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Monday, 21 May 2012

Bed, Bath and Beyond...before and after

It's spring time in New York, and the streets are full of butterflies. Among the tourists and commuters hankering for sidewalk space, the red admiral butterflies particularly seem very keen to get into Foot Locker. But seeing nothing in his size, I presume, one headed on to Bank of America instead.

The spring time weather brings out the hipsters in their shorts and sunglasses, the bohemian types in sun dresses and sandals, and on Sundays the smart sun dresses and flats for champagne brunches. And for shopping, which seems less a pastime here than a sport and a necessity.

View from my bedroom area through to the front room

For me, this was the time to find an apartment. Having successfully acquired a bank account with little to no trouble, I was excited to start this process and looked through hundreds of adverts on Craig's List and many other sites to find the perfect New York pied-a-terre. All lined up to spend my first Saturday hunting for apartments with a broker, I never heard from the guy after our first phone conversation, so was immediately off-piste looking for individual places online.

It seems that the fast life style in New York most certainly applies to apartment hunting. Within seconds of texting a potential apartment contact I had lined up an appointment for three hours later, and took myself off to the Upper East Side. To see the smallest apartment I had imagined. Literally, a small boxy room which could house (I would guess) a futon or sofa bed, a small table and a TV. In one room. Tiny closet. Tiny kitchen, tiny (powder blue) bathroom. (Comparatively) massive price tag. And facing onto 2nd Ave, where the 2nd Ave subway is being constructed at a snail's pace.

Exposed Brick Wall in the Front Room

Only one set of applicants were able to apply for each apartment at the same time. And sadly, a couple were ahead of me in the race. Such a shame. Luckily, they left quickly and I pounced on the broker for another opportunity, and she took me to a larger apartment which no one had seen yet. It was when I left and realised that I was already decorating it that I knew I had to attack. With a nifty trip to Staples on Sunday, suddenly I had produced all the documentation I needed and one week later I moved in!

Kitchen (I) complete with US sized fridge

Kitchen (II) with new stove

American apartments usually come unfurnished, so the first weekend moving in focused on fairly important matters like: finding a bed to sleep in, a chair to sit in, and making sure the A/C worked (it does!). And then thinking about the bathroom which Miss Piggy would probably feel more at home in than I did...


One sunny Saturday a week ago I had no furniture.  One week later, and it's my second weekend in New York. I have trawled the SoHo, downtown and my neighbourhood thrift stores for many different kinds of furniture. Finally I got a bed, a chair, a rug, a dining room, media cabinet, kitchen cart...and a TON of stuff at Bed, Bath and Beyond, where I spent an OBSCENE amount of money.

 Enjoy the before and after pictures and let me know what you think! More on New York lifestyle next time...

After pictures...purchases!

Front room with couch, rug a-la-Mondrian and media cabinet (and the NYC view)!

Bedroom (I)

Bedroom (II)

For some reason the bathroom picture won't upload the right more to come of that...

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