We’ve been looking at apartments, and things have started to click into place, in such a way that we thought this was the best decision for our family. And then the shoe dropped, because it has to.
The neighborhood we’ve focused on is Jackson Heights, Queens. When we started looking, I was bouncing from listings in Brooklyn, Harlem, Connecticut. But not Queens. We don’t particularly want to leave Brooklyn, but the neighborhoods we really like here, we can’t afford, at least not with the space we want. There’s always renting, but we’d have to increase our rent so substantially, to the point where we’d have trouble affording things we really enjoy, like dinners out regularly and going on a few trips a year.
The idea of moving to Queens felt sort of like a defeat, until we visited. I liked that I wasn’t seeing people exactly like me, wearing variations of the same J.Crew ensemble. There wasn’t anything homogenous about it.
So we were all gung-ho, especially because the buildings we focused on were situated on private courtyards that run a city block–your ownership of a coop allows you access to these private gardens that are beautifully maintained. They honestly reminded me of my college campus. Most of the apartments have views of the gardens. I am obsessed with this, given my 3 year view of an alley.
What we loved the most was that we would have a place to take our dog outside that’s green. Jackson Heights doesn’t really have a public green space, unlike where we are in Brooklyn. Here we’re a few blocks from Prospect Park, where Lily can run off leash in the mornings and picnic with us. We love the park, and are very reluctant to give it up without some sort of replacement. So we thought this was a wonderful compromise: move to Queens, giving up a lot of our well-loved Brooklyn amenities for more space, and at least we’d still have some green space to use.
Of course it was too perfect. The gardens do not allow dogs. Some of the gardens don’t even allow you on the grass. With there being no public green space in the neighborhood, and only a small dog run a mile from the apartments we’re looking at, we almost feel we have to start over.
I didn’t want to blog about this process till after it was done. But I am so blindsided by this detail, I feel like I need the wisdom of the internet. We want to spend nice days outside with our dog, not leave her in the apartment. We’re asking ourselves if we’d take her on the train to Central Park, if that could be the compromise.
Maybe this is less about the dog and the park, and more about my reluctance to leave Brooklyn and finally having the excuse to say, “See! It can’t work!” But I am the one most sick of our crumbling apartment, neighbors who cause water leaks in our ceiling on a quarterly basis, and just wanting the feeling of being settled somewhere. I want a second bedroom so it’s easier to have houseguests, and maybe in a few years, expand the family. The best option we’ve seen is Queens. If we pass on these apartments, we will be starting over the search. Maybe one bedrooms on the Upper East Side. We might be able to swing a tiny one bedroom in Park Slope, that is if we’re not outbid by all-cash offers.
I know there’s no perfect formula for house buying, certainly not in the city. There is always going to be a tension between location and space. How do you pull this big of a trigger when all of the variables aren’t perfect?
Clearly I need the wisdom of a House Hunters marathon.