Since my last installment of Farm to City, I have temporarily parted ways with my beloved NYC sublet and moved back to in with my fiancé in Ohio. This was not by choice since I have loved living in NYC probably more than anywhere else I have ever lived, but rather out of financial necessity.
Rest assured, I will be back.
In the meantime, as an exercise in perspective, I'll wind down this column with a sampling of my friends' and family's reactions to my sublet.
I was somewhat surprised at the comparison people tended to make between my apartment and a college dorm—my apartment was generally considered inferior.
“Most of us who have ever been to college had more than that,” said my Dad.
My fiancé, Joe: “I have never stayed in a $975 a month dorm room with a kitchenette."
I get it. It was small, but to me it never felt like a dorm room. Maybe it was just the lack of text books and a minifridge between two paper-strewn desks that gave it a more home-y feel. Also, it's hard to imagine a college requiring its students to walk up four flights of stairs.
The word “dorm” came up a lot, but there was also a lot of discussion about the general lack of space.
“I'm not like a super bumpkin surprised about the city,” Dad said, “but it is awfully tiny for what you had to pay.”
I must admit that I, too, was surprised at the price considering I was sharing such a small space, but on the Upper East Side, that’s a steal. I’ll definitely be looking outside of Manhattan—like somewhere in Astoria or New Jersey—when I move back.
My mom certainly had a lot to say on the subject of size as well.
“I don’t know how I would handle such a small space. I don’t think I would make it very long living there myself. I mean, my entire kitchen is bigger than your whole apartment. I’m pretty sure our dining room is bigger too!”
My friend Alyse also expressed some strong opinions.
“Your kitchen felt like a prison," she said when I asked her to reflect back on her visits to my sublet. "Also, I felt like I was going die when I got to the top of the third flight of stairs and realized there was still one more flight to go.”
I agree. That third flight definitely started to burn in the thighs.
“Although I’ll miss it, I also won’t,” she added.
I can’t say the same. I will definitely miss my first little (shared) studio in NYC. Having grown up in a 3,000-square-foot farmhouse surrounded by hay fields, woods, and wildlife, the city is an experience I definitely want to experience again.