If you’re an out-of-towner, you probably think my recent posts about rental prices in New York are ludicrous. You’re thinking, “No wonder this girl is in the process of moving! No one in their right mind would pay so much money for a shoebox apartment!” You’re right: it is totally crazy-pants. But for folks who are familiar with NYC apartment pricing, the prices I’ve mentioned are par for the course. And it may seem odd that two gainfully employed adults (Agent Owens and me) can’t afford $1000/month, each, to continue living in an apartment they love (read all about why we’re moving here and our new Clinton Hill place here). If you’ve been reading Happy City Living, you probably also know that in the past I paid $1300/month (by myself) to live in Sunset Park and $1600/month (by myself) to live in Harlem. So, why did I recently put myself through all the agita of apartment hunting, over $1000/month each?
Well, for Agent Owens and me, our living situation recently took a pretty drastic turn. Agent Owens got a great new job offer within his agency – YAY! But it required working in Philadelphia for the next two years – BOO. To be honest, though, we were both thrilled for him to get the job, and he loves Philadelphia almost as much as I love New York. So, overall, it was a great turn of events.
Us, in front of Independence Hall. Taking photos outside of the building is as close to an historical experience as I need to have. History and me - not BFFs.
Although I’m crazy biased and in love with New York, I should be fair here and tell you there are some things to really love about Philadelphia. First of all, it’s close to New York, haha! Ok, but seriously. It’s a clean, vibrant, walk-able city. Plus, there’s a great path for biking and jogging along the Schuylkill River (try saying that name 3 times fast – or, even one time!), that leads to the Wissahickon Park (where do they GET these names?????). For bike-a-holics like Agent Owens, this quick escape from the hustle-bustle of the city is an amazing amenity. The city also has fun going-out spots, pretty neighborhoods with historic buildings, and all the conveniences of big city living.
And, most notably, the aptly named Philly Cheesesteaks the city has to offer are Out. Of. This. World. I’d eaten some bullsh*t cheesesteaks here in NYC at some point, and as a result I thought I didn’t like cheesesteaks. I’ve never been more wrong, and my growing waistline (acquired since our Philly stint) is proof of that. If you can’t get to Philly, try Carl’s Steaks in NYC. They’re pretty amazeballs, and they’re the best you’ll find in New York. But if you reeeeeally want the best of the best, hit up Jim’s Steaks in Illy. Yes, I said Illy. I’m a half-resident of that town now, and I’m allowed to use that name because that’s what the cool kids say. I think. Anyway, Jim’s is on South Street at the corner of 4th Street. Every Philly-goer has their fave cheesesteak spot – you might have heard of the more famous Pat’s and Geno’s – and Jim’s is our go-to. The line wrapping around the corner of the building at busy times is proof that we’re right.
It's hoppin' at Jim's! See the mob by the front door? That's the line.
But wait…apartments…how did I get so far off on a tangent? Food always seems to do that to me! Well, as I was saying, Agent Owens now spends a good chunk of time in Philly each week for work, necessitating a second apartment. The need for that second home (which comes with an oh-so-fun second monthly rent payment), combined with The Gate’s recent rent hike, was just too much for our poor wallets. So, we had to make a move, and in a short two weeks I’ll be off to the
suburbs tree-lined streets of Brooklyn.
As I get closer to moving into the new digs, I’m actually getting more and more excited. The thought of more space, a roof deck, and a fairly new building makes me a little giddy. Although, I haven’t been giddy enough to start packing yet. Hmmm, maybe I should get on that.
So, the happy city couple is now straddling two cities. Is it a little bit annoying to have to ever step foot into another city that ISN’T New York? Yes. But, truthfully, Agent Owens carries the brunt of the travel burden. So, I should stop being whiny.
Plus, I always remind myself that when I’m in Philly I’m right around the corner from MODG’s house. Oh you don’t know MODG? She’s the hilarious Philadelphia-area blogger behind Martinis Or Diaper Genies, who weighs the pros and cons of her former responsibility-free lifestyle and her current life as a new parent. You should check her out right here. Hers was the first blog I ever became addicted to, and you’ll become obsessed, too (mostly if you’re a 20/30-something female). I try to relay the hilarity of this blog to Agent Owens, but he’s firmly on the “Martinis” side of the MODG debate, and he gets a glazed-over, comatose look on his face when I mention the words “baby,” “child,” or “kid.” Plus, he doesn’t care about high heels or Suri Cruise, which are two other hot topics over in MODG-land. But 1 zillion fanatical readers (and me) can’t be wrong. I love MODG, and I tell myself that if I hang out in Philly long enough I’ll totally run into her and we’ll become BFFs on the spot. It’ll be fate. Fo shizz.
MODG: Ninja? Mom? Shoe-a-holic? All of the above.
So, tell me. Anyone else juggling two apartments? Or two cities for that matter? Anyone think Agent Owens and I are nuts for renting two apartments in two of the most expensive cities in the country? Heck, I think we’re nutty half the time! If you can offer up a cool new Philly activity or place of interest you’ll totally get bonus points…in the game of good karma and life in general. Deal? K.
Happy Double-City Rebecca
Images: (1) Rebecca for Happy City Living, (2) Jim’s Steaks, (3) Martinis or Diaper Genies