It was a beautiful spring day in mid-April. I was minding my own business, watching "Friends" on TV (because isn't "Friends" always on TV somewhere? Not that I'm complaining) and musing about how parts of the show could more or less be my future, since I had just committed to going to New York University (NYU) for grad school in the fall. Like I always do when I'm watching a "Friends" marathon, I was enjoying myself immensely... when the episode "The One Where Ross Moves In" came on.
Suddenly, I was hit with the reality of what I was doing; before too long, I was going to have to go apartment-hunting. Except unlike Ross, I wouldn't have the benefit of friends to stay with while I looked for a place, and I couldn't do it in person. Either I'd have to go online and hope for the best, or haul all my boxes from Michigan to New York and hope I could find something available right then.
Which is definitely not an advisable choice.
I talked with my uncle, who lived in the Bronx some years ago, about finding an apartment somewhere and mentioned that most of the ones that had been listed during my brief visit a few weeks prior had been studios. He described the way studios used to be built, and Ross' visit to an available studio brought that conversation to the fore of my mind.
Other quotes from this episode that highlight my anxieties: "Not a lot of closet space, but he could just hang his stuff out the window in a bag!" Thanks, Chandler...
When I first watched this episode, I hadn't realized that was actually a thing. Now, I realized that, if push came to shove, I might have to make my morning breakfast while trying not to trip over my bathtub and brush my teeth and wash my dishes in the same sink.
I thought that only happened in my Sims game when the kitchen sink glitched and my characters carried their plates across the house to the bathroom.
Um... extra storage space, I guess?
I don't want to have a toilet in my closet. Or in my kitchen.
I really can't stress that enough.
But apartment hunting isn't the only thing I'm worried about. I felt good enough walking around in New York, sure, but wow were there a lot of sirens in the streets while I was there! And I could have an uninvited guest in my apartment...? I can totally see this scene playing out at some point during my stay:
The primary difference being that I don't think any of my pots are actually big enough to hold a pigeon. Also that no matter what, my apartment will never be as beautiful as Monica's.
To be fair, a sparrow flew into the top floor of my Dearborn apartment building, but it wasn't in anyone's apartment, just in the hallway. My friend and I managed to corral it into one section of the hall and get it to fly out of the window it came in, no cookware necessary.
At least my current upstairs neighbor has prepared me for noisy neighbors. I'd still prefer quiet ones, but hey, I can complain about them for another two years.
I've realized that, over the last three years, I've slowly become Mr. Heckles. I don't really know how to feel about that. Except my upstairs neighbors play basketball in their apartment and blast EDM and might secretly be keeping baby elephant, so they're probably worse than Monica and Rachel could have been.
On top of that, if I don't manage get my own place, I could have whatever insane person is living above me for a roommate.
I really don't want to be afraid to come home. I don't want to have to sleep on my neighbor's couch. And for the record, watching people sleep is not cute, it's creepy.
Despite all of these worries, I'm hopeful that at some point, I'll get past them and really get to enjoy living in New York City (as much as one can while swamped with graduate-level work). With any luck, some of my friends from Michigan will be able to visit every so often (it's only a ten-and-a-half hour drive), and I'll find new friends while I'm there that I can have wacky, wonderful new experiences with.