I left Chicago early in the morning, literally flying into the sunrise. A few hours later, I was flying over sunny New York (air travel never ceases to amaze me).
I caught a fleeting glimpse of Times Square as I made my way to my cousin and her fiancée's temporary apartment (conveniently located right off Times Square...it pays to work for a big corporation!).
They had only two short weeks to find a permanent apartment, so I dropped off my bags and off we went to explore the neighborhoods of NYC and find them the apartment of their dreams.
Spring was in full bloom, ivy crawling up stucco walls, flowers stalls on every corner and little buds reaching for the sky. Unfortunately, though spring was everywhere, the dream apartment was nowhere to be found.
Lesson of the Day: A price range that would afford a penthouse apartment in the middle of downtown here in Chicago will get you a box in Manhattan. Literally, a box. We were shocked and appalled by all the places we saw - eight flights of haphazard stairs, open electric wiring above front doors, minuscule bathrooms I could not even squeeze my hips into, the list goes on and on. It was a rude awakening for all of us.
Eventually, they did find an apartment with both space (relatively speaking) and a reasonable price range, but the apartment hunting experience made me realize that I would rather visit NYC than live there (if I am going to pay exorbitant amounts of money for a small space, I will do it in Paris!). This made the rest of the trip much more pleasant, since I was thinking less about how much I hate Chicago and love NYC (which is what happens with most places I go), and more about how wonderful both NYC and Chicago are. Am I making sense?