Finding a decent apartment in Brooklyn isn't easy, which is maybe the understatement of the year. You peel and tear apart Craigslist, social media groups, any rental site you can find, scroll and click, feeling like you're looking at the same overpriced place in a terrible location over and over. The cost is overwhelming enough, and then once you've narrowed it down to a few potentially reasonable places, you're running all over the city, showing up to find that the advertised room is a really a closet with no windows, or actually just a small attic with 3 feet of headspace, your prospective roommate is frantically showing you around, screeching "I'm not looking for a friend this is purely a business relationship", then there are seven sets of stairs to climb, or you're wondering how to break it to the tenant that you really don't want to live in their hallway.
Every one here has a horror story, from the apartment search itself, to moving in and discovering there's a leak right above the bed, the heat doesn't actually work and all the housemates are spending the winter huddled around oven until the landlord finally calls back, it could go on forever.
Last year, just when I was about to give up, I found my place.
Responding to a decent ad on Craigslist, I made the trip down to Ditmas Park in the Prospect Park South region of Brooklyn, knowing I would be far from most of my friends and my job,but so defeated from searching that I would almost take anything. I met my roommate, someone who grew up in Vermont (and ended up having a mutual friend with my grandmother!), at the door and felt immediately comforted. We climbed the stairs and I was met with a beautiful white, plant-filled space. She showed me around and I was already at ease, walking on wood floors, admiring the old-features --a kitchen with a window , a charming gas oven, a sparkling bathroom, and an actually decent sized bedroom! I sat down with my roommate and it was clear we were already going to be good friends, our tastes so similar, her book collection so complementary to mine, and then it was at a reasonable price. I settled on it immediately.
And still now, after having lived here for almost a year I marvel at how lovely this space is. I have a little sanctuary in this busy city, space and quiet, and a roommate who's also my friend -- amazing. Sometimes on days off it's hard to pick myself up off the couch and get outside.
And even though I'm not quite at the cabin-in-the-woods dream yet, this is more than good for now.
Plus the space comes with two cute cats. ^_^