I recently decided to move out of my apartment at the end of May and sublet a place for summer while job searching, writing, submitting articles, interning for a fashion Frenchie, marching in parades, sewing mobiles and waiting for responses to my tv writing fellowship applications. Clearly I decided to move because I didn’t have enough on my plate! Even though moving is the one thing I consistently hate with a passion equal to my love for writing (and my love for your mom), there were surprisingly positive results from Sublet Safari 2010.
After living in Brooklyn for eight months, I finally learned more about different parts of this borough because of all the apartments I visited during the search. It opened my eyes to the fact that I was still surburban-style squeamish about some neighborhoods with cultures that deviated from what I was familiar with. In one week, I visited East Williamsburg (Billyburg if you prefer to be more casual), Crown Heights (my mind is not quite changed about this ‘hood), Greenpoint (insert Polish sausage joke here) and various other neighborhoods.
It’s not that I haven’t been to these areas before. It’s just that I only went to other neighborhoods for drinks at bars or parties. So it was the first time I was seeing these places by the sober (literally) light of day. It was a completely different experience! Instead of vague shadowy shapes all lurching around drunkenly on sidewalks, I encountered young families and grizzled residents shuffling through their daily business. Their actions combined into a unique personality for each neighborhood, so that Brooklyn was no longer quite so anonymous to me.
Then, there were the people that I met. Going into this venture, I was skeptical. What sort of shady characters post their apartments on Craigslist? Well. The sort of shady characters that I would like to befriend! Among the amazing people I met, there was a Columbia MFA graduate performance artist headed to Maine for a summer residency, an Isabella Rossellini look-alike who sang in the subways and a comedy writer polishing off a script for a musical before heading off to summer camp!
I sat and chatted for hours with many of the people who welcomed me warmly into their homes, and even had an impromptu brunch of almond-chocolate croissants, Puerto Rican coffee and girly gabfest in the sunny studio that won me over.
Now, I’m not saying the actual process of moving will magically become painless (although I am keeping my fingers crossed). But the apartment search was such a pleasure that the scales have tipped heavily in favor of the overall experience being positive. Adding to the wonderful feeling of getting to know new places and interesting people, is my knowledge that I was astoundingly lucky throughout this whole process. Not everyone offering sublets on Craigslist could possibly be this cool (although I am definitely trying this again next time I need new friends!) so it gives me a gigantic rush of happiness to appreciate how good life can be sometimes!