Thursday, August 31, 2006

Real Estate 101

How to find a place in NYC if you're on a budget? (mind you a not so tight budget in international standards but a very tight one in NY standard? So, how much is that? Around 1100$ for rent. Pretty good no? LET'S SEE

1. You need to have a yearly income of 40 times the rent= 44 000 = Almost 4 000$ a month. Not so much for a professional, way too much for a single woman/man in her/his 20's. Anyways, let's assume, shall we?

2. Location vs. space:

a) You can get a closet room and I really mean closet (2m x 3m), no windows, in the hottest locations of the city.

b) You can get a good size room with a major drawback, this usually is a 4ft ceiling (1m almost), a basement apartment with no windows throughout, a missing wall, still in the hottest locations. (SoHo, Village, Upper East Side) So what smart architect would make a 4 ft ceiling apartment? Well the apartment is actually a regular one usually that is converted into a loft although true lofts need to have a 16+ft ceiling.

c) You can move towards Brooklyn or Queens. You'll get a studio in a nice area. Some parts of Brooklyn (hipster Williamsburg) and Queens (Greek Astoria) are nicer than Manhattan. They have a different feel to them along with being close to the city so you get the best of both worlds. The studio itself will be located on the border of the ghetto areas, it will be small, possibly in the basement of a bigger house, somewhat close to the subway system.

d) You can get a one bedroom apartment in the 'hood. Where is the 'hood? What defines it? It is anywhere ethnically diverse, aka urban. Harlem. Spanish Harlem, Bed-Stuy. It is not too dangerous but not safe either. You will find your starving and struggling students here and there.

e) You can get a 2-3-4 bedrooms apartment in the ghetto. That's basically anwhere deep in Brooklyn or so I've been told, I could be wrong since Brooklyn and Queens have key up and coming areas scattered amongst the ghetto. Oh well, what 20sth needs a 4 bedrooms house anyways?

3. Roommates. Who? How? How come?

a) Non New Yorkers or ex-residents of the tri-state or any other key state area: Nice, kind, flexible, gullible, stupid. You can make them pay more rent if they have the money, they're less cynical and more sane, they're usually dumb wide-eyed idiots from the midwest.

b) New Yorkers, students: risk of falling on druggies, substance abusers, "spiritual" vegans (aka no meat, chicken, fish or TV in the house)

c) New Yorkers, 30+: One word, Freaks. If you're a 40 year old who needs a female roommate you're bound to be a social loser looking for someone to rape in their sleep.

d) The extreme but not rare creeps: I have come across ads featuring free rent in exchange for sex, walking naked in the house with no sexual contact (puh'lease), sex with the husband (ad posted by the fed up wife...), etc etc, can't remember, i've actually blocked most of them out sub-consciously.

I can't remember why I started writing, I just have to say I AM TIRED, frustrated and mostly in awe and disbelief. Just put a broker then. I HAVE. Yes I have, at the expensive rate of a month and a half rent. Still nothing, NADA. You should also understand that you and a million+ others are looking for the SAME thing. And everyone is as desperate. Apartments are rented in a couple of minutes. Like Monk would say It's a jungle out there and hopefully it's also like frankie says if you can make it in new york you can make it everywhere (or something like that)

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm still here

I am picking up the pieces. I can still see the good side of things probably because of my young age and lack of experience. No I am not talking about the war this time. It is much more personal. It's been a hard 8 months. Is it time to look back and relax? No. It's only the beginning. It is not even the beginning, I am still preparing for that too. At least I have reached a somewhat stable state now.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Deal with it

Take a deep breath. It's over. You might have to hold your breath again but for now you can inhale and exhale. There's even more air to breathe in Lebanon, with 1300 less noses and mouths. Oh is the air polluted? The water and land too? Ok then die a slow death, watch out for kinder surprise bombs, use contraceptives because radioactivity is a danger, and don't forget to check those tumors out.
In the mean time listen to the empty speeches, take the dust off your rifle, you might need it. Lose your innocence, lose your dreams. Settle for less. Yes you heard me, settle for less, at least it's the safe way. Don't gamble with your future in a game where the house and the players always lose. Bad management.