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找房子,从零学起

更新时间:2015-4-26 9:29:12 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A First-Time Home in the City
找房子,从零学起

As a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University, Victoria Porpora commuted to school from her parents’ home in Scarsdale, N.Y., where she grew up. The trip by Metro-North train to New York City took nearly an hour each way, because her arrival and departure point was the Harlem-125th Street Station on the East Side, and Columbia is on the West Side. “The crosstown bus was the killer,” she said. “It stops at almost every corner.”

维多利亚·波尔波拉(Victoria Porpora)是哥伦比亚大学(Columbia University)教育学院(Teachers College)的一名研究生,她经常往返于学校与位于纽约州斯卡斯代尔(Scarsdale)的父母家之间,那是她从小长大的地方。每次搭乘大都会北方铁路(Metro-North)去纽约市,她在路上都会耗费将近一个小时,因为她上下车的地方是城东(East Side)的哈莱姆区125街车站(Harlem-125th Street Station),而哥伦比亚大学在城西(West Side)。“坐跨区公交车真是要命,”她说,“差不多每拐个弯就会停一站。”

Ms. Porpora, 23, who is known as Tori, wanted to move to Manhattan, and the pieces fell into place when a friend connected her with Emma Murphy. Ms. Murphy, 22, who was living with her family in Mamaroneck, N.Y., had attended the University of Vermont for a year, but was starting at Columbia’s School of General Studies. She would have a similar commute, and was glad to team up with a roommate.

今年23岁、人称多莉(Tori)的波尔波拉,曾经很想搬到曼哈顿生活,她经朋友介绍与艾玛·墨菲(Emma Murphy)相识之后,这个想法终于落实了。今年22岁的墨菲与家人一起生活在纽约州的马马罗内克(Mamaroneck),已经在佛蒙特大学 (University of Vermont)就读了一年,目前正准备进入哥伦比亚大学的通识教育学院(School of General Studies)读书。她的往返路线与波尔波拉相似,所以很高兴找个室友合住。

Ms. Porpora’s graduate school friends, many of whom commuted themselves or rented rooms in Upper Manhattan, suggested she could easily hunt on her own, but she believed otherwise. “I am the queen of efficiency, and that sounded like a horrible idea,” she said. So she contacted her childhood friend Claire Marshall, a saleswoman at Citi Habitats.

波尔波拉在研究生院的那些朋友大多自己往返,或在曼哈顿的上城区租房住。他们告诉她,独自一人也很容易找到住处,但她另有想法。“我是个节省女王,所以那个主意听起来一点儿也不靠谱,”她说。于是她联系了自己的一位儿时好友、花旗居屋(Citi Habitats)的女销售员克莱尔·马歇尔(Claire Marshall)。

Neither Ms. Porpora nor Ms. Murphy had ever hunted for an apartment. They knew that finding a two-bedroom in their price range, up to $2,800 a month, would be tough but doable. “As long as we had a kitchen and a bathroom, we were really open,” Ms. Porpora said.

波尔波拉和墨菲以前都从没找过房子。她们知道,按自己提出的价格区间,找到一套月租不超过2800美元(约合人民币17538元)的两居室公寓可能会很艰辛,但还算可行。“只要有一间厨房和一间浴室就行了,其他的我们都可以接受,”波尔波拉说。

Ms. Murphy felt overwhelmed. “I honestly didn’t even understand what a no-fee apartment rental was,” she said. Ms. Marshall explained it to her.

墨菲则完全没有头绪。“坦白说,我甚至不明白什么叫无佣金租赁公寓,”她说。马歇尔给她解释了一番。

They spent a snowy day looking, starting a bit south of Columbia at a walk-up building on West 109th Street in Manhattan Valley. The apartment, a two-bedroom with a washer-dryer, for $2,795 a month, was on the ground floor, with windows facing the street. They flinched.

俩人冒着大雪天去看房,从哥伦比亚大学南边不远处开始,她们在曼哈顿谷(Manhattan Valley)的西109街(West 109th Street)看了一栋不带电梯的公寓楼。那是一套两居室公寓,有一台洗衣/烘干机,月租2795美元(约合人民币17365元)。公寓位于一楼,窗户正对大街。但她们退缩了。

“Everything that was installed — every appliance, every counter — everything was crooked,” Ms. Porpora said. “It felt like somebody threw together a two-bedroom out of something that was meant to be a studio or one-bedroom.”

“房间里安装的每一样东西——包括每台电器、每个台面,全都变形了,”波尔波拉说,“感觉就像有人把原本的单间公寓或一居室公寓,硬生生地拼凑成了一套两居室。”

Both felt claustrophobic in the tiny rooms. “I am 5-9 and that added to the level of tininess I was experiencing,” Ms. Murphy said. They passed.

她们在那些小房间中感到了幽闭恐惧症。“我身高有1米8,所以尤其会觉得这里太小,”墨菲说。于是她们放弃了这套公寓。

Farther south, on Amsterdam Avenue near 102nd Street, a two-bedroom in a small walk-up building was renting for $2,550 a month. This one was above a restaurant. Ms. Murphy, having discussed her housing search with friends at her retail job at the Westchester mall, was wary.

再往南走一段距离,在阿姆斯特丹大道(Amsterdam Avenue)靠近102街(102nd Street)的地方,有一套两居室公寓,位于一栋无电梯的小楼里,月租2550美元(约合人民币15842元),公寓下面就是一间餐馆。墨菲和几个同在韦斯切斯特商城(the Westchester)从事零售业的朋友讨论了自己找房的事之后,她的态度变得谨慎起来。

“My boss told me a horror story about living above a restaurant with insects and rats and a lot of loud noise,” she said. “That was looming in the back of my head.”

“我的老板刚给我讲了一个很可怕的故事,说住在餐馆上面会有许多虫子、老鼠和噪音什么的,”她说,“我到现在还在后怕呢。”

Also a problem was the railroad layout, which would require one to walk through the other’s bedroom to get to the bathroom. The apartment seemed fine for a couple, Ms. Porpora said, but “it was so not conducive to any way we would want to live.”

公寓的直筒式户型也是个问题,你得穿过室友的卧室才能进入洗手间。这套公寓似乎更适合夫妻居住,波尔波拉说,但“对我们而言,住起来就不那么方便了。”

They soldiered on, wondering whether every place in their price range would have a drawback. “I trusted it was going to get better,” Ms. Murphy said.

于是,她们继续前进,想知道在她们定的价格区间内,是不是每个地方都有不近理想之处。“我相信情况会越来越好的。”墨菲说。

Still farther south, they visited a two-bedroom apartment in a five-story building. Both liked the location in the West 80s, “in an amazing neighborhood with Starbucks on one side and 150 independently owned restaurants on the other,” Ms. Porpora said, exaggerating just a bit. The rent was $2,650 a month.

又往南走了一段,她们来到一栋五层建筑中,看了一套两居室公寓。俩人都喜欢这套公寓不超过西80几街的位置,“这是个非常棒的社区,一边有星巴克(Starbucks),另一边有150家独立经营的餐馆,”波尔波拉说得有点儿夸张。这套公寓的月租为2650美元(约合人民币16464元)。

“I noticed right away the apartment building smells nice, or at least it doesn’t smell bad, which was important for me,” Ms. Murphy said.

“我立刻发现这栋公寓楼里的味道还不错,至少闻起来不恶心,对我来说这很重要。”墨菲说。

The living area was an odd six-sided shape. The bathroom was minuscule. But each bedroom had a closet, and there was plenty of overhead storage, thanks to the high ceilings.

这套公寓的客厅是罕有的六边形。浴室只是个弹丸之地。但每间卧室里都有一个衣柜,上面还有一大片空间可以存放东西,这多亏了那高高的天花板。

The long, skinny layout seemed ideal for roommates. “The bedrooms were split so it didn’t feel they were on top of each other,” Ms. Marshall said.

这对室友似乎对公寓的狭长户型非常满意。“两间卧室是分开的,所以不会感觉紧挨着对方。”马歇尔说。

She told the two women that they needed to apply quickly if they were interested. They were. Ms. Murphy’s lesson about no-fee rental apartments was reinforced: This wasn’t one. The roommates split the broker fee of one month’s rent, and arrived just after Christmas in time for the new semester.

她告诉两个女孩,如果她们想租下来,就得赶紧申请。于是她们照做了。墨菲还深刻领会了刚上过的无佣金租赁公寓课:这套公寓并不是。两名室友分摊了那笔佣金,即该公寓一个月的租金。她们过完圣诞节就搬了过去,等着新学期开学。

Now, Columbia is an easy 20 minutes away via the No. 1 train. “I like having a home neighborhood and a school neighborhood,” Ms. Porpora said.

现在,她们搭乘1号线只需20分钟,就能到达哥伦比亚大学了。“我喜欢住在一个既是住宅区、又是大学城的地方。”波尔波拉说。

She pays $1,250 a month for the smaller bedroom, which holds a bed and a dresser. “You couldn’t come in here with your Pottery Barn bedroom set,” she said, but it’s all she needs. Her room, and the living room, face a back alley.

她每月支付1250美元(约合人民币7766元),住在面积较小的卧室里,房里放了一张床和一个梳妆台。“你不可能把从Pottery Barn买的那套卧室家具都搬进来,”她说,但她要用的都有了。她的房间和客厅都面对着一条偏僻的小巷。

Ms. Murphy pays $1,400 a month for the larger room, where she can fit some shelves and tables. Her view is of an air shaft. “If I were to look out my window all day, I would be able to watch what my neighbors were doing,” she said.

而墨菲每月支付1400美元(约合人民币8698元),住在面积较大的房间里,里面还可以放几个书架和桌子。她房间外的景观是一个天井。“如果我整天往窗外看,就能看到邻居们都在做些什么。”她说。

They planned to furnish the living room with a secondhand couch donated by Ms. Porpora’s sister, but learned it wouldn’t fit through the narrow hallway. “Tori’s dad is super handy and measured everything,” Ms. Murphy said. Instead, they have a futon handed down by Ms. Murphy’s father. It came apart for transport.

她们原打算在客厅里摆上一座波尔波拉的姐姐送给她们的沙发,但发现客厅太窄了,沙发放不下。“多莉的爸爸非常能干,他量过了所有尺寸,”墨菲说。于是,她们用上了墨菲爸爸拿过来的一个日式坐垫。这东西在运输时可以拆开来。

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