What we're thankful for—NYC real estate edition

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As we've learned here at BrickUnderground after six years of covering New York City real estate, there's so much about our living situations that go wrong. But there's so much that goes right, too. Part of what makes living in this city—and navigating its knotty real estate terrain—so challenging but also invigorating is that just when we think we've had enough, something happens to make it clear that there's so much to be thankful for, too—our neighbors, our neighborhood, the fact that we found an apartment we love in the first place. 

Today, our editors and contributors share all the reasons they're feeling grateful, because 'tis the season, after all:

Makeovers done right

"I am thankful that my renovation is over—on time and relatively on budget." —Teri Rogers, Upper West Side

Views for days

"I'm thankful for my building's roof, with a view so majestic and perfectly situated that I've considered building careers around it. I can call into 1010 WINS and give them George Washington Bridge traffic reports. If I ever pursued a path as a Superhero, no doubt I would cast a watchful eye from a Perch of Justice high atop my building. For now, I'm more than content with being a bit of a tour guide, bringing friends and family up there to take in the spectacle." —Dennis Golin, Washington Heights

"I live in a narrow four-story apartment building in Bed-Stuy with no other tall buildings adjacent to it, so I get three exposures from my tiny one-bedroom. From my room, the windows look out onto all the backyard brownstones below. It's an incredible view, one you don't often see in the neighborhood, and I get to watch the massive backyard trees change throughout the seasons." —Emily Nonko, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Neighbors who are more than neighbors

"I'm so grateful for my neighbors. I do get annoyed sometimes with the many unexpected knocks on the door from people who just want to say hi (really it's to gossip or complain). Yes, I even get annoyed at how pushy they are about sharing the CSA hauls (I have enough cabbage for the winter, thank you!). But I do love that we have such a tight community. If you ever need anything, you'll never have to go long without somebody coming to your aid. We visit each other in hospital, bring each other tea and cake, accept packages, check mail, water plants, you name it. One big happy, dysfunctional family." —Mayra David, Harlem

"I'm thankful that we've started to make friends in our building and potential playdates for the winter time, when leaving the house will feel like a major chore." — Lucy Cohen Blatter, Upper East Side

"I am thankful to live in a building that has a wonderful community. The kids are friends, the parents are friends and the babysitters are friends.  It takes a village and we are happy to be a part of this one. Plus, the private park in the back is a nice perk, too!" —Jill Urban, Lincoln Square

"In the frenetic realm of NYC real estate, what  am I most thankful for? First on the list would have to be my amazing neighbors--the ones I wrote about in a recent post for Brick—the ones who rallied when I fell and broke my elbow--the ones who make our building feel like a home. I am thankful, too, for our most gentlemanly, capable and soft-spoken super,  Mike,  whom I am happy to consider a friend. And, dialing back decades, I am grateful for the fact that I was able to move into my building when young families could still afford to live and raise their kids here on the Upper West Side, a neighborhood that was unquestionably rough around the edges then (dangerous even) but at the same time diverse, interesting and never, ever dull." —Marjorie Cohen, Upper West Side

Transportation apps that make getting around manageable
"I'm also thankful for all the ride-share taxi apps (and their promotions) which have made living on the far east side so much easier." —Lucy
Furry friends (allowed to stay in our apartments)
"I'm thankfully that after months of sneaking around and tense negotiations, my landlord finally agreed to let me keep my cat (in exchange for raising my rent, but still.)" —Virginia Smith, Bedford-Stuyvesant
Dependable building staff are like family
"My doormen (at least most of them) are always nice, friendly faces that greet me and my kids when we come inside the building. The staff are quick, too, and when something goes wrong in my apartment, I can trust them to fix it." —Lucy
Homes (and buildings) that are actual sanctuaries
"I'm thankful for my newly repaired roof. Since moving into our house
five years ago, whenever it rained heavily outside, it would also rain
in our den. But no more!" —Leah Rosner, Long Island
"I’m thankful for the tenants’ garden behind my building. Our bedrooms overlook it and we wake to trees and birds every morning. It’s also a nice place to gather with our neighbors and our kids on weekend afternoons and, occasionally, with a glass of wine after they’ve gone to bed!" —Jennifer Laing, East Village
"Having just moved from a tenement in the East Village to a full-floor brownstone, I have a lot to be thankful for, but nothing so much as the wealth of light that now comes in every morning through my bay windows (so much better than the hour of sunlight I got from my old place!), not to mention my two gorgeous skylights. It's spacious and was recently renovated, meaning no weird stains in the tub. And we're lucky to have a great relationship with the landlord, who is quick to make repairs and has even offered to pick up groceries for us when she goes to the store. It's kind of like living in Mayberry, but in Brooklyn." —Beth Stebner, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Sidewalks and city grids and hidden pockets

"I love that I live in a city that's easy to explore and that still holds surprises even for residents who've lived here for a long time. There's no better way to get in touch with my love for NYC than to put on my sneakers and go for a long run through its parks (love Riverside Park and Central Park) and wend my way through all the different neighborhoods. Just when I think I have it figured out, I discover something new that rekindles the love affair again." —Jhoanna Robledo, Upper West Side

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