Monday, June 17, 2013

Ode to my Dishwasher

I moved to Brooklyn in January. After five epic years in the East then West Villages of Manhattan, I followed the masses across the East River to the coolest borough of all.

Newly engaged and at the end of our leases, Jon and I decided to move in together. We set our sights on Greenpoint, a formerly industrial and traditionally Polish "up and coming"  neighborhood just across the park from the hipster* mecca of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

We rolled our eyes at Williamsburg's sparkling new monster developments with their magenta uplights and 24-hour fitness centers. In emails to brokers we called ourselves "Greenpoint kinda people": visionaries with the patience for a three-train commute and apartment hallways that perpetually smell like pierogi.

In Greenpoint, we would bike across the Pulaski bridge, prefer Paulie Gee's to Roberta's and get drunk at  bars that used to be warehouses-- all while paying less rent than those wannabes in Williamsburg. It was decided.

Then we started searching. Thing is, when New York Magazine slaps the "up and coming" label on a neighborhood it comes up faster than Oprah's favorite loofa/cookbook/colonic. Vacancy in the desirable parts of Greenpoint was scarce. Our reasonably-priced, newly-renovated 1.5 bedroom with lots of windows simply did not exist. Not in Greenpoint. Not for a January move in. Not even close.

One night after an especially discouraging day of hunting, when Jon wasn't looking, I expanded my Internet search to include Williamsburg. The first six results were apartments in the same 100 unit, seven floor building. The bullet point amenities took aim. Dishwasher! Doorman! Elevator! Oh my!

I couldn't click away. The rent was a bit more than we wanted to spend but the one-bedroom looked pristine, spacious, sunny and sweet baby Jesus there's an outdoor pool. 

Awe struck, I imagined myself floating in that pool, sipping lemonade from a cup my dishwasher washed. My Spanish soap opera star doorman would wait poolside with a package he signed for and a fresh towel washed in my very own washing machine. (In my fantasy doormen can be cabana boys too.)

Maybe Williamsburg isn't so bad. Jon agreed quicker than you can say roof deck. 

I was working late most nights so Jon agreed to see the available unit without me. Before he was even out of the  lobby  he called insisting that we submit an application. (In Jon's dream bubble, I'm fairly certain the doorman is a bartender pouring small batch bourbon.)

Long blog post short, we rented the crap out of that unit. Five months later, we're happy as cohabiting clams. Clams who let their dishwasher deal with their cereal bowls. Clams who can walk barefoot to their floor's tidy little garbage shoot. Clams who don't have to trek out to some unfindable UPS store in Queens for a package of shoes after three delivery notices get blown off their front door. (For those of you non-New York City dwellers currently unimpressed by that short list of amenities they are the suburban equivalent of  upgrading to a waterfront mansion with a live-in maid and butler.)

The neighborhood is as hipster as we suspected. During my few minute walk home, I'll spot no less than five sleeves of tattoos, six ironic mustaches and at least one girl wearing a Blossom hat.  There are more vinyl record stores than there are banks, and the tiny bodega near the train sells at least half a dozen different flavors of organic kale chips.

And my fellow building tenants? They're even hipper than we imagined. But not at all like the tattered T-shirt, anti-everything vegans chain smoking on Bedford Avenue. These hipsters don't even smell. They wear Wayfarers in our elevator, smoke expensive pot on our roof top and blast indie bands I'm not cool enough to recognize during
their Kentucky Derby/Master's Golf themed parties.

So if our neighborhood is hip and our building is hip, what does that make Jon and me?

Happy. Really, really happy.

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