Should Your First Apartment Be Like a Post-College Dorm?

In New York (and most bigger cities), you’ll find all sorts of 20-somethings, ranging from hipsters to ex-frat brothers, looking for their dream first apartment.  You’ll even find 23-year olds who still miss college enough to pretend that they’re still there – at a steep cost of $3200 for a one-bedroom.

The NYTimes recently ran a scathing article about the NYC neighborhood Murray Hill – and it how it’s one big cultural cliché of young alumni, who move there for the bars, laundry on every apt floor, and, most importantly, people they know on every block. Residents live in large apt complexes and travel in packs, financed by wealthy parents back home.

Among the steppingstone buildings in Manhattan are several tall apartment houses in Murray Hill, like Windsor Court. There, recent college graduates can find themselves among fellow alumni, meet up for familiar drinking rituals and flock to the frozen-yogurt shops and sushi bars that help them stay fit and find a mate for the next stage of life.

It’s embarrassing enough that residents often have to mock their home address.

But, is it really SO very bad? After all, the very same thing happens in Williamsburg – the hipsters just pretend that they’re poor. At least the Murray Hill kids are upfront about it.

I tend to think that the concept (of a post-college neighborhood, not parental financing) is OK. Chicago has Wrigleyville and Boston has Somerville (where many of my college friends lived for years after graduation), largely because the real world is scary and moving to a new city is terrifying. What’s wrong with a safety net of friends and acquaintances? Nuttin’.

But, it can’t and shouldn’t last forever. That’s the key. Using a place like Murray Hill as a gateway to NYC, or any big city, seems reasonable, but the frat party (if that’s your college thing) doesn’t last forever.  Real New York will infiltrate your life, no matter what you do and it should. What fun is moving to the most diverse city in the country if you don’t meet new people?

And if you aren’t interested in meeting new people…why move here at all?

What do you think? What’s your dream post-college apt/neighborhood like?

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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