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Moving to Astoria

January 23, 2009

I’ve live in my current apartment for three years, almost the entire length of my time in New York. Located in Harlem, the roof is coming in, there’s mice, the windows don’t lock, there’s holes in the floor. I could go on. Last year, in it’s infinite wisdom, the city took the building away from our landlord and put it in receivership. This was after 3 months with no hot water and 250 complaints in a year to 311 (in case you’re wondering if there’s a magic number).

As with most of time the city gets involved, it got worse. Now we complain to our long-suffering receiver that, for instance, our gas has been cut off because ConEd discovered multiple gas leaks. The landlord takes the receiver to court and they battle endlessly, three months, in fact. So far, the court has not ruled that we can have such luxuries as a working stove, a roof, or reliable hot water (it works sometimes!)

Paul on the deadly serious search

Paul on the deadly serious search

Unfortunately, we have a month-to-month lease. That made us the goldilocks of apartments. Inwood had giant apartments but we felt more isolated than we do now. The dodgier the neighborhood in Brooklyn, the nicer the apartment. We saw renovated apartments with a random box jutting out of the shower, so Paul would have had to hunch and shower every morning. We saw beautiful apartments with the train right outside (could we get used to it? Did we want to find out?)

Finally, we started looking for apartments in Astoria. I wasn’t a big fan of Queens; when I worked in food sales, we used to drive in circles until our GPS tried to put us into the river, and it didn’t have the cool factor of Brooklyn.  Still, my intern lived there and raved about it, and I have to admit, the community under the N train is so vibrant and old New York.

When I went to look at my first apartment in Astoria, I was sold (on Astoria, not the broker who tried to sell a month and a half fee on us).  Getting off on 30th, there was a shop window with fresh lamp hanging, another shop stacked high with fish on ice, a little organic grocer, and on my walk, dozens of little markets.  We found a place out there and you can hear about our move over at Rose in Astoria.

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