the joys of nyc apartment living

160725

I was living in Midtown, but my lease ended at the end of June and apartment hunting in New York is crazy, so I ended up not being able to find a place … even after looking at 20 or so places. Between the places that were completely horrible to the places that were too expensive or too far from the subway to the places that I hesitated too long on to the places that just didn’t pick me, I ended up scrambling to find somewhere to live two days before my lease was up. And voila, I found my current place!

So now I’m in Tribeca. But I have eight roommates. Yes, eight roommates. The location is great, but the apartment itself is a bit rundown and totally beyond illegal (rooms are way too small and only two of the nine rooms have windows), it’s a fire hazard with the wires daisy-chained the way they are, the circuit breaker keeps getting tripped (because it’s not equipped to handle nine people and multiple air conditioners), and the place is security-compromised because most of the girls don’t lock the front door. But ya know what? It’s strangely okay with me, because I know it’s temporary and I have a deadlock on my room door. It’s like a dorm for post-college girls or a long-stay hostel, and it is kind of fun to watch The Bachelorette with others, but I definitely feel far too old to be living in a place like this.

The image above isn’t from my current place, but rather from a place I visited during my ridiculous apartment hunt at the end of June. If you can’t read it, it says: “BEWARE Packages are Being Stolen / PLEASE Report Any Suspicious Activity!!!” and off to the side someone wrote “Me too! Just ordered horse shit (yes, really) and won’t share what apt I sent it to, so, thief … enjoy touching what you are :) shitsenders.com <not a joke.” ROFLOL. And ya know what? That place was far nicer than my current shoebox and far more expensive. And ya know what? They still got some major issues.

sheesh it’s burning up in here

New York, ah how I love thee. It’s great that heating is covered by the landlord and there are guidelines in place so they don’t skimp, but GOODNESS GRACIOUS, PLEASE TURN IT OFF ALREADY. It’s the latter part of May, the outside temp is about 84 degrees Fahrenheit. AND THE HEATER IS STILL ON. At this point it’s just wasteful because I have to have the fan on to combat the heater.

Last year my room had an overactive heater, but it was only really crazy during the winter, so it was just mildly uncomfortable with the windows open. I switched apartments and the heater here worked fine during the winter, but now it’s basically summer so having the heater on is just absurd. My room is not actually 97 degrees, it’s just that I keep my thermometer on top of the radiator. Regardless, it’s REALLY HOT IN HERE.

130521

happy turkey day!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving yesterday! We held Thanksgiving at our apartment yesterday, so it was a bit of madness with all the cooking and food and wine and people, but all in all a fun night. Since Thanksgiving is such a quintessentially American holiday (I’m ignoring Canadian Thanksgiving … because it’s Canadian), it was fun to experience it with a bunch of people for whom this was their first Thanksgiving. And now roomie E and I will be eating turkey sandwiches ’til kingdom come. Good thing we like turkey!

121123

sheesh it’s warm in here

When I call my room a sauna, I jest not. Current outside temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In my room, 84 degrees. Well, now it’s at 82, which I guess is better. Because of New York rental guidelines, the landlord has to provide heat during the winter season and when it’s below 55 degrees outside during the day, the heater must be 68 degrees. The rest of the apartment is probably around that temperature. Why my room is so much warmer than the rest of the apartment is a mystery. Good thing I’m from Texas and I kinda like the heat, eh?

I think the warm sauna-like nature of my room is probably bad for my paper writing. I still have lots of stuff to do and I need to hunker down, but it’s just so darned comfy in here. I’ve also been sleeping a ridiculous amount, around ten hours (or more) a night. Even when I wake up early, I end up going back to sleep, which is quite unusual for me. Usually once I wake up, I might be really drowsy and non-responsive for a while, but I’m up for the rest of the day. I think I’ve been sleeping so much lately because it’s so cozy I just want to hibernate and not wake up. Hm … I guess I could leave. But I really like it in here.

111212

beginning to look a lot like xmas …

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

As much as I would like to get all Christmas-y and go to town on decorating this apartment, it just ain’t really worth it since most of us are going home for the holidays. Also, it’s finals time so I need to be focusing on school stuff. But … I did manage to hang my stocking on my door. Yay!

111206 stocking

For scale, the stocking’s only about six inches tall. And those weird shadows are due to the weird configuration of lighting fixtures in my room. There’s a little Christmas tree in our living room, so I guess that counts. Oh well, it ain’t much but it’s in the right spirit.

life of a carrot cake

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

One of my roommates (roomie I) had her birthday a few days ago so the rest of us decided to make a carrot cake for her. Fun times in our apartment! We used this recipe that I had used before except without pecans, and currants instead of raisins. After some carpal-tunnel-inducing carrot grating (thanks to roomie J and myself), we got the batter together.

111029 a

It baked up pretty nice, but the darned thing wouldn’t come out of the bundt cake pan even after I banged on it for forever.

111029 b

However, it eventually did come out thanks to roomie D and a knife, and roomie D then whipped up the icing and sprinkled it all nicely with Halloween sprinkles. Cute, eh?

111029 c

It was yummy. It got devoured pretty fast, leaving only a little bit for the fridge.

111029 d

After the above picture was taken, roomie J opened the fridge (which isn’t very organized) and the cake came tumbling out. Sad. So yep, the rest of it basically ended up in the trash.

Thus ends the story of this carrot cake’s life. We still have extra carrots left, so carrot cake #2 might be on its way soon. Because it was yummy.

getting back into the swing

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

So … I’m pretty much settled in by now. I moved in about one month ago and my room is pretty much set up, but I might buy a few more things in the upcoming weeks. Graduate school is really quite time consuming, not with busy work assignments like in undergraduate, but there are so many readings to do for each class that it takes a lot of effort to keep on top of them all. Two weeks in and I’m already not doing too well at that.

I’m not too fond of how my room looks decoration-wise, but it’ll slowly get there. I like to keep myself busy with little crafts and tasks to give myself something to do when I need a break from all the reading. I’m currently working on a short story for a challenge swap, and the other day I bought two canvases (really cheaply from Michaels) and I want to do some kind of ink drawing on them. We’ll see. I need to get some photos printed out … which I’ve been saying for the last month.

110917 starting

Back in Austin I had a shelf that was devoted to clear glass bottles, and I’ve started doing the same to my windowsill here. I hate throwing away bottles, and I like the look of them when they’re all different sizes and the light hits them. When there get to be too many I’ll recycle them, but for now they’re creating a little family on the sill.

Ugh … alrighty then, I guess I should get back to reading now. From now on, if you see a post from me, you can go ahead and assume I’m procrastinating, so feel free to chide me back into being a responsible student.

new york, new york

So good you have to say it twice. I’ve pretty much settled into my new apartment, and part of me is really giddy and cannot believe that I’m actually living in New York. And then the other part of me is like, whatever, you lived in China last year, New York’s no big. But still … it’s New York. I like the neighborhood, and the apartment’s actually not too small. The only really big downside is the fact that everything is ridiculously expensive, even more so because part of me still thinks in RMB (Chinese currency). Oh, and I live in a walk-up which is oh so fun. I’ve already fallen down the stairs twice, and I have a skinned knee to prove it.

110823

apt xmas

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

An apartment next to a college campus is not an ideal place for Christmas. Thankfully I will be spending Christmas at home with my family, but I’ll only be able to spend a few days at home. The rest of the time will be at my fabulously over-priced, run-down apartment. Therefore, while procrastinating one fine evening, I decided to decorate. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is how a college student decorates her apartment for Christmas (on a very limited budget).

091202 01 lights

1. White Lights

I dug up some white Christmas lights that I bought two years ago for studio. I actually bought them because when you can’t find an extension cord, Christmas lights will work just as well. I had originally strung them around my desk to keep people from walking by my work area where I had models on the floor. Last year I was in the middle of a large studio space, so the Christmas lights were strung from the wall to my desk in the middle of the room, and the guy sitting next to me had Christmas lights strung from the other wall to his desk. All in all it was fabulous. Here in our lowly apartment, however, I just grabbed some drafting tape and taped these much loved white lights around our front doorway. The texture of the wall is kind of weird though.

091202 02 bow

2. Silver and Red Bow

I’ve always been a big fan of bows. Snowflakes are pretty. Christmas trees and stockings are too obvious. Bows are universal. And I happen to really like ribbon. So I grabbed some thick silver wired ribbon and created a big bow on our cheap Wal-Mart shelving unit. I thought it looked a bit drab so I grabbed some red satin ribbon and incorporated another bow into the mix. I think it’s rather nice … really classes up that cheap white plastic, eh?

091202 03 hat

3. Santa Hat

I’ve had this Santa hat for years … can’t even remember where/when I got it. Anyway, though I like the color green, I’ve never been a big fan of the red-green color combination because I just find it too cliché. It screams “Christmas!” in that overly commercial way. Therefore, our apartment’s just going to stick with red and white/silver, which the Santa hat fits into perfectly. How is the hat standing so erect on our counter? Because it’s hiding our very college-student bottle of tequila next to an empty bottle of wine. Yeah … don’t judge me. Oh, and the wallpaper was there when we moved in.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love giving gifts, wrapping gifts, decorating gifts, hanging out with friends, having that hot mocha latté at Spider House while exchanging gifts … you get the idea. Though decorating was rather light this year, I think in conjunction with the nippy weather and the scarves around my neck, it’s winter enough. Happy holidays.