Living close to a New York City beach offers a particular mixture of pleasure, gloom, and inconvenience. You can wake up to delicious salty breezes and immense views of the sky that most New Yorkers see only on occasion. But city beaches are so crowded that strangers lie on towels and bob in the surf within inches of each other. And here in Brighton Beach, you are a good hour from Midtown Manhattan, if that’s where you work.
When summer turns to fall, the boardwalk reverts back to local use only, and you can feel like there’s room to breathe. Then the weather turns chilly, and you can pretend you are starring in your own movie and stare out at the misty sea, filled with melancholy. When your soul overflows with longing, you could shuffle along to one of the many Russian restaurants in the neighborhood, also known as “Little Odessa,” thanks to the large number of ex Soviets who settled there. Revive yourself with blintzes and borscht, and, of course, vodka. And if your spirits recover, go experience the pulsing neon lights at Tatiana Restaurant’s disco.
So beach fans should consider this two-bedroom, two-bathroom rental, 3052 Brighton 1st St., #3C., which is asking $2,500 a month with one month free and no brokers fee. There’s a washer/dryer in the apartment, and the building has an elevator, parking garage, bike storage, and a roof deck that looks like a prime place to watch the sky darken.
The images accompanying this listing do not show the actual apartment, so if you’re lured by the attractive wood floors and cabinets, be sure to check everything out in person.
Would you say “da” to this Brighton Beach apartment? As always when weighing New York City apartment listings, we turn to our Take It Or Leave It experts: Constantine Valhouli, founder of real estate research and analytics firm NeighborhoodX; freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald; and myself.
But first, here are some pictures of an apartment in the building, the building, and the view.
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Pros and cons
“Two things stood out to me immediately when I looked at this Brighton Beach listing: You've got to love brown (even the bathroom is accented with brown tiles), and you've got to like commuting and doing all your errands on the Q train since that's going to be your MTA lifeline. On the flip side, this building is right in the middle of the NYC storm zone, so you'll want to keep this in mind before you sign on the dotted line of your lease.” —Lambeth Hochwald
“You're living at the beach, in New York City. Of course, they just discovered the great white shark nursery for the entire East Coast is off Long Island, and this is the western edge of that island. In the summer, it's surf sharks and budgie smuggling. But you can still run along the shallow parts, like the opening scene in ‘Chariots of Fire.’ In the winter, you can put on a long overcoat like Robert Smith of The Cure and sing Morrissey lyrics to yourself (‘Trudging slowly over wet sand ...’) as you mope dramatically at the seaside.” —Constantine Valhouli
“At 950 square feet, this apartment, with two bedrooms and two full bathrooms, and laundry, is a pretty sweet deal for $2,500. And its minutes from the beach and boardwalk, so you could get out there and enjoy a walk or a run before the hordes pour out of the subway and head to the beach. Or get up late if you like a party atmosphere, then you’ll find this is the place. Stock up on lightweight furniture, a cooler on wheels, and a tent, because people set up on the beach like they live there, which in a way, they do.” —Jennifer White Karp
Whom it’s perfect for
“A pair of California transplants who love the idea of living in a building called The Grand Chateau and plan to run along the beach until it starts snowing.” —Hochwald
“As more of NYC feels homogeneous, it's increasingly rare to find neighborhoods that feel like they have a distinct identity. The elevated train tracks and outer-borough vibe evoke John Travolta in ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ combined with a sense of dodgy-but-interesting nightclubs and the scent of blueberry blintzes and assorted Eastern European goodies. It's former Soviet bloc meets block party.” —Valhouli
“Roommates who want some space and privacy from each other. Not having to share a bathroom is rather ideal. You’ll need the time you saved not having to wait for your roommate to finish curling her hair for your commute.” —White Karp
Take it or leave it
TAKE IT: “If you don't mind being very far from Midtown and want to really feel like you're as far away from the hustle bustle as the subway will take you.” —Hochwald
TAKE IT: “You're living at the beach (with a washer/dryer) for less than the price of a studio in Yorkville.” —Valhouli
TAKE IT: “Think of the money you’ll save on a beach house share.”
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