The Newcomers

Why I moved to NYC from Philadelphia: I wanted more excitement and to meet other young professionals

  • He found a room in a furnished apartment through Outpost Club, a co-living company
  • The $2,200 rent includes utilities and WiFi, plus free laundry and a shared rooftop deck
By Kelly Kreth  |
February 2, 2024 - 9:45AM
newcomers brick underground

"There are a lot of common areas where you can be part of a community," Sam says of his Outpost Club apartment building. 

Finding the Philly area lacking excitement, Sam got a job in Manhattan, eager to make new friends. He landed a room in a furnished rental in a co-living building and is enjoying the built-in sense of community. Here’s his story. 

I was born in Miami and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I had been living in University City, which is in West Philly, for about three years for work. 

I rented a one-bedroom apartment in a basic building with no amenities for $1,870 a month. I had in-unit laundry. 

The location was convenient, as University City is directly adjacent to the city center. I used public transportation to commute to my job in real estate and could get there in 10 minutes—and being in the city was nice, though Philly is not as fast paced compared to New York. 

My favorite restaurant was Sampan, which has happy hour on weekdays and all their plates are under eight dollars. Besides that, Philly was pretty boring unless you enjoy going to the same bars every weekend. Also, there weren’t many grocery stores near my building. 

[Editor's Note: Brick Underground's series The Newcomers features first-person accounts about why a renter or buyer decided to take a chance on NYC and live here now.]

Wanted: a place near the subway for $2,000

In June I got a job in finance in Manhattan. My goal was to find an apartment near the subway to keep my total commute to around 20 minutes. My budget was a maximum rent of $2,000. I wanted to live in either Williamsburg, Greenpoint, or the Upper East Side. 

While still living in PA, a friend of mine recommended Outpost Club, which is a co-living company that rents private rooms in furnished apartments. 

Outpost provided me with 3D tours of a few of the available units, so I did not have to go in person. I'm a procrastinator and ended up booking within a week before moving, but the process was fairly easy—all they need is proof of income and a credit check. If you have your documents ready, it only takes about 24 to 48 hours to secure a room. 

Once I selected a place, I rented a car and headed to NYC with only my clothing and small personal items since I didn't need to bring any furniture.

How he likes his co-living setup

I now live in a large building in Williamsburg—I think about 200 people live there. Everyone is either a young professional or a student. There are a lot of common areas where you can meet other tenants and be part of a community. The rooftop during summer is amazing and it has the most breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline. 

My room is in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. I really like the design because all the rooms are styled like lofts—you take stairs to get to the bed and the area below is a small office space. It makes the room seem spacious. My rent is $2,200 per month, including all utilities and WiFi.

There’s a laundry room in the basement with over 20 machines, all free for tenants to use. Right next to the building are Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which have everything I need. 

What he loves about his new nabe

Williamsburg has a lot of young professionals and is my favorite neighborhood in the city. A lot of big-name stores and companies are moving into the neighborhood, so everything you need is right outside your front door. Plus, my commute is just 20 minutes, which for NYC is not bad. I take the L train one stop to Union Square. 

There’s always something to do, and it’s so easy to meet new people. Everyone is from different places and has a unique story. 

One of my favorite places is Nora Thai, which is a few blocks from my place. Or if you want Mexican, there are so many food trucks all around that have very authentic food, usually affordable, and open late hours. My favorite coffee shop is Lattente. If you want to go out to bars, Union Pool is just a quick walk away and a popular place for people in the building to go to. The waterfront is also beautiful to check out, and is only about a 10-minute walk.

Moving to NYC was a good idea. Using Outpost Club made things easy and is especially good if you don’t know anyone here. There are a lot of scams for out-of-towners looking for a place to live in NYC, so this helped me avoid a lot of hassles. 

Friends and family who have come to visit feel my place is luxurious because it’s such a new building with so many amenities—including two elevators, which is quite a luxury in NYC. I have also made some new friends right in my building. I plan on staying and settling in. 



Kelly Kreth

Contributing writer

Contributing writer Kelly Kreth has been a freelance journalist, essayist, and columnist for more than two decades. Her real estate articles have appeared in The Real Deal, Luxury Listings, Our Town, and amNewYork. A long-time New York City renter who loves a good deal, Kreth currently lives in a coveted rent-stabilized apartment in a luxury building on the Upper East Side.

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