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  • Writer's pictureAshley Billone

NYC Living: The First Month

I know you've heard it before and I'll say it again - 2020 has been anything but normal for any of us.

As if things couldn't get more chaotic, my husband and I decided to take advantage of the real estate market and sold our apartment in Westchester. It wasn't a conversation that we took lightly as there have been so many unknowns lately, but we decided to go for it.

When we listed our apartment in July, we started the process of looking at a bigger place to buy (and if you've ever lived or heard of Westchester, it doesn't come cheap $$$). Since a lot of people were moving out of NYC and moving up to Westchester to buy, there was a huge upside to selling, but that also meant buying was going to be competitive. We accepted an offer on our place just a week after listing and still hadn't found a place we wanted to call our next home. Without forcing ourselves to just buy a place and move in for the convenience of time. I've wanted to live in New York City since I was 5-years-old and have only worked in the city. When I brought this crazy idea to my husband of renting in Manhattan for a little bit, at first he was a little skeptical (because, duh, people are moving out and not in!) but he was ok to look.

After reaching out to a few sketchy and illegitimate listings, we finally came across a couple that seemed live-able and bigger than a shoe box. We drove into the city a week later (which was also my first time back since March and was a whole different experience) and ended up loving an apartment on the Upper East Side. We both felt good about it and feel drawn to the UES since we got married here and have friends in the area. After taking a stroll in the neighborhood and paying for overpriced cocktails, we decided to take the plunge and live in Manhattan.

Fast forward a few weeks of packing up for storage, multiple trips dropping off bags, moving day and getting our couch cut apart to fit through the door (true story), we made it to our fifth floor (walk up) apartment! Now, for anyone who either lives, lived or has been in an apartment in the city, you know that every square inch is precious. We went from having an 850 sq ft apartment down to about 600 sq ft (I don't know the exact square footage but I feel like that's a generous guess). I had to put half of my clothes in storage and I'm still finding corners to (neatly and chicly) store my stuff.

It's been a learning experience so far with not having our car to run to the grocery store and navigating this new neighborhood. Between moving, unpacking, both working from home and now gearing up for the holidays, we're still getting into a routine (whatever that is these days). There's moments where I'm pinching myself because we're finally in this new exciting chapter. During our time here, I look forward to sharing our experiences and adventures of new restaurants we try out, stores, hidden gems and more.

Below are some photos that I've captured over the past few weeks as we get settled in and explore a little!

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