I have to move and it is freaking me out. I have to pack up my husband, 6 month old baby girl and myself in a less than desirable amount of time and it is definitely not by choice. A move is both a scary and exciting endeavor for anyone, anytime, anywhere, no matter if you are being forced out or purposefully making a change in your life. I can define three big moves that most people can associate with in one way or another. The college move: One is jarringly jolted out of the comfy confines of one’s parents house into a dorm, causing elation, trepidation for what’s ahead and fear (joy?) that upon arrival your room could reek of wacky tobacky. The early 20s move: You sign your first lease, get cable and lug your laundry down to the basement on a weekly (monthly?) basis, giving you instant independence which is just as quickly erased when the latest Target run leaves you short on rent money. The grown-up move: Commonly with a partner, you move into a place you can imagine calling home for the next decade or more of your life and suddenly begin worrying about taxes, parking availability and proximity to elementary schools (therapists?).
So, as my next apartment hunt begins, I find myself somewhere in between the second and third moves I described above and unsure of what I want and what I can afford. But I’ll tell you what I can’t afford — you knew the pop culture tie-in was coming — all of the NYC apartments featured on TV in the history of television. They are all so unrealistic. Fantastic, but unrealistic. Let’s discuss our favorites, shall we?
Talk of NYC apartments on television cannot be done without mention of Carrie Bradshaw’s studio on East 73rd Street. It was the kind of place that made you feel good about being single. It had room for a comfy chair to snuggle up in and smoke a post break-up cigarette. It had a closet to house your $40,000 shoe habit. It had a kitchen (I think I saw her in there once) where one could stock bottles of Kahlua and stale Triscuits for a rainy day. Could Carrie afford it on her writer’s salary? Probably not, but it was still a nice place for a fictional girl to call home.
Speaking of people who can’t afford their apartments, Friends‘ Monica Gellar (and Rachel Green and ultimately Chandler Bing) lived in the biggest, most wonderfully located apartment in all of Greenwich Village on 90 Bedford Street. No matter that she was a struggling chef or launching a catering business, depending on the season, Monica decked that two bedroom apartment out in the nicest furniture with the nicest decorations. My favorite piece was always the French Jouets poster that hung above the TV and apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way (http://cooltvprops.myshopify.com/collections/friends). That apartment even had a terrace where the friends barbecued and made out on more than one occasion. I mean, come on! How can a girl looking for an apartment ever expect to be satisfied when she is competing with what 24-year-old Monica had!?
I always felt that Jerry Seinfeld’s West 81st Street apartment complemented his character and matched his bank account perfectly. It wasn’t over-the-top, just very neat and clean, a true fastidious bachelor’s pad. I never understood the bike hanging in the hallway, though. Jerry was never ever one to ride a bike. However, the unrealistic element is that Kramer could afford the apartment next door. One of the main themes of the show focuses around the fact that Kramer never has a job, nor does he come from money (mom is Babs, the restaurant matron). We only see glimpses of Kramer’s apartment in different episodes (the hut tub, the variety show) so while we can’t know it was as nice as Jerry’s, I think it is safe to say he couldn’t afford it.
In my dreams, my next apartment hunt will lead me to 10 Stigwood Avenue, Brooklyn Heights, NY, otherwise known as the Huxtable residence. But I’m not a lawyer like Claire and my husband is not a doctor like Cliff, so I don’t think it is in the cards for us right now. And while I might be scared and intimidated by the prospect of the move, I know I am not leaving NYC and for that I am excited and grateful. Now tell us, which of the apartments discussed above would you like to live in?