Which brings me to my final borough – Manhattan
The city of dreams, the concrete jungle, etc. This is where I would like to settle. As a little girl, I always dreamt of ending up here, and I’ve been determined ever since to make it my permanent residence. Something about the air here brings a sense of hope, hard work, and accomplishment to me and that is exactly why I plan to stay here. So it has been decided, Manhattan is the starting location .. now let’s see where I can go from there …
Until next time!