80 days til my departure and I’m still in search for a place to spend my first month in NYC.
My particular plan after having done all my neighborhood research was to spend the first month in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the second in Astoria, Queens, the third in Harlem. These three accommodations I wanted to book in advance, before leaving home. Then the fourth in Brooklyn again, maybe South Brooklyn, because of the Brooklyn Book Fair, Jackson Heights or Sunnyside, Queens and finally the winter month in a nice Manhattan neighborhood. Upper West or Upper East Side, not to dream of something like Tribeca or the West Village.
So I started checking offers in Williamsburg. I found quite a lot in the beginning. The first one I really fell in love with was a very beautifully designed room with a big antic wooden desk in an artfully styled two bedroom apartment. The hostess was a writing teacher, liked eating out and had two dogs. The place was like made for me. But I thought it was still too early to book – knowing that New Yorkers think short-term and one day it had disappeared from the market. Disappointedly I continued my search. There was another nice place close by with a private bathroom and at least one dog. The guest room turned out to face a busy street with heavy traffic. Several reviewers had complained about that. Then I found an architect’s loft in Greenpoint. Greenpoint is not Williamsburg, but not so far away. The loft was very special and three young women lived there. The day I wanted to contact them it had disappeared as well. More places in Williamsburg turned out to be not available or only longterm. I started to check other neighborhoods and found an absolutely charming place in Clinton Hill. The hostess called herself a foodie, perfect. She declined me because she is planning to move – how can she do that?
Now there is one Williamsburg place still pending. The guest room is tiny but it has a nice and big kitchen and a backyard. The hostess is currently planning an own trip and thus still doesn’t know if the place will be available during my first month. She will let me know when she has worked out her time frame.
In Astoria I didn’t find many suitable places at all. There was more or less just one that seemed quite ok. The guest room was basic but quite big and airy and the hostess seemed to be nice and had been hosting for quite a long time. That one seemed reliable. But again, when I wanted to book it, it had disappeared. Good bye, awesome Astoria.
At least my favoured Harlem place was still available from July on and so I quickly booked it for my second month instead of my third one. That was the first change of plan. But it is a historic house with a front porch on Astor Row, “Block Beautiful”, the hostess is Caribbean and I didn’t want to miss sitting on the front porch in the evening with a glass of ice tea or whatever and feel like somewhere in the south.
I admit I’m starting to get nervous about my first month though. If the tiny room in the house with the big kitchen and the backyard will not be available – when will I know? – there are still some offers in Greenpoint and Clinton Hill that I haven’t checked out yet. If none of these is available however, I either need a miracle or I will have to consider other neighborhoods to avoid sleeping below Brooklyn Bridge. But which ones?
I definitely thought it would be easier…