No U-Haul jokes, please

My fiancée and I are looking at apartments.

My Love had to move out of her sublet at the end of September. She moved in with me.

My apartment is just a small one-bedroom, but it isn’t too crowded. Neither of us has accumulated worldly possessions beyond clothes, books, kitchen equipment, computers and a TV. Books are a problem; my Love has more books than my home town’s public library. They are all boxed up in the living room.

The toughest thing about giving up the sublet: Its kitchen. The owner of the apartment is a classically trained chef with a very high-end catering business. She designed the kitchen around a 6 burner Wolf commercial range. I’m going to miss it.

We had gotten used to making dinners for new friends.

We’re looking for a biggish apartment. Three or four bedrooms, enough to have kids of both sexes. Room for a couple of offices, assuming that we’re going to be working from home a lot when we have kids.

We want an awful kitchen with room to replace it with a great kitchen. We’re going to rip it out and replace it. We’ve discovered to our dismay that the range from her sublet is not approved for residential installation, so we can’t install that model unless we get approvals.

We’d like to stay on the Upper West Side. We love our neighborhood. It has many large apartments, so most of the residents are families.

It’s also foodie heaven  – great bakeries; great vegetable, meat and fish markets; great casual restaurants with all kinds of cuisines – three kinds of Thai, a half-dozen Chinese regions, Korean, two Peruvian (my favorite), a half-dozen Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Turkish, halal, and, of course, Japanese, Italian, French, American, pub… Two first-rate burger joints. A couple of jazz bars.

We’ll look downtown and in Brooklyn, too.

In New York City, the usual form of apartment ownership is a cooperative rather than a condominium. One owns shares in the corporation that owns the building and has a lease tied to the shares. The board of directors of the corporation has to approve any transfer of the shares. They have almost complete discretion, subject only to anti-discrimination laws.

We’ve been told that coop boards don’t like unmarried couples buying together, and they don’t like half a couple buying with the intention of later owning jointly.

If it’s easier to buy as a married couple, we might get married at City Hall (or wherever one gets a quickie marriage in NYC). We’d like our wedding next summer to be the legal as well as the religious marriage, but we’re pragmatic.


My Love and I have one thing in common: Love of food.

My Love has a professional kitchen. Restaurant 6-burner. Double convection ovens. Copper pots and pans from Paris. Every useful kitchen gadget known to woman.

I love to cook, but I’ve been cursed to landlord stoves in cheap apartments and microwaves in jobsite doublewides.

I’m in heaven.

The coolest thing in her kitchen: A squirter on her sink. A squirtgun that never runs out of water! My inner 6-year-old overwhelmed me the first time I saw it. She’s cute in a wet T-shirt. She’s cute when she’s mad. She’s seriously cute when she’s mad in a wet T-shirt.

We cook well together, except for one thing: I clean up as I go. She lets everything stack up in the sink, on the counter, on the stove, on the cutting board, … Flour bin uncovered, olive oil uncorked, mustard jar open, salt box on the back of the stove …

This may not seem like a serious problem. She puts something down, I clean it up, right?

Wrong. She reaches for the spoon or the spatula without looking. And it’s not there. Because I’ve cleaned it and put it away. Meltdown.

She is very serious about her coffee.

The first time I made her coffee, it took me three tries before she would even taste it.

Then there’s her brass lever-action espresso machine.

If you like to cook, New York is the promised land.

Silver Moon Bakery is around the corner from my apartment. (Here’s a Times article about Silver Moon.) My Love is addicted to the cheddar chive brioche. I’m addicted to just about everything, but particularly the pain ordinaire.

Then there’s Citarella. Gorgeous fish and seafood. Unbelievable meats, from rabbit to prime bone-in ribeye.

And Fairway.

My corner grocery chain is Westside Market.