When I first moved into my 575-square-foot alcove studio in the Financial District, the thing I loved most was that I was living in a recently renovated doorman building that allowed pets. I have a small maltese, so it was worth paying the price--$2,600 a month--for that luxury. To me this translated to CLEAN and SAFE. I also loved that my hardwood floors were not parquet, which I find looks cheap and unfortunately is used in so many buildings in Lower Manhattan.
What I disliked most was that the alcove, which I used as my bedroom, was located directly inside my front door. One has to walk past the bedroom to get to the rest of the apartment. I've never lived in an apartment that was this small. I've always had separate spaces for my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room and office. I had recently moved to New York from Massachusetts, and walking directly into the bedroom was just not something I was used to -- although, after living here for a year, I realize, it's not that uncommon in New York.
The other thing I disliked was hearing the same question from everyone about what there was to do in FiDi and why I lived down there.
Now, nearly a year later, that question no longer bothers me; my favorite thing is the neighborhood. The neighborhood is so quiet and peaceful; the city workers clean the streets every single morning keeping my area cleaner than most other parts of the city; and I live only two blocks from the water where I can walk for miles along the Hudson River.
The location is so convenient to all subways; I can easily catch the N, R, Q, J, Z, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains. There will even soon be a new section of the Hudson River Path between the Seaport and Battery Park which is supposed to have a really great dog park.
I have since sectioned off my alcove, creatively using curtains. The draped effect makes the area feel separate and serene. I no longer mind when people have to pass my bedroom to enter the rest of the apartment.
The thing I hate most is the rent: $2600 per month for a studio is a high price to pay even for a doorman and good location, but I would do it all over again in an instant. I think it's the most fabulous neighborhood, and it's exciting to live here at a time when there is so much re-building going on.
My lease is up in September. I may stay here, if the rent doesn't go up too much. But if I do move, it will be somewhere within this same general vicinity -- two or three blocks from the Hudson, in a newly renovated doorman building, somewhere between Peck Slip and Tribeca, in a building that has hardwood (non-parquet) floors. I have A LOT of options to choose from with those criteria in mind.
Then & Now explores how time illuminates the pros and cons of an apartment--and how what draws people to a place isn't necessarily what keeps them there.