NYC apartments – give and take

A friend and I caught up over dinner tonight near his new apartment, which he wanted me to see since he just moved in last month. It’s actually owned by the same management company that my building is a part of, so I was interested to see how it compared. I’d previously visited a few units here two years ago, but given I generally hate anywhere in the 30s on the west side, it never would have been a fit for me.

The first thing I noticed about the apartment is that for a “luxury” building, the layout was definitely non-standard: you don’t just walk in, have an open kitchen to your right or left, the living/lounge area, and then turn left or right to see the bathroom and bedroom. Here, there was actually a pretty long living space that would easily accommodate a separate dining area. The kitchen was half open, and the closet space was quite overwhelming. Several of his closets weren’t even filled with anything as of yet!

But the biggest annoyance about the place was the total lack of natural light. Anywhere in midtown in the 30s, whether it’s on the west or east side, would be starved for natural light, but especially his area between 8th and 9th Avenue. You’re surrounded by skyscrapers and other tall office and apartment buildings; it wouldn’t matter if you were on the 10th or 30th floor because there’d still be no light. In that case, there’d be zero reason to pay more for a higher floor because there’d be no extra natural light to justify it. Bigger windows wouldn’t help in any case.

Even if you live in a “luxury” building in Manhattan and are paying luxury prices, there’s still no guarantee you will get everything you want.

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