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Old 04-22-2009, 07:26 AM
 
530 posts, read 2,714,605 times
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I did a search but couldn't find a similar thread. Thought it would be interesting to hear about everyone's first NYC apartment. Mine was a 2 bedroom on East 13th Street between 1st & 2nd Aves. Moved there in 1991, I was 23, rent was $1,000. Shared it with various roommates in the 3 years I was there. The area was much more dangerous than it is now. I can still hear the sound of crack vials crunching under my feet as I walked down the street. My first night in the apartment, I headed out to explore the neighborhood. On the stoop of the building next door, a woman was smoking crack. She looked at me and said "evening officer". I looked the other way and saw a giant rat on top of a garbage can. I thought to myself "what have I done!". The best part of the apartment was the ancient stove in the kitchen. It was actually a decent place and I always regretted leaving, especially after the neighborhood turned around. I can't imagine what the rent is now!
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
7,221 posts, read 10,539,787 times
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My first apartment was in South Williamsburg, in the Gretsch building. I lived in a long, narrow room in a loft--with a communal living room, and 2 kitchens. I shared the loft space with about 8 other people. My share of the rent was $650 a month.
I moved there in April 2001--when Williamsburg was just starting to catch "fire" and on the verge of the "it" neighborhood it was to become. That area in South Williamsburg had just a couple of trendy spots, but was mostly still rough and tumble and sketchy in certain areas.
The Gretsch building, as most people in NYC know, became a super luxury building around 2005/2006, and I'm sure the space where I once slept is probably part of an apartment costing around a million bucks + now.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
155 posts, read 542,018 times
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My first apartment is where I still am. It's a straight (non-alcove) studio in a postwar doorman building in the WVillage. I moved in when I was 26

Initially an $875/month sublet in 1991, I got the chance to buy the place from the owner, who was relocating.

I wish I had more space, but being single, on balance it's a truly wonderful place for what I pay now.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:53 PM
 
1,670 posts, read 5,984,867 times
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My first apartment was on Sterling Street in Nostrand in 1989, my rent was about $575 in a rent stabilized. It was a one bedroom in a messed up neighborhood, which looks a little different today. My apartment was decent, everything was new--it was just the block that had so much going on.There were dealers all over the block, but somehow I always felt safe. They looked out for me as I came home rather late from closing a restaurant. The building has transformed today to glam, the new owner has put back all the original detail into the building. I imagine, my 1 bedroom today go for about $1400.
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: NYC
304 posts, read 1,207,200 times
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Mine was in Park Slope, in the early '80s: I didn't especially want to move to PS, but had to find any liveable housing ASAP.
The place was a rent-stabilized fourth-floor one-bedroom walkup, actually pretty decent -- clean, refinished floors, nice-though-nonworking fireplace -- but in a dumpy building over stores. It was (get ready!) $200/month, which was wildly cheap even then.
However, the heat was iffy in winter -- like: no heat for two weeks at a time; the boiler-repair guys once refused to work in the building, because it was too cold. There also was a pizza parlor on the first floor, so the whole building always smelled like a giant pie.
And by the time I moved to Manhattan, two years later, one closet ceiling had caved in due to a leak; we'd had squirrels running around in the ceilings; and my whole LR ceiling was sagging in a very scary-ominous way.

Also, Park Slope still had some ungentrified aspects, even in the real, "central" Slope (as opposed to the Lower-Lower Peripheral Edge of the Slope Vicinity). I had odd work hours, and - late at night - it was sometimes pretty edgy around the Grand Army Plaza and 9th St. subways.

And one weekday a.m., a kid threw a _whole student desk_ out of the window of John Jay HS as I walked by. The desk hit a mailbox (which used to be on the corner) just a few feet from me, and broke into two pieces. I took the pieces, walked into the school, and told the security guard that I wanted to see the principal. Then I just handed the desk parts to the principal (or whoever it was) and said, "This fell from your window. I could've gotten killed."
He seemed aghast, and didn't argue about it, and I didn't prolong it: I was already late for work, so I just left him with the desk parts and headed for the train.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:38 PM
 
3,735 posts, read 4,136,724 times
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My first apartment was a two-bedroom on Riverside Drive & 113th Street for $400/month. It was a beautiful, pre-war doorman building with huge rooms, enormous windows and very high ceilings. The apartment had a wonderful layout.

The only problem was that I was subletting it from (and then sharing it with) a schizophrenic psycho who had trashed it by painting ghoulish murals all over the walls, destroyed the wood floors by letting her dog use them as a toilet, and ruined the tile floor in the bathroom due to the frequent floods that she caused by falling asleep in a tub with running water that would overflow. She hated a clean house and actually enjoyed living with roaches. She would inspect the apartment everyday looking for Combat roach baits that I had put out so she could throw them away; her favorite line was "They have just as much right to live here as we do."
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
40,051 posts, read 31,852,898 times
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My first apartment was in Park Slope, on 7 Street between 8 Avenue and the park. That was in the spring of 1980. $480 a month for one bedroom, which wasn't bad at all. A beautiful building, but the landlord was some kind of Ukrainian refugee whose idea of running a building was to turn the heat off at 9PM (hey, she was saving money!)

When winter came, I had a problem with an apartment that had no heat after nine o'clock. So I reported her to the city, and from that moment on, for some reason she didn't like me. Turned out that she never signed my lease, which is something that probably doesn't happen more often than once a century. I checked with the Department of Housing--a lease isn't legal without everyone's signature. So I found a new place and left her to her freezing apartment house (neither did I pay the last month's rent, which didn't endear me to her any more.)
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
25,806 posts, read 39,130,195 times
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my 1st place is where i'm at now....in Arverne (the Rockaways), $1050 a month for a 2 bedroom apartment, 700 sq ft. its very comfortable tho. only issues i have is the intercom system for the building doesnt work, i have to kill a roach once in a while, and they shoot frequently in the buildings across the street from me....but this is where i grew up so it doesnt phase me. home is home.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
467 posts, read 1,753,319 times
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Mine was only a few years ago for all of 2007, on 79th and York on the UES, in a tenement building, 6th floor of a walk-up, one bedroom with less than 300 square feet, utilities included for $1755, AND I paid a full broker's fee. Wow, was I taken for a ride, but we quickly smartened up and are getting ready to move into our 3rd apartment in June, in Brooklyn.
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:46 PM
 
Location: NYC
304 posts, read 1,207,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie1249 View Post
The only problem was that I was subletting it from (and then sharing it with) a schizophrenic psycho who had trashed it by painting ghoulish murals all over the walls, destroyed the wood floors by letting her dog use them as a toilet, and ruined the tile floor in the bathroom due to the frequent floods that she caused by falling asleep in a tub with running water that would overflow. She hated a clean house and actually enjoyed living with roaches.
She'd have loved the acquaintance I stayed with for three weeks (in the Bronx), before I got my own place.
I'd known him in high school, and he seemed normal -- nice/smart guy, sociable, white-collar management-type job. He offered to let me stay on his couch until I found a place.

But I'd never seen his apartment, and -- Oh. My. God.

The building was fine, but his place was Roach City:
He didn't clean at all, and his idea of "trash disposal" was chucking food debris into a big, open, leaking cardboard box in the kitchen, then dumping it once a week. The stove and kitchen walls had a coating of past meals, and he left food wrappers and take-out containers shoved under furniture, cushions, etc.
As a result, the place smelled like a dump, and roaches hopped out of the couch and rug; ran out of the intercom box whenever it buzzed; ran from under the phone when it rang; and crept inside picture frames, appliances, wall/alarm clocks, up the curtains ... _everything_.
If you sat still -- anywhere -- you'd sense (and see) the scuttling of bugs in every corner. And you can imagine what happened when you flicked on the kitchen or bathroom light.

To preserve my sanity, I sought-and-destroyed all of the garbage, then mega-cleaned and sprayed (which he thought was amusing). It didn't work, since the bugs ran the joint.
WORSE: When I'd spray, dozens and dozens of frantic, previously-invisible roaches would fall from everyplace, onto me, furniture, you name it.

I had no other temp-housing options -- but to avoid this nightmare, I stayed as late as possible at work, or _anywhere_, and my apartment search became totally manic.
(I also became seriously sleep-deprived and jumpy: Roaches would land on me even when I sealed myself into a sleeping bag and liner. To totally avoid roaches, I'd have had to tape myself into a few big Hefty bags, then suffocate.)

The limit was the day I was walking to the subway, pulled out my wallet -- and two roaches fell out as I did so, with another roach clinging to the wallet.
The next day, I took the first acceptable apartment I found. And before I moved in, I bombed, washed, boiled, disinfected and aired out everything I'd moved from that Bronx hellhole.
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