Living in New York City is like no where else. Sometimes I am on the subway during a particularly horrific commute and wonder to myself, “Why am I doing this? No one anywhere else puts themselves through something like this every single day.” I’ve spoken with friends and always come up with the same answer: “Because it’s New York City.” There’s no where else I’d rather be at this point in my life (other than London but that’s a whole different can) and I’ve been very lucky in many ways thus far.
In 2011 I left beloved south Brooklyn and moved to Greenpoint. The apartment was an amazing deal and I was getting to live alone for the first time in New York. How many people can say they’ve done that? (How many people without a trust fund at least). Sure, my apartment didn’t have floors (just unfinished plywood) and I had to pay over a thousand dollars to install my own window gates, but I have been smitten with this place since I first saw it.
One of the first things I did upon moving in was install IKEA flooring in the kitchen. As reasonable as IKEA may be, flooring is expensive, and with the cost of paying someone to install it (believe me, you need someone to install it), I was in no position financially to install flooring in every room. Being that kitchens involve food, and food is gross and falls places, I felt like it should take priority. After speaking with my contractor, I decided I could swing re-tiling the bathroom at the same time, which was in a pretty bad state.
I could speak for hours on the home improvements that went on, but the point is that a year and a half later, operation floor refresh was complete. My boyfriend Ben moved in with me and finally we were financially able to pay for flooring in the rest of the apartment. Throughout this process many people told me I was crazy to put so much work and money into a rental. They’d always ask, “Did your landlord have you take it out of your rent?” I became more resentful each time this came up and finally realized why. Design aesthetic has always been important to me and home has been just as much so. With the money I’m saving by living in this deal of an apartment (and believe me, it is a deal even by other city standards), I am happily able to put some of that money into making my house feel more like a home. Sure, I’m not likely to stay here forever, but even after two years, I can say it’s been worth the craziness, the renovations, and yes, even the paint in my hair. xx
*I have to add a thank you to Ben for staying sane when I insisted we paint my bright turquoise bedroom (he had yet to move in) peach over the course of one night. Last week I decided I want to change to white. I think I’m on my own on this one.