Yes, that’s right, I finally found a place in New York. It took about a week in all. But a very long, stressful week. The sequence of events went something like this:
- I flew in last Tuesday evening, having made an appointment with an apartment broker for Wednesday morning.
- On Wednesday, I met up with the apartment broker, we looked at a bunch of places, and I quickly realized that my hopes of living in Greenwich Village or Chelsea were doomed. Most of the places we looked at in the morning were so small that there was no room big enough to fit my couch, let alone bookshelves, stereo, etc. We did find a place in the afternoon with a reasonable size and location that I thought would work, so we put in an application. And the wait began.
- The next day (Thursday), the broker talked to the landlord, who said he’d have an answer at 2pm. I arranged to come to the office at 2pm so we could either sign the papers if the answer was yes, or look at more apartments if no. The landlord called back and said he needed more time and that he’d know at 4pm. So we went looking for more apartments up in Midtown West just in case. Didn’t find anything that particularly struck my fancy in a couple hours of looking. The landlord never called back.
- On Friday morning, we left a message for the landlord who wasn’t taking calls at this point. Saw another unit that was decent – right behind the Empire State Building, convenient to work, etc. Not available until April 1st, though. Since my company-paid hotel stay ran out on March 17th, and my stuff was arriving on a truck then as well, that wasn’t ideal. But the stuff could go into storage, and I could find a place to crash. So I applied for that place – I was getting desperate (and tired) at this point. And they said provisionally yes, which made me pretty happy after getting the run around from the first landlord for three days (we never did hear back from him).
- Friday afternoon, I took a break, and visited the offices of Fog Creek to remind myself that I wasn’t moving to New York just to make myself miserable with logistics. So that was good. And they suggested going on craigslist, looking at some places on my own, and maybe trying a different broker. So I used the computer at my desk (which they had already set up for me) and poked around on craigslist for a couple hours and called up a few brokers. One of them called me back and I set up an appointment to see some places with him the next day.
- Went out on Saturday, saw a couple places that I’d already seen with the first guy, but the fifth place we went to had some promise, and was available immediately. So I applied for that one, but the broker said the application wouldn’t go in until Monday because the building management company wasn’t open on the weekends.
- Sunday I took a break and hung out with visiting friends. Alas, I decided I didn’t really feel comfortable with the place I had seen the previous day, so I called the broker to withdraw the application and we arranged to go see some more places on Monday morning.
- Monday morning, I finally saw a place that I liked and that was available immediately. Unbelievable. I applied. Then they started asking for more paperwork. There was an adventure in faxing at the hotel (the guest fax machine was broken, so I asked the front desk people to fax the documents for me – they faxed it the wrong way up twice, and to a completely wrong number once, before getting it right on the fourth try).
- On Tuesday, they asked for yet more paperwork, including proof that I was actually renting my place in Oakland out, so I had to contact my property manager to fax a copy of the lease over. And then after all of that, they approved my application. I signed the lease that afternoon, picked up the keys Wednesday morning, and I’ve moved in already, with my stuff arriving tomorrow. Crazy.
Just to put this into perspective, it took much less time and effort for me to BUY a condo in Oakland than it did for me to RENT an apartment in New York. It was easier to get approved for the mortgage, it was definitely easier finding a place (although that was because Robyn Mohr was excellent), and much less stressful.
But it worked. I even started my job yesterday! So far I’m mostly configuring my computer and playing around with the company’s products, but they’ve got a lot to put on my plate. Oh, and I’m thinking of applying for this master’s program in Technology Management at Columbia. Feedback is appreciated.
Crazy week. Once my stuff arrives tomorrow, and I spend the weekend putting my apartment in order, I can actually start enjoying New York. Woo!
P.S. More interesting thoughts when I get my life in order. And it’ll help once I actually get internet at home – DSL will take a couple weeks to be installed and unfortunately there are no unsecured wireless networks visible from my apartment. But that’s the way things go.
P.P.S. Thanks to everybody who listened to me kvetch over the past couple weeks – I’m better now. It continues to amaze me how easily I can keep in touch with folks across the country with the internet and cell phones, not to mention jet planes. It’s a good thing I changed my cell phone plan from 400 to 1500 minutes a few months ago; in the month to March 14th, I used approximately 1300 minutes, which stupefies me.
P.P.P.S. Come crash at my place! Contact me if I don’t send you the new address in the next couple days as I catch up on correspondence.