Apartment Hunting, the Hard Way

We’ve moved! Mostly.

Right now, we are in limbo at my parents in CT while I commute to Manhattan during the week and hunt for a Brooklyn apartment on the weekend. (Yup, from BK to NC and back again.) It’s stressful and exhausting and it generally sucks, for everyone except my son. He gets to spend all day with Grandma, gorging on juice boxes and cracker parties and chocolate chip cookies. He’s like a pig in shit. But he’s wiping my parents out.

To offer them a reprieve, sometimes Detective Munch comes down to NYC too. And if you thought apartment hunting in NYC was hard, try doing it with a 3yo by your side.

nyc, apartment hunting, realtors, parenting, toddlers, stress, preschoolers, children, family, dads, moms, fatherhood, parenting, money, rent, cost, home, brooklyn real estate, Bringing toddlers places – or preschoolers? I don’t know what I’m supposed to call him anymore – is never easy, whether it’s a friend’s house, a pool party, or the grocery store or a bar. But at least those things all take place in one location.

When you go apartment hunting you have to go multiple places, in a row, in very short periods of time, for very short periods of time. And you have to walk up stairs. And down stairs. And in and out of buildings. Quickly. All while trying to imagine what those spaces would look like with furniture and beds and toy trucks and Play-Doh and cookie crumbs all over the place. It’s grueling enough when you’re doing it alone.

Except you’re not alone, because you’re accompanied by a variety of smarmy, deceitful, lazy, lying people trying to convince you that the hovel you’re standing in is worth nearly a full month’s pay, and that the fact that they happened to be the person who posted the picture you spotted online entitles them to another month’s pay, right then and there. Realtors suck. (Yes, I’m bitter. And if you’re one of the good ones, thank you. And tell your colleagues they’re the devil.)

Toddlers suck too.

Taking a 3yo with you on an apartment-hunting trip and interacting with sketchy realtors is like… I don’t even know what it’s like, except that you’re stuck between a hateful person you hate and an often hateful person you love and there’s no end in sight. The search has been in progress for a few months now and the process gets more excruciating with every shitty place you see, especially since with every visit you seem to see fewer places. And on those weekends when my son comes along, you see even fewer places. Efficiency is not the toddler’s defining trait.

nyc, apartment hunting, realtors, parenting, toddlers, stress, preschoolers, children, family, dads, moms, fatherhood, parenting, money, rent, cost, home, brooklyn real estate,  baby cageThe kid is three years old and has short legs, powerful lungs, no patience, a limited attention span, and thinks stairs are the most fun experience on earth. I’m lucky if we we’re only two hours late for the next appointment. What was challenging on its own has become something akin to Sisyphus rolling a boulder up a hill.

But the grandparents need a break from all their constant spoiling and they don’t yet offer toddler kennels, so this weekend, I’ll be another attempting to find a new place to live. It’s a task that is immeasurably harder both with my son in tow and with a son in my life. My requirements for a living space have changed quite a bit since he was born. It’s amazing that someone so small could need so much space, but I suppose that’s his parents fault for continuing to buy him shit.

In fact, screw this. I’m getting a studio with a room under the stairs, or else I’ll install one of those window cages they used to use back in the old days. That way I can avoid paying for a second bedroom, and when he’s throwing a tantrum about going to bed, the traffic will drown him out.

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