After months of apartment hunting (which, by the way, is the most stress-inducing task outside of job hunting), I have hit the jackpot. Somehow the New York apartment gods have blessed me with an amazing space in Morningside Heights, where I will be living for at least the next three months. I knew before I graduated that I needed my own place closer to the many job opportunities and excitement this city has to offer, as living on my own the past two summers has given me a taste for the independent life that I now crave. Not only am I lucky to be staying in Manhattan (I thought I could only afford Brooklyn) but I am living with a friend I have known for over a year. Considering that I was about to move in with a stranger, saying that I have gotten extremely lucky with this one would be a complete understatement.
Morningside Heights is an incredibly historic and cultural area in Upper Manhattan. To the direct north is Harlem, to the west is Columbia, and to the south is Central Park North. I am only a few steps from the nearest subway, and within moments I can be at either Morningside Park or Central Park for a daily run (something I thought I would have to give up after moving from 79th street). Though my mom remembers a time where this area was not exactly a place you wanted to live, the neighborhood is now an up-and-coming cultural and residential area. Frederick Douglass Boulevard is lined with businesses, shops, and restaurants, and it is only a few blocks to 125th street, if you’re ever looking to do some shopping or some very interesting people watching.
Its incredible to walk around this area and see the rich history, which is clearly visible in the notable landmarks such as the Apollo Theatre as well as the “old New York” architecture (I lust after the brownstones on Lenox daily). Though only 20 minutes from midtown, it is a completely different world up here. The buildings are noticeably lower than the towers that compose the New York skyline further downtown, and instead of luxury condos the blocks are filled with uniquely colorful apartments that house families and young adults like myself.
My apartment is vastly different from my old home on 79th street: There’s an elevator (NO MORE WALK UP!!!), my room is huge (out of town friends, come visit!), and my roommates are lovely. While I enjoyed living by myself, it is nice to know that my roomies are just a few steps away. We have a beautiful kitchen, natural light, and there is a washer and dryer right in our apartment….which is UNHEARD OF IN NYC. It’s a miracle and sometimes I need to double check that I’m not dreaming.
I will certainly be taking more photos of the area, as I am falling more in love with it every day. I do need to check out spots in the neighborhood as I have still been going downtown in my free time to familiar places and to meet friends and family, so I need to broaden my perspective as this area has so much to offer. Its wonderful to be from a city where nothing ever gets old, and you often feel like snapping pictures on your walk home no matter how “touristy” you look, and I will continue to do so over the next few months as I continue to explore this crazy place I call home.
There is nothing like a New York summer and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.