December 10, 2010

An Open Letter to New York...

Dear Manhattan,

I'm beginning to develop a hate/love relationship with you. When I was walking through the Bryant Park and Union Square Christmas markets last night, I was definitely loving you. Even though it was 23 degrees outside, I was more than happy perusing all of the shops in the market because let's face it, New York, you know how to do Christmas.

But some things need to change. It's crowded. Too crowded. I'm not asking you to go China on the city and institute a one-child policy to curb population growth but maybe recognize that it's crowded and expand the side walks a little bit so that I don't have to feel like I'm a sardine just trying to walk down 1st Avenue to get my eyebrows waxed.

And let's talk about rent. (Fellow bloggers, I'm revealing some personal information here) I pay $1000 a month + $50 in utilities (which is actually really low) to live in an 11x7 space (I'm sorry, I can't call it a bedroom) with a 15 inch wide by 12 inch deep nook that is supposed to serve as my closet. Oh and I share this apartment with 3 other roommates. The fact that this is normal is ridiculous. I lived quite comfortably on my own in Boston with my real people salary (which was not at all absurdly high) in a beautiful one-bedroom apartment. I shouldn't have to live like a cow in a slaughterhouse (this is so PETA of me...ugh) just because I don't make $60,000 a year.

Are there other places to live where I don't have to live like a sardine? Of course. Brooklyn is nice. The UWS and UES aren't crowded. But let's talk about this little thing called Apartment Hunting. Since November 15, I have sent out more than 120 e-mails to various people about apartments using Craigslist (which I abhor). More than half of them have been very nice people responding to me about how they're looking for a nice person to take over their apartment while they're doing mission work with AIDS patients in Nigeria and they'll send the keys over after I send them 2 months rent in security via Western Union.

No thanks. It's not like I'm applying to $600 one-beds in Chelsea either (clearly a scam)...when I respond to an $1100 studio in Prospect Heights...that's not unreasonable.

The other half of the places I respond to never write back (probably because they've received 27,000 inquiries...and the very small, select few of people who have gotten back to me are 1) people who I'm not compatible with 2) people who don't choose me to live with them or c) apartments in areas that I'm not too comfortable living in.

So what's a girl to do?

New York, I want to love you. In fact, I do love you. I love that I don't have to drive anywhere because you know how much I hate driving. I love that I can get fresh veggies at the USQ Farmers' Market instead of paying $5 for an avocado at the grocery store that rots the next day in my fridge. I love that it only costs me $6 to get a brow wax. I love that I see people like Mike Meyers and Bradley Cooper on the street and realize that that's normal. I love that the Mets live here. I love that there is a drug store on every corner.

But I hate that the only way for me to shop at Trader Joe's is to get there at 7am when they open or to wait in line for 45 minutes just to get into the store. I hate that I can't just run out of my apartment to go for a run because it takes me 45 minutes just to run 2 miles. I hate that the subways are horrific on the weekends. I hate that I don't think I've gone more than 4 minutes without hearing an ambulance siren blaring since I've been living here. I hate my apartment (but that's not your fault).

So what do I do? We need to make some changes to our relationship here. How about we work together? I'll stop complaining about you if you find me an apartment somewhere that's not so crowded and you get Trader Joe's to expand and you get the subways to start working a little better on the weekends. Hey, I'm ok with the $15 price hike for a monthly unlimited pass as long as you use that $15 that you're taking from me to get the E train to start running on the weekends.

Deal? Or maybe I'll make it my New Year's Resolution to stop complaining anyway...but you need to help me out here somehow, k?

Yours truly,


  1. my bro has a love/hate relationship w/ nyc (he used to live there for school and just recently moved back to boston)'s a unique city for sure!

  2. I would like to visit; not sure about live there but there are some things that sound appealing - no car costs is one that nice!

  3. Seriously, I don't know how you do it! I live in NorCal, just as expensive as New York as far as living goes, but we get to spread out!
    And that Trader Joes thing is just ridic! I love the city, too. San Francisco is nice! And I think a bit cheaper ;) LOL!
    Good luck girlie!

  4. haha this was cute! Consider me a follower of this blog. We're about the same age but you're life seems to be a lot more eventful! Good luck with the apartment search! :)

  5. I'm slumming it in Astoria right now. It's waaaay cheaper for a lot more space. The commute's a little bit of a pain but I love the neighborhood.

  6. ahhhh such a great post! i love how you highlight the very real contradictions of living in NYC - a city many people want to live in (if only for a short period of time) at some point in their life...i know i certainly have! a nice walkup in harlem (with a layout like carrie's from SATC of course!)

    but the cost of rent alone scared i stayed put in toronto....and next year i'm off to india...but maybe one day.

    in the meantime i still love to visit!

  7. Hi!

    That's a great letter- I used to love living in cities, but then I moved away to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere and fell madly in love with it. It's hard living in a city... in a closet.


  8. I always think about those things when I am visiting the city. I know people LOVE to live there but it seems like a hassle to me.

  9. I completely agree, especially with the quote- " I'm a sardine just trying to walk down 1st Avenue to get my eyebrows waxed."

    and yes the apts rents are ridiculously high but I cannot imagine moving y anywhere else


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