Sarah and I officially have an apartment in Brooklyn as of August 1, 2010. It’s tiny, it’s adorable, it’s directly across the street from a massive cemetery, and it’s ours.
After a brief false start in the apartment hunt, Sarah and I found ourselves exiting the subway and walking into what, after the first neighborhood we saw, may as well have been lined with house elves and hippogriffs. Which is to say, it was magical (and who else CANNOT wait to check out Wizarding World of Harry Potter???). Our realtor Emily, a petite Hungarian woman with no regard for traffic regulations, showed us the apartment and we were instantly charmed.
Apprehensive to agree to the first real place we had seen, we walked over to the closest bar to have a cocktail (natch), and talk it over. It was here, within the charming walls of Rhythm and Booze, that we met Michael. If we were at all unsure about the place before, those doubts flew out the window when we met Michael, a fifty-something year old Danny Devito-esque bartender with a jheri curl and a heart of gold.
We spent the next hour chatting with Michael and some other locals and learning the ins and outs of the hood. After a pretty strong bloody mary and a beer for Sarah, we were feeling pretty loosey goosey as we called Emily to start the paper work for the apartment. This is when the average apartment hunt turned into a race to the finish line.
Emily quickly revealed over the phone that another agent had scooped her listing and shown it yesterday, before it was officially vacant. The two girls who had seen it were in the office at the moment, starting the application process. It was at precisely this moment that Michael set another pint of beer in front of Sarah, with a happy “welcome to the neighborhood!” Obviously, we had no choice but to down our drinks and haul ass to the realtor’s office.
We arrived just in time to see our arch nemeses upstairs sitting at the desk. Emily ushered us downstairs and put us in a conference room while she went upstairs to get the necessary papers. Alone in the conference room, Sarah and I took turns throwing unwarranted and likely untrue insults and accusations at our new enemies, before revealing to each other that we were both, at present, more than a little tipsy.
Armed with the false confidence that only an early afternoon cocktail can give you, Sarah and I launched into a four hour campaign to become not only the best candidates for the apartment, but also the best friends of every realtor in that office. By the end of the day, we knew where everyone was from, where they lived now, what high school they went to, how many children they had, their favorite sports teams and their political tendencies. Seriously. LYLAS, New Millennium Realty!
Big Mike graduated from the high school across from our apartment. He wants to move to Arizona because he loves golf, but his wife is Filipino, so she worries that she will get harassed for looking ethnic. He thinks that Lebron made a mistake going to Miami. Barbara has a son who just finished his first tour of duty in the Air Force, and is preparing to go back. He’s single. Emily is a self-proclaimed awful driver who, after not operating a car for more than ten years, just purchased a large SUV. She frequently double parks, and runs red lights like its her job.
By the time we walked out of there, Barbara was ready to give her son’s phone number to Sarah, and I was promising to hook Big Mike up with my dad for tee times in Phoenix.
I don’t know if it was fair, but it worked. Despite the other girls getting there first and having an almost identical application as ours, we got the call Monday morning to come in and sign the lease. [One of the realtors told us when we were signing the lease that the other girls needed to move into a place immediately. I felt zero guilt. Guess I’m on my way to being a real New Yorker!!!! — Sarah]
Next step: housewarming party planning. We can probably only invite four to six people given our spatial constraints, but the rest of you can entertain yourselves by doing seances and writing angsty diary entries in the cemetery. [We’re in the market for a crock pot…just saying. They’re SO MONEY!!! — Sarah]