Very rarely is your first Manhattan apartment one to brag about, but my two friends and I found a hidden gem overlooking Union Square Park. The apartment was a huge loft with 16-foot-high ceilings and a wall of windows facing the park on two sides. The apartment was located in the same building as the one of my favorite restaurants, Blue Water Grill.
The space was so large it ended up being a destination for parties on a regular basis. It probably resembled a fraternity house rather than an apartment. One morning I awoke to the apartment completely filled with black smoke. I ran out of the room in my towel, woke up my roommates and stood waiting in Union Square until the fire department arrived.
Luckily we were able to walk away unharmed and the fire was contained, but it caused significant smoke damage. I needed a new place to live and fast.
I decided I was ready for my own apartment and after spending many nights on my sister and brother-in-law’s couch I found a great alcove studio not far from the United Nations on the East Side. It was rent stabilized and a convenient commute through both the Midtown Tunnel and Queensborough Bridge.
Looking back, it most certainly was a bachelor pad. I didn’t have any of the following: a garbage can (other than in the bathroom); a microwave; toaster; pots; pans; dining room table; a dishwasher (not that I needed one) or anything in the fridge other than beer, vodka and water.
I basically lived off takeout food, but that is the benefit of living in the city – a great selection of food quickly and cheap.
Once I started to date Tracey things changed quickly. Everyday items most normal people possess began to appear in my apartment and dinners were being cooked. Tracey and I were spending more and more time together and our relationship naturally progressed over time.
Tracey’s lease was coming to an end and her roommate was planning to move in with her fiancé. It took a couple of months and threats from Tracey to move to the West Side, but we decided to move into a new apartment together.
As we prepared to say goodbye to my bachelor pad and cohabitate, Tracey helped me sweep up my apartment before I handed the keys back to management. In the corner where my dresser was located Tracey came across what appeared to be a small toy. Upon closer inspection it was the skeletal remains of a mouse. The fact that she even spoke to me after that day showed true love!