Sunday, April 18, 2010

Apartment Hunting

For the past six Sundays--my only day off from three "day jobs"--Kip and I have run ourselves all over parts of Brooklyn looking at apartment after apartment, in many different neighborhoods, at many different levels of nice and nicer (some were decidedly not nice) until, this week, we decided to move ahead with a beautiful space on East 7th Street in Kensington. Barring any unforeseen strangeness on the part of the owner, or, say, plumes of volcanic ash, we should find ourselves unpacking boxes and arguing about paint chips on June 1.

So, today, I got to spend the time doing what I like to do best: eat, sleep and watch TV. Kip can sleep through anything, and does, so I usually wake up before him, sit around surfing the Internet and chatting with other early risers, and then after and hour or so, I crawl back into bed and see if I can get a few more minutes rest. Then we lay there petting the cats and talking about what we plant to do with the rest of the day.

We decided that since we didn't have to schedule or re-schedule apartment seeing, wrestle with agents who show up or don't, whose listings are either genuine or not, and whose interest level is probably in direct proportion to the amount of distrustful, shocked looks we tried to hide while they showed us something that had been on the market for many, many months. Not to readers: You don't want to live in an apartment with floor drains in the middle of every space they are calling a bedroom.

There were, however, some incredibly beautiful spaces, and for not that much money. We looked at a place in Crown Heights that retained all the original woodwork from the 1910s, and, oh yeah, had three fireplaces. But, ultimately, the layout was a bit strange and we couldn't figure out how to use the space with the way we wanted. We also looked at a full three-floor house in Lefferts Gardens that was, quite simply, not to be believed. Front porch, backyard, two-car garage, three bedrooms upstairs, three bathrooms, washer and dryer, dishwasher, antique stove, and more and more and more. We decided that we couldn't afford it. Or that we could afford it, but then we'd find ourselves house poor. (Additionally, I didn't want to pay the outrageously high broker's fee to a broker who showed up 15 minutes late in his white Corvette and departed quickly to make it to his martial arts class.)

I'm nervous about the changes ahead. But also looking forward to them. Here's hoping that the cats make friends, that the presence of the dishwasher means that Kip actually does the dishes that I dirty when I cook, that the central air lulls us to sleep every hot summer night, and that the small square of dirt in the back bursts forth with whatever we plant there. Movin' on up, indeed.

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