The Different Kinds Of NYC Apartments You Can Live In


There’s the I-Just-Moved-Here-And-Need-A-Sense-Of-Self apartment, usually on the Upper East Side, maybe in Yorkville. A small walk-up on a street with lots of families and a hair salon called A Hair’s Castle. The one that made you think, when you saw it, “I just want to be like one of those nuclear families, the kid walking to school under Ginkgo trees and the parents talking about their Halloween plans.”

There’s the I’m-Moving-Up-In-My-Career apartment. This one’s in a doorman building, but the doorman is probably ugly. It’s 2-3 blocks from Union Square. It’s a new building, with tinted glass everywhere. There’s a “rentals available” sign in garish white-on-navy type plastered to its side.

There’s the Dungeon-In-Paradise apartment. A shared bathroom situation in 250 grotty square feet above the Grom on Bleecker, and you run in place for exercise and do push-ups/sit-ups/bar-ups on a dirty mat beside your bed, looking at the vision board you’ve affixed to your single solitary white wall, and listening to the Russian tourists outside.

There’s the I’ll-Live-Here-Forever apartment, filled with the same faces and pierced bellies you kissed in college. You have a patio in deep Brooklyn somewhere, peacefully bewildered, proud of your Ecuadorian neighbors and tweeting the sound of the mosque across the street. Coming home gleeful about a sale at C-Town, nipples pierced but just as thrifty as your mother.

There’s the I-Just-Quit-My-Job apartment, in Bushwick, next to a clean rectangle of parking lot, and you walk across that lot with a sack of dirty panties each Sunday evening as the sun gets orange behind the brownstones without windows. And you’re only a ten minute walk from Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene, where you go on some Wednesday evenings when you feel sad.

There’s the Compromise apartment, where you begin with the cons and end with the pros when you explain it to your cousins at Thanksgiving. Looking out the window and justifying the small space with the view of the little shreds of skyline. Making an account of what you own versus what you could have had or had last year, putting it all on a scale and propping the scale up with your pinkie in the reckoning. 

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