Tag Archives: apartment hunting

My new gluten-free NYC apartment: a paean

My new apartment’s wonderful,
though not without its quirks.
We’ve everything we’ll ever need—
assuming that it works.

A fourth-floor walkup—healthy, right?—
ignore the crumbling stairs.
My bedroom is (still) windowless,
but meh—fresh air—who cares?

We’re not in Brooklyn, near our friends,
or even close to work—
and if we don’t get AC soon,
I think I’ll go beserk.

The stovetop and the water tap
don’t get—precisely—hot;
the dishwasher does not get things
as shining as it ought.

The toilet leaks, the ceiling squeaks,
the countertops are few—
but GF ears are thrilled to hear
“appliances are new.”

The neighbors keep the volume pumped
throughout the day and night—
but dinner’s safe, my roomie’s great,
and so I feel all right.

The walls may quake, the tiles break,
the fruit flies come to breed—
but everything is gluten-free,
and that’s all that I need.

*

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, here are a few. Yes, I was exaggerating for poetic effect (it wouldn’t be a New York apartment without a quirk or several). But I wasn’t kidding about the walkup. Every step of that is real, and my aching GF glutes are proof.

A messy workspace, just for us—with wooden spoons that it's okay to have because all the meals are gluten-free! And yes, that's a dishwasher, beloved of the neurotic and the gluten-phoboic, and a washer-dryer, which has nothing to do with gluten but is awesome.

A messy workspace, just for us—with wooden spoons that it’s okay to have because all the food in the house is gluten-free! And yes, that’s a dishwasher, beloved of the neurotic and the gluten-phoboic, and a washer-dryer, which has nothing to do with gluten but is awesome.

This is the pantry of someone who buys Chex by the carton. Not to mention bulk coffee (yes, I'm hooked again).

This is the pantry of someone who buys Chex by the carton. Not to mention bulk coffee (yes, I’m hooked again).

This is the beautiful, comfortable, more-expensive-than-anything-I'll-ever-be-able-to-afford-on-a-book-publishing-salary designer couch that I inherited when my office reorganized—and that my poor dad and coworker wrestled all the way up four flights of stairs only to find it was too large to fit through the hallway. It went home to Brooklyn in exchange for my old roommate's Ikea couch. Luckily tears are gluten-free, though I'm not sure crow is safe to eat.

This is the beautiful, comfortable, more-expensive-than-anything-I’ll-ever-be-able-to-afford-on-a-book-publishing-salary designer couch that I inherited when my office got reorganized—and that my poor dad and a helpful acquaintance wrestled all the way up four flights of stairs only to find it was in fact too large to fit through the hallway and into the door. It went home to Brooklyn in exchange for my former roommate’s Ikea couch. Luckily tears are gluten-free, though I’m not sure about all the crow I ate.

*

To those who sympathized when I bemoaned my loss of mess or worried that I’d be homeless right about now, thanks for the support. Maybe there’s a gluten-free dinner party in our future.

To those in New York:

a) You feel me on the quirks, right?
b) I’ve still got a whole bunch of tickets to give away to the Celebrate Celiac event this Saturday, so leave me a comment on my last post if you’d like to go, and I’ll get your name on the list. Until then, hope you’re holed up somewhere with an AC unit on high.

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STEAL DEAL RENT NOW WON’T LAST!

I’ve spent most of the past couple weeks immersed in apartment hunting, and the search continues. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve spent more time looking for apartments in New York than living in them. This will be my third move since September, 2011, or fourth if you count the move into my friend’s very accommodating parents’ apartment in Soho, where I believe I overstayed my welcome as I looked for my first home. New York, New York!

My new kitchen will be “GUT-RENOVATED WITH BRAND-NEW STAINLESS STEEL GLUTEN-FREE KITCHEN APPLIANCES AND DISHWASHER,” in broker-speak. (Okay, they didn’t say “gluten-free,” but one must read between the lines on Craigslist.) Or, maybe not. Maybe it will still have the previous tenant’s gluten caked into everything. Perhaps there will be a few million of gluten’s cousins, the bedbugs. (Though one broker assured me yesterday that “bedbugs are over.” Phew!)

The apartment will also be approximately the size of a speck of gluten or a bedbug. Everyone loves to joke about this, but so far, truth be told, I’ve lived in a ginormous Washington Heights 2-bedroom and a huge Clinton Hill 3-bedroom and have actually never needed to climb over my own twin bed in order to get to my dresser. Since the plan is to move to East Harlem, I may very well experience just that.

I also may not quite get the kitchen of my dreams—counter space is tough to come by in a city that never cooks. Then again, in my current kitchen I’ve been confined for several months now to this:

Photo on 5-9-13 at 6.18 AM #3

…my own little messy gluten-free workspace, which my roommate was kind enough to install for me, far away from the toaster oven and right next to the large and luxurious couch that will most likely not fit through the front door of my new building, much less in the apartment’s living room.

So I’ve learned a thing or two about lack of space, but in my new kitchen, I’m sure to have more than I have now, because we will have a gluten-free household! (Pretty much, anyway. My sister, and soon-to-be roommate, needs her Grape-Nuts—though we’ve been scouting out gluten-free Gnuts recipes.) Yes, I will be making the fateful switch to the much-touted 95% gluten-free kitchen, so the entire kitchen should be safe for me. This will make cooking more relaxing, at least until the next time I bake plastic wrap into my hot cross buns.

I’m nervous, but excited! Now enough time wasting; I’ve got to get back to hitting refresh on Craigslist. Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be an update…any…day…now.

Tell me about your gluten-free kitchens, your real estate adventures, your Grape-Nuts recipes—anything, really, to distract me from the grim ticking-down of days until June 1st, lease-starting day. Hopefully.

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