On April 14, I’m moving out of New York City. When Andy and I decided to live together when his current lease expired, we quickly realized that we could not afford a doorman building in Manhattan. Having lived in a shitty walk up building in a tiny apartment with no closets for the last six years, I really wanted to live a little bit better (Read: Someone to sign for my packages). I also wanted other luxuries that typically come from this type of building, including laundry, a dishwasher and a gym. I was tired of bringing my laundry on the subway to my mom’s in Queens every two months or so, and I was tired of “hoarding” my clothes because I never know what I might want to wear two weeks from now. Then I end up not wearing it either time — both now and two weeks from now — and all the stress was for nothing.
Now that you all know I am neurotic, let’s move on.
I work in Jersey City and when I first learned about this opportunity I said, “Ew!” I actually knew nothing about Jersey City. I worked in the World Financial Center for three years and often looked across the river at JC and wondered what went on there. My former company, Merrill Lynch, even had two offices there which I communicated with but never thought to visit. I didn’t understand who worked there or why.
When my roommate got a job in Jersey City a few years ago I was really surprised. When she quit a few days later, I was not as surprised.
I considered not even coming to my job interview. Jersey City? Stigma.
I don’t know where this stigma came from or why, but when I stepped off the PATH train for my first interview last summer, I was shocked by how pretty, quiet and peaceful it is here. The view of Manhattan over the Hudson River, the prettiness of the neighborhood, the walking path along the water. It was a very short train ride from the city but I felt like I went under a river and into a whole other world.
So when we realized we can’t afford the city, we set out search on Jersey City. Just to look. We spent one weekend in February looking at apartments, thinking we were way too early to look for the May 1 move in we needed. It turns out we weren’t too early, and when we fell in love with an apartment and building right off the PATH stop, that was it.
The building comes with a free membership to Club H gym, which is a really nice gym with fancy treadmills that you plug your iPod into and can watch things on and do other cool things I don’t know about yet since I haven’t actually tried them. The gym has an abundant class schedule which includes spinning and yoga, as well as a steam room and sauna. All for free. I was hoping for a standard apartment building gym, and never could have imaged THIS would be my freebie. Obviously this was a big draw for me. Although I still plan to go into the city after work for Refine a couple times a week. I need my fix.
The other great things about the apartment and the building include a gorgeous outdoor pool and sundeck with grills, a tennis court, on-site dry cleaning, a washer dryer IN MY APARTMENT (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), a dishwasher, four closets – one which is a HUGE WALK-IN, floor to ceiling windows, stainless steel fridge (my current apartment came equipped with a dorm room fridge), a nice entry way into the apartment, a kinda-big bathroom with nice black tiled floors and a normal sized sink (my current sink is mini: lots of splashing occurs), a carpeted bedroom and an overall gorgeous space. The area is fantastic: right off the Grove Street PATH stop by tons of cute restaurants and a couple of blocks from the Hudson River Waterfront and running path, and very close to Liberty State Park where more running can happen.
An apartment like this would be insanely expensive in Manhattan. An apartment with half the amenities and space would still be insanely expensive. Our apartment is actually affordable. You get so much more for so much less money.
And I get to live with my sweet Andy.
There is a lot we are really excited about but of course I have some concerns, and I will list below the things I will and will not miss about living in Manhattan.
Keep in mind that Manhattan is a 5-10 minute PATH train ride away depending on which train I take. Also keep in mind that the people on the PATH are overall less annoying, and I have only seen one beggar in my nine months of riding it. And lastly, keep in mind that I will be living so much closer to the West Side Hudson River running path that’s in Manhattan and by leaving the city, I will actually get to take advantage of this much more than when I lived there. If I want to.
I will also be closer to the far less crowded Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in Manhattan and be able to do actual shopping at these stores. Right now, where I live, it’s impossible. I find it funny how certain things in Manhattan will be easier for me to get to after I move away than they are when I live there.
Things I will miss about Manhattan
- Late night taxis
- Ease of getting anywhere quickly (in part, thanks to taxis)
- The ability to walk to any store I could possibly need without even crossing a street
- The proximity to Queens, where my mommy lives
- Central Park
- Ease of getting to early morning NYRR races
- Refine Method being a 10-block walk away
- Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot and Bloomingdale’s all being in a three-block radius of my apartment
Things I will not miss about Manhattan
- City taxes (not to be confused with taxis)
- The subway
- MetroCards (they never work)
- People on the subways (I hate them all)
- Non-moving lines for stairs (WHY is this a thing?)
- Weekend schedules/construction
- People stepping on my foot (ow)
- Apartments with no space
- Second Avenue subway construction
- Slow walkers
- The cost of orange juice
- Long waits for brunch
- The air
- The noise
- The price of everything
The stigma of JC is obviously gone, and time seems to be moving so slowly until moving day. My biggest concern (don’t laugh) was not being able to get to Refine as often or easily, but I know I can make it work. Plus I hope to run more often with the river so readily available, which goes well with my plans to PR in a few distances this year. And having an awesome gym right downstairs takes a lot of the edge off.
Time has felt very slow since the day we signed the lease, and these last two weeks are barely crawling. But the fact that I only have one more blog post to write before I move makes it better. Two blogs from now, I’ll be in my new place.
I’m really excited to live like a grownup for the first time. I plan to get matching nightstands that also match the dresser, just like real grownups have in their bedrooms. I also realize that real grownups don’t need to always say how grownup they are, because the whole point of being a grownup is just being one without talking about it. I guess I’m not quite there yet.