After getting engaged to my now husband in 2009, I moved into his Murray Hill apartment. Originally, we thought we'd tough it out for a few years in our comfortable studio apartment, but after going on a few open houses "just for fun," we started to get the itch.
By the spring of 2011, we couldn't just look and not touch anymore, In each apartment we went into, we started picturing all the furniture we'd buy and where we'd place it. Soon, we decided that if ever there was a time to buy, it was now.
We started our hunt around the Gramercy area, mainly because we worked in the East 20s and thought we wanted the convenience factor.
The more we looked, the more we realized we didn't want to be living in the neighborhood where we worked. I'd always been a West Side girl after all (I lived in Hell's Kitchen before moving in with my fiance), and after my stint in Murray Hill, I realized more and more that I wanted to be back on the west side.
Murray Hill is an interesting neighborhood -- one that I never quite fell in love with. It was filled to the brim with post-collegiate party kids, whose rents were inevitably paid for by their parents or by their jobs in finance.
Every night, we'd hear at least 7 sirens, a few arguments/fights, and "woohoo" girls - otherwise known as the indigenous people of the Hill. Even in our late 20s/early 30s, we felt too old for the neighborhood.
So after doing some extensive open house-ing, we fell in love with the Upper West Side. It took us close to 5 months from contract to close. At the end of November we moved into our larger, one-bedroom prewar apartment on the UWS, and we're loving it.
We're one express stop to Times Square, which means our commute to work is only 20 minutes.
Back in the Hill, we had to walk uphill and downhill 2 avenues and 3 blocks to a supermarket, but now, we live across the street from Fairway.
There are tons of cute and inviting cafés - something that absolutely does not exist in Murray Hill. If you saw a "café" in Murray Hill, it was usually just a glorified buffet deli. But here, there are fresh croissants, large, steaming mugs of cappuccinos and comfy couches to spend the lazy weekend mornings.
We love being two and a half blocks from Riverside Park and Central Park.
We love how much quieter it is here, and we love how we feel like we're actually going home when we leave work.
When I step out of my building now, I don't feel like I'm right by work -- or anything resembling work. Most buildings here are residential, so it just feels like home.
We're not sure what the future holds, but if it goes our way, we'll be staying here for a long, long time.