Time to look for new apartments. I have the option of renewing the lease on the apartment I have, but my roommate situation is not one I’m happy with and want to continue. Apparently having cockroaches crawling out of every socket imaginable isn’t “proper living conditions,” and their version of doing the dishes isn’t what I appreciate.
There are a few ways to go about finding an apartment in New York Cty and the surrounding boroughs:
People you know.
This is usually the best way, but can lead to awkward situations when you get set up with an apartment with a friend of a friend’s cousin and when you get in any disagreement, you’re original friend sends you a message asking if everything is ok. Fuck off, yeah?
You can also ask publicly through Facebook, but you’d be surprised how rarely this works. It usually ends up with a few bum leads and way too many people “liking” your status. Sorry dudes and dudettes, but that doesn’t do shit toward my apartment hunting. If anything, you’ve wasted my time checking the notification I get, thinking it’s a lead when instead it’s your thumbs up.
Go professional. This is going through a broker or a real estate fucker. These people suck and will try to dick you out of everything and in the end will really just find you an apartment you could have found on your own if you’d just looked a little harder. This idea may change as you get older and more established, but for an early 20-something, this option seriously sucks because they don’t give a shit about you and in their mind, you’re taking up time they could be using jerking over someone with more money.
Craigslist. This is the way to go! It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of navigating the NYC Craigslist page, you’re a zen master of odd shit and a few possibilities.
The thing that can be daunting with the NYC Craigslist is how fast it moves. You can narrow it down to the borough, which is a highly suggested move. Even at that, it is very easy to get lost in the search, and unless you’re super good about saving all the info about each apartment, its easy to find one that might seem right, keep looking around, and then never find it again.
This is where my psychology degree comes in, and if you use this strategy in your Craigslist searching, I promise you you’ll be ahead of the curve and more likely to get that overpriced studio or that three bedroom with five people looking for a sixth.
There is a form of memorization called Pattern Recognition, and it’s something very easy and useful. The idea behind it is that it is generally easier for the brain to remember things if they are in a pattern, and not a stand alone thing. It’s a simple form of organization that your brain does very much the way the grocery stores are purposefully built in chunks of things to keep you continuing to buy shit, even if you don’t need it.
For Craiglist posts, it’s easy to lose your “Ready to move in! Beautiful apt. 3 bed duplex” among the other posts for “2BR Loft, Washer Dryer Hook Ups!” and “Gorgeous Studio” and “Massive newly reno space!” as you scroll through the muck and the noise trying to find one that fits within your budget and comfort level.
Instead, begin to take note of the oddities around the one you are interested, until eventually, your brain will recognize the pattern of about four or five posts as you scroll through the pages at an incredible rate. It’s like the key to a magic eye puzzle.
Things to help you memorize: posts in all caps, posts with **** around them, and especially posts with card symbols, like the spade or a club. Those posts are typically ones to avoid, but if you take note of their existence, it will get you one step closer to choosing the next closet sized room you can call your own!
And as always, every few minutes, pop over to the Missed Connections and especially the Casual Encounters page. This is like peeking through the cracked doorway into a world that exists, but hopefully you’ll never be a part of. These pages are a reminder of how weird people are, and that everybody’s got their thing.
Depending on the month’s rent and how hungry you are, take a few pictures of your feet and sell them to some pervert for $25. If they want to see what your face is to go along with the feet, look through your Facebook account and find that one girl who was a cunt to you, crop out her rape-eyed boyfriend from their yearly Christmas card photo and send it! If they really want to get weird with it, melt a little coconut oil and spoon it on the tops of your feet. It’s a great moisturizer anyway, and then you can totally charge an extra $10.