This week has been crazy. I think I mentioned that Boyfriend is apartment hunting, but it’s been so much crazier than I thought. His lease is up June 30th, so still being undecided and looking at apartments through today was really stressful! We’ve been going into work at 6 AM in order to get out early enough to see apartments in the afternoon, and then Boyfriend has even been going back to work after that and not getting home until midnight… just to do it all over again. Fortunately, by Tuesday, we found a few places that were good options. He wasn’t sold on any of them, but they all had potential, so it was at least reassuring to know that he would end up someplace decent.
The big debate is essentially whether he wants to live in the village or the Upper West Side. He’s already lived on the UWS for several years, and I’ve lived here too, and we both love it. But he’s always wanted to live in the heart of the village – with restaurants, bars, clubs, nightlife, people out and about all hours of the day and night… it’s quintessential New York. On the other hand, the UWS (at least where we live) is very residential and sedate. There are certainly still cool things to do, but it’s definitely not the same atmosphere at all. Boyfriend currently lives in a more central part of the UWS that’s still not like the village, but it has more life; meanwhile, I live out by the river where it’s all completely residential and suburban. The only commercial things near me are grocery stores/bodegas… if I want to go to a restaurant or bar, I need to go to Boyfriend’s side of town. But really? I like that. I like New York, but I’m really a suburban girl at heart, and where I live is the closest I can get to that.
Now, Boyfriend loves the suburbs too, and that’s ultimately where he wants to end up (neither of us has aspirations of staying in the city forever), but he feels a little cheated that he’s always had kind of the sedate, upscale, suburban New York experience. He never lived in Murray Hill (home to all the recent grads before they move on to more mature areas) or the Village (hello, NYU students!), and he feels like he hasn’t gotten the New York experience if he hasn’t done that. Until we started talking about apartments, I had no idea he had a desire to spend more time in these areas, and I pointed out to him that we could certainly take the short subway ride down there anytime he wanted to go out and go exploring, but he was really adamant that he wanted to be right in the thick of things, or it would never happen. And he’s kind of right about that – there are a ton of nights when we plan to go out but decide to just stay in one of our apartments, grab some beers, and watch a movie. We’re homebodies, what can I say 🙂
Anyway, the confounding factor here is that I really can’t be impartial about the decision. I love the UWS, and while I think the village is fun on occasion, I have no interest in living there; I’d prefer to just visit when I’m in the mood. Furthermore, I would much much MUCH rather he continue to live somewhere up near me instead of me needing to take a train anytime I want to see him. This is particularly true due to his crazy work hours. If he calls me at midnight and has just gotten out of work and is heading home, right now it’s easy for one of us to make the 10 minute walk over to the other’s apartment. But if that’s an hour’s time on the late night subway? It’s not happening. I know our relationship should be able to withstand the five mile distance (we’re celebrating our one year anniversary next weekend!), but I think it would just cause a lot of tension and arguments, and I’d prefer to avoid those.
He knows my feelings on this, and at first he wouldn’t take any of my opinions about various apartments seriously, because he thought I was too biased to be able to advise him. However, like the awesome girlfriend I am, I managed to be fully supportive of both locations. I told him I wouldn’t compare village apartments to UWS apartments, but that I would be happy to tell him which one in the village I thought was his best bet, and which one on the UWS should be his top choice for that. As I started this post by saying, we found decent options in both places… so now it’s all up to him.
The 350 square foot studio with no amenities in an old second floor walkup building… that is right smack dab in the middle of the hottest block in the village, with Boyfriend’s favorite bar in the village literally across the street? Or the beautiful 750 square foot (it is HUGE) alcove studio in a luxury doorman building with its own private park… that is three blocks from my building but has not a single bar or restaurant within a 10 minute walk? He knows which is the better actual apartment, but which one is right for him ultimately just depends on how much he’s willing to sacrifice for location.
I have really come around to the village after spending so much time looking, and I do think the studio there is great value for the area. It would be a really tight squeeze with his stuff, but it would be doable. True, it’s a subway ride away, but it’s actually quite close to the subway stop, and Boyfriend assured me that if he did move to the village, a) he would stay at my place a lot more to make it more even, and b) he would give me a key so that if I wanted to go to his place even before he got done with work, I could keep stuff there and feel free to use it as my own apartment.
Decision time is tonight… we’ll see!