Over the weekend, my husband and I moved from our cramped, rundown, one-bedroom apartment near crowded Times Square in Manhattan, to a spacious, gut-rehabbed, state-of-the-art two-bedroom brownstone on a quiet, tree-lined street in Brooklyn. To say I'm happier in the new place would be an understatement. It's as if I'd eaten McDonald's hamburgers—not even cheeseburgers or Big Macs or Quarter Pounders, but regular ol' tiny, boring, junk-food hamburgers—at every meal for the last several years and now I'm suddenly sitting down to delicious, nutritious, home-cooked meals of the finest cuts of meat and freshest veggies whenever I'm hungry. It wasn't easy getting from one place to another though, both literally and metaphorically. It was a long time coming, and in the weeks leading up to the move—the very first move Drew and I have ever made together—I wondered if we'd even make it to our first wedding anniversary next month. Few things in life challenge a relationship quite like moving does, but I'm happy to report we survived the hurdle. The Frisky: 9 Shocking Statistics About Singles
It all started almost three years ago, when I made the big leap from Chicago to New York to close the gap in our long-distance relationship. Settling into Drew's bachelor pad in Manhattan was a serious adjustment and I never really felt at home in either the apartment or the neighborhood. It didn't take long before I realized Brooklyn had the same laid-back vibe I missed about Chicago, while still maintaining a fun, cool urban feel. A lot of our friends lived out here, but Drew, a life-long Manhattanite, wasn't as quick to embrace the idea of moving as I was. So I started working on him. I got his friends to work on him. And slowly—very slowly—he started coming around to the idea.
We began looking at open houses, thinking we'd like to buy a place. For a whole year we looked at properties, but nothing in our budget was anything we could see ourselves living in for the long term. Meanwhile, there was one place that Drew had his eye on that was ridiculously over our budget. The apartment was in a brownstone that had been purchased by an architect and then gut-rehabbed and redesigned in spectacular fashion. "Visualize yourselves there," my mom, a fan of wishful thinking, advised. So we did, even though we knew it was sort of silly. In the meantime, I was losing hope. We still weren't seeing anything in our budget to buy and I was getting absolutely desperate to get out of the city. I was starting to get depressed and wanted to nip that in the bud before it got worse. So, we altered our plan. We decided to rent instead of buy. Just about that same time, the apartment Drew had coveted so much disappeared from the market. "I guess the owner finally realized he wasn't going to be able to sell it for a profit in this market," Drew said.