At about 10:30am on Wednesday, I finally saw the apartment for which I had signed a one-year lease from 500 miles away. I was nervous, having based my decision purely on photos and a friend’s video walk-through. To be honest, I had mentally prepared to “make do” even if it wasn’t great.
Turns out, the photos and video didn’t do it justice. I LOVE this apartment, this building, and this neighborhood.
First, the neighborhood. The building – is in the Jackson Heights section of Queens. There are all kinds of restaurants within a block or two, but there are especially numerous Indian and Mexican restaurants. Clearly, Jackson Heights is going to get me fat(ter) very quickly.
Walking around the neighborhood, I felt very safe (and not just because I checked the police crime stats and was pleasantly surprised.) People on the street tend to be standoffish to strangers, as I expected from New Yorkers, but shopkeepers and restauranteurs and such are very friendly.
The building itself – which is called the Richelieu – is old, but renovated and very nice. I’m the corner apartment on the top floor of a 6th floor elevator building. There’s a laundry room in the basement, which I wasn’t even aware of when I signed the lease. Heat, cold water, and hot water are included in the rent. And you have to have building keys or get buzzed in through the intercom to enter, which is nice.
The apartment itself, though, was what I was really blown away by. The broker’s photos were nice, and my friend’s video walk-through was encouraging, but this apartment has so much more to offer than I’d realized.
First, there is a LOT more closet space than you’d expect in a New York City apartment. The bedroom has two closets, which we promptly dubbed “his and his” of course. There are two closets by the front door, which we’ve made into a coat closet and a utility room.
Even better are the closets that we didn’t previously know about! There’s a closet outside the bathroom with large shelves, which was a lovely surprise. And the second bedroom (the home office) actually DOES have a closet — it’s just not immediately apparent when you walk in, because the door to the room partially obscures it.
The kitchen was recently remodeled, with brand new appliances put in. (The fridge still has the “energy saver” tag hanging from the shelf!) The cabinets look new also, though of course there aren’t a ton of them. It’s a New York City kitchen, after all. (We bought a buffet table at Ikea before leaving Charlotte, to supplement the storage/shelf space.)
The bathroom, too, was clearly remodeled very recently. The walls are brand new title, very clean and pretty. And the bathroom mirror, against all expectations, actually DOES open to reveal small concealed shelves build into the wall.
Then, there’s the bedroom… Sometimes words don’t do justice to something that’s really beautiful, so I’ll end this post with a photo of the view from my bedroom window: