Alley Girl is evolving more than ever. I’ve started alleygirl.com 6 years ago but I actually count 2015 as the beginning, as I get my very first press recognition by Elle USA, I also happened to get attention from influencer agencies. That makes me more serious about my hobby.
I’ve started this blog as my resume to apply for fashion jobs. The technology is my world since I graduated from university decades ago. And I want to put together two things I was passionate about fashion and technology. This is why It’s called Alley Girl. The diary of a girl from Silicon Alley. But along the way, It evolves something bigger than what it was in the beginning. Today Alley Girl is an ultimate destination for the girls who want to live in cities like New York, LA, San Francisco, London, Paris, Istanbul etc.
Our aim to provide you with all the information you need about the city life. You come and check Alley Girl for the best way to find an apartment, best dating apps or restaurants. Come here and get advice from fellow friends who used to be in your shoes.
Where to live in NYC to afford to rent?
I’ve lived in the city since 2011. And I had 5 different apartments in the last 8 years. Before I go to the ways you can find the apartments, I’ll explain about the places a little bit.
Hoboken & Jersey City – New Jersey
Just across the Hudson River, there is this garden state where you know as New Jersey. I don’t give any sh*t about humiliation NJ comparing to NY. Of course, every other state looks bad if you talk about the centre of the world. So don’t give an F, just go check Hoboken and Jersey City if you are looking for a more affordable place. And some people like a little bit far from the craziness going on in the city. There are also Gutenberg and West New York where are very close to the city but I prefer Jersey City and Hoboken because you can use PATH which has a connection with MTA subways in Manhattan so it’s easier to commute.
I mean, If you grow up watching SATC, Gossip Girl or Girls, you must live in Manhattan for a while. But there is a slight problem called money and space. Manhattan is a dream but It’s very hard to find a decent apartment with an affordable rent option. You can always find a roommate or just don’t give F to space or how bizarre the apartment layout is. If you are all about “I must live in Manhattan or I will die” attitude, be my guest. But perhaps not when you are broke and just a college graduate who has no job yet. Be patient you’re gonna find that damn job and gonna live in the city eventually I promise. (I did live in UES for 3 years and love it every single minute of it.)
You know, what do I love? The combination of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The work is in Manhattan and the home is in Brooklyn (preferably Williamsburg or Greenpoint). The perfect match. I did this in 2015. My job was in Union Square and my home was in Williamsburg. It was the best year in NY in my opinion. I prefer to live in Brooklyn because It has more of a neighbourhood vibe. I know my pharmacist’s name, I know my coffeeshop baristas’ name. I know what she is up to lately. So I’ve never had those relationships when I used to live in Manhattan. This is why the combination of Brooklyn and Manhattan is the best in my opinion.
Here is another idea! Unfortunately, I have no idea what is living in Queens like. So I leave this topic to my future writers and interns to fill us in about the experience. Or leave a comment in below so we update here according to your experience.
How to Find An Affordable Apartment in NYC: Facebook Groups Craigslist Couch Surf
I was lucky when I first come to the city. Because I came to my then boyfriend now husband’s apartment. But after all the different apartments we lived in, I was the one who check the listings through the internet and drag him to see the apartments.
No fee Real Estate Broker
First of all, when you see a beautiful apartment in the neighbourhood you want to live in, make a call to the agent or go to the nearest real state firm and tell them about your situation. You’re looking for an apt which should be NO FEE (means you don’t pay %15 broker fee) and you also need a roommate. Sometimes broker has the information of the people like you. And they match these people to live together. I think It’s one of the safest ideas since you don’t know anyone in the city yet. It’s safer than Craigslist because there are so many fishy things going on there but we are gonna come to that point shortly.
Here is my friend Elias if you need a really nice agent.
Craigslist is a great source to find so many great people to work with. But when It comes to find an apartment, things get little stickier. I actually find my dear dear photographer Arriana via Craigslist so don’t be so negative about the website. But do not ever give anybody upfront payment. DO NOT. Don’t fall for the listings “too good to be true”. It’s NY for god’s sakes. There is no perfect apartment in here unless you’re making 6 figures already. Try to email people rather than calling them. Because there are many spammers and scammers are creating listings. Try to email them (Craigslist hides your real email and create number based emails to receivers) about seeing the apartments you want to see. If you have a colleague or any kind of friend ask them to accompany you.
It’s funny one time a guy from Craigslist referred me to Turkish real estate agent Nesli. And then she becomes one of my friends in NY. So there are legitimate people but just be careful. http://girlonrealestate.com/
Facebook Groups are the newest best thing in terms of creating a community. So here is my NY based group. You can be part of this group and share your needs about NY. https://www.facebook.com/groups/newestyorker But here are some other helpful groups to find apartments/roommates. 1- https://www.facebook.com/groups/rooms.roommates.apartments.new.york.quoloc/?ref=group_browse_new 2- https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYCESN/?ref=group_browse_new 3- https://www.facebook.com/groups/2227152027/?ref=group_browse_new You can also make a group search about finding roommates through Facebook.
If you find someone through any kind of internet websites or group, always try to meet these people in public places, or go to the meeting place / the actual apartment with your friends.
Couch surfing is so much fun. It’s like free Airbnb. But you should also host someone when you have a chance or that luxury. It’s the greatest way to meet so many new people. This website is one of the safest ways to find a temporary place stay because all the hosts have reviews from previous guests. So you kind of have an idea about the people you’re gonna stay in before actually meeting them. Personally, I haven’t used it yet but my brother used it multiple times when he travelled through Europe and one of my colleagues used to host people all the time in Istanbul.
I hope you find your house as soon as possible but don’t worry there is one thing that almost every New Yorker fails that finding the perfect apartment.
This post is published when I was in LA for 2 months during my slow cross country adventure.