Take It Or Leave It

Take It or Leave It: Does this $2,500/month walk-up 1-bedroom make you want to live in Midtown East?

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In this edition of Take It or Leave It, our veteran renters suss out what’s good, bad and ugly about this sunny 1-bedroom in a Midtown East walk-up. Our panelists—who among them have 43 years of rental experience—include RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter.

The Apartment:

Size: 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
Location: 975 Second Ave. between 51st and 52nd Sts. in Midtown East
Cost: $2,500/month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 29 days
Subway: E, M, 6 at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.; N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 at Lexington Ave.-59th St.; S, 4, 5, 6, 7 at 42nd St.-Grand Central; E, M at 5th Ave.; F at Lexington Ave.; N, Q, R at 5th Ave.

Pros and Cons:

Zeb: “This place has fresh paint, shiny floors and an attractive brick fireplace. But the cons definitely outweigh those pros. First, there’s no elevator. Second, the kitchen looks like it got shot by a shrink ray. And last, that attractive fireplace is purely decorative.”  

Lambeth: “This sunny apartment feels compact and clean and, while the kitchen doesn’t look that special (pressboard cabinets are a cheap fix), I like the charm of the exposed fireplace even if it’s just for show, and the view from the living room. Plus, you can quickly run downstairs for a homemade cupcake at Buttercup Bake Shop. The biggest downside of this Turtle Bay 1-bedroom is that the apartment will soon be noisy due to work on the Second Avenue subway.”

Lucy: “If you work in Midtown, you may be able to walk to work, which is extremely convenient. The decorative fireplace is also a nice touch. As for the cons, the most obvious one is the fact that it’s a walk-up, though it’s not clear what floor it’s on. Also, the apartment looks small, with a less-than-spacious living room and kitchen.”

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

Zeb: “In my experience, Midtown East is where a lot of people work and shop, but not many people live. That being said, a single professional who works in the area and is looking for a nearby 1-bedroom could conceivably be happy here.”

Lambeth:  “A junior ad exec who wants to live within walking distance of the office.”

Lucy: “A Midtown worker who spends a lot of time at the office and wants to be close to work. Or a single person/married couple who don’t mind a walk-up.”

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT “You don’t want to be doing your dishes in a bathroom-sized sink far away from your friends in livelier neighborhoods.” —Zeb  

LEAVE IT “…unless you’re going to be working late often, want to only have a quick walk home from work, and don’t mind paying $2,500/month to live in a walk-up.”—Lambeth

LEAVE IT “The apartment seems pretty generic, and without much charm, which explains why it’s been on the market for nearly a month. Plus, the walk-up element doesn’t help.” —Lucy

Ready to rent? Check out our How to Rent Guide...and if the apartment you like requires a guarantor that you don’t have, see if the landlord accepts Insurent, a guarantor solution from one of BrickUnderground’s sponsors


Take It Or Leave It is a weekly column in which a panel of long-time renters weighs in on the pros and cons of an apartment that’s currently on the market.

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