I recently moved from a two-bedroom share on E. 9th Street and Avenue B in the East Village to a studio on 12th Street and Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Since my lease was ending, I thought it would be a good opportunity to move closer to family in Brooklyn and to live on my own.
My second floor walk-up apartment in the East Village was located in a carriage house behind a two-story apartment building. The carriage house was only accessible by walking through the apartment building into the garden behind the building. The garden was spacious and tended by all of the residents, and the area had picnic tables and benches. In addition to the garden, the apartment itself offered a spacious living room and a good amount of closet space. My bedroom easily held all of my furniture without being cramped.
My share of the rent was $1,250. Though no utilities were included, I felt that the price was worth it for the outdoor space, easy accessibility to other neighborhoods and good shopping, restaurant and nightlife scenes. I was also very close to the post office and Tompkins Square Park. Decent grocery stores were a couple of blocks away, though quality was often inconsistent. I would usually buy food from Trader Joe’s in Union Square.
One of my favorite shops in the area was Vera Meat, which offered stand-out hand-crafted jewelry. My go-to ice cream shops during the summer were the amazing Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Cienfuegos was a pricy but very sexy bar that I enjoyed frequenting.
Though the neighborhood had everything that I liked in terms of entertainment and culture, the biggest downside was that there weren’t any trains within a 10-minute walk. The closest subways were the F at Second Avenue and Houston and the L at First Avenue and 14th Street. I enjoyed seeing the neighborhood on foot, so the 20 minute trek to NYU for classes wasn’t a huge issue.
All in all, I liked the neighborhood and apartment, but was ready for a change of scenery after spending four years in the area for college.
I made the transition to Park Slope to be close to my mother, who lives in the neighborhood, and for the similarly vibrant nightlife and food scene. The neighborhood felt very safe, and I liked that the community seemed to be made up of young professionals (amongst which I count myself), as opposed to college students or hipsters.
At $1,650 per month, it was a steep price to pay, but worth it for the great neighborhood amenities and my own space. My 4th floor walk-up, medium-sized studio has a half-wall separating the bedroom area from the living and dining areas. I have two large windows that offer a lot of natural sunlight and three closets for storage.
The apartment is a two-minute walk to the F and G trains and a five- minute walk to the N and R trains. Though I’m closer to the trains, my commute to Columbia grad school is around an hour, sometimes more depending on construction challenges. Getting around Brooklyn and lower Manhattan is fairly easy and quick though.
In my neighborhood, there are four grocery stores (one open 24 hours) within a one-block radius. Other amenities such as the post office, dry cleaning and clothing boutiques are within close proximity as well. Among my favorite stores and restaurants are clothing boutique 4play Brooklyn, Talde for Asian cuisine and Backyard for cheap brunch cocktails on the weekends.
Overall, I feel that I made a good choice in choosing Park Slope over the East Village for the convenient neighborhood and accessibility to friends and family. And living alone is incredible.