When I set out to find a new place after receiving the letter, I actually was only looking for a sublet or a place with a flexible move out policy. I saw four apartments, all of which were nice, but settled on a lovely two bedroom just 15 blocks south of my old place. I would still be in the neighborhood that I loved, but with a different grocery store, post office, liquor store, entrance to the park, and subway station -- all the things I needed to continue my avoidance of Bahhry and Dan.
This new apartment came complete with Kerri, a friendly 31 year old with her own PR business and her own dog! I love dogs and had felt deprived ever since my family's amazing black lab, Bart, died right before I came home from Peace Corps (he died on election night, 2004, so my friends concluded that he just couldn't live through four more Bush years, which is fair enough). I met Elvis (the dog) when I went to check out the apartment. I fell in love immediately as he jumped and danced and tried to eat my hat! Kerri was pretty great too -- a morning person with a teacher-boyfriend, she was totally on board with the no blaring music at 3:00 am thing. She was personable and open, but she had a lot going on and didn't seem to be looking for a new best friend.
The apartment was pretty great too. The building was a little dumpy, but we had the whole third floor with only one other apartment in the building directly below us. On the first floor was a hugely ghetto bodega -- the only one I've ever encountered in NYC that doesn't actually sell any food -- which I later discovered was a front for a bookie. We couldn't buy milk there, but Jimmy the Bookie (I swear to God that's his real name) would collect our packages for us, which was a nice perk considering our doorbell didn't work.
The apartment was set up railroad style, with Kerri's room at the far end, then my space, then the living room, and finally the kitchen. My space was split into a bedroom with two closets (one walk-in!) and a den with a nice big window. Kerri had to walk through my den to get to her bedroom, but she was extremely considerate about it being my space, and with doors between my bedroom and her walkway, it was actually quite nice. The living room was open and airy; lovely in the spring but freezing in the winter. The bathroom was standard, expect for the shaft window that looked into my bedroom. The kitchen, however, held the key to my heart -- a washer-dryer!! If you don't live in NYC, you probably don't understand how amazing one of these contraptions can be, but despite the fact that our was about twenty years old and somewhat temperamental, it was by-far my favorite appliance ever. Living in that apartment, I actually managed to do my laundry before it started overflowing out of the laundry basket.