Moving from LIC to Astoria: 2 Blocks, 4 Flights and a Neighborhood Away | Tracy's New York Life | A New York City Lifestyle + Travel Blog Tracy's New York Life | Best Lifestyle, Culture, and Travel Blog in NYC

Moving from LIC to Astoria: 2 Blocks, 4 Flights and a Neighborhood Away

By Amanda Halkiotis

Astoria beyond the East River--by Momentcaptured1 via Flickr

Last spring, my boyfriend and I looked at a jackpot apartment: pet-friendly, great sunlight, deep closets, newly refinished hardwood floors, and just a two-block stroll from our current home. Unfortunately, when we followed up with the broker a few days later to stake our claim, the place had already been rented. Real estate (including rentals) apparently moves at the speed of light in New York City.
Then in December, while searching apartment ads on my lunch break (just browsing, I swear!), I saw it. Except for the price, which shot up $100 in the past eight months, everything looked identical to the apartment we had our hearts set on last spring. Even the broker representing the unit remained the same.

We decided to leave Long Island City and move next door to Astoria--by jlwelsh via Flickr

Knowing better than to waste time deliberating this go-around, after a slick and speedy viewing, we filled out an application that night and got approved two days later. We signed the lease within a week, and went from the real estate office straight to the local hardware store to get a second set of keys made. This was really happening.

Moving isn't fun anywhere, but in NYC, it has to be the most challenging due to logistics like parking, unloading, narrow hallways and elevators, and of course, the tiny apartments.  As soon as we started the process, I knew it would be an ad hoc operation. Our spur-of-the-moment decision had its drawbacks with little time to round up packing supplies and organize our mounds of stuff, not to mention the actual move itself.

I spent all of last week scrambling around town searching for spare boxes from liquor stores (Union Square Wines and Astor Wines & Spirits both said yes, with plenty of grace and zero judgment). I collected stacks of the Village Voice and amNY to wrap up our breakables. What began as an exciting endeavor in upgrading and upsizing, now became a packing frenzy.

I scrambled and luckily found enough boxes--by jqgill via Flickr

At first I thought we might have too much space in our big new home. Then, packing up everything the two of us had accumulated together over the past three cohabitated years, I realized that we had too much stuff. I figured out what we needed and what we didn't. 

“Why do we have so many books,” I asked my boyfriend. “And blankets? And pillows?” I continued to ramble. “Why did you let me get a grill pan and an electric grill, a sautĂ© pan and a cast-iron skillet?”  

Do we need a cast iron skillet?--by I believe I can fry via Flickr

Seven days of purging and about six rolls of packing tape later, we began schlepping our stuff over to the new digs. Asked to pay for half of January up front, we cut our losses and stayed positive, deciding to use the extra time and take advantage of the close proximity between the two buildings and hand-delivering some of our fragile family members. Did I mention we own nearly 90 plants?  

We love our greenery!--by taradsturm via Flickr

Plus, we got a great deal from U-Haul. Rates remain low mid-month and then spike during the last few days, so what a three or four-hour rate would cost during peak time, got us a 24-hour window. And at an additional cost of $1.29 per mile, we grinned when we returned the truck with just two miles tacked onto the odometer.

Two of our friends had the day off, drove in from out of town and helped us on moving day. With four people working nonstop, we got all of our stuff packed into the truck, hauled up three flights of stairs, and placed throughout our living room and bedroom in eight manic hours. We unwound by heading over to Break Bar and Billiards to shoot some pool, and finished the evening with coffee and dessert, at a longstanding Astoria staple, Omonia CafĂ©.

Omonia will be one of our new hangouts--by Mfotography via Flickr

My boyfriend and I got the chance to start 2013 off with a new space. However impulsive the decision or crazy the consequences, we got through the emotional and financial stress of our big move together. 

What’s our next great scheme?  We'll celebrate with a housewarming party, of course!

Astoria, Queens is our new home--by xbettyx via Flickr

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