I had a frustrating adventure this morning while trying to sign my lease and pay my deposits for my new apartment in Hamilton Heights. I hopped on the 4 train in the Bronx around 7 a.m., switched to the 2 train at Grand Concourse and realizing that I was cutting it close if I wanted to be at work by 9 a.m., I got off at 135th Street with the intention of catching a cab across town.
I ended up crossing several avenues before I was able to catch an empty cab. On Broadway, I went to a C Store to purchase two money orders per my broker's direction - only to discover that this particular C Store (or perhaps C Stores in general) don't process money orders.
At a check cashing place up the block, I waited in a line for 20 minutes before reaching the window and learning that money orders cannot be purchased via debit card. Cash only. We're not in North Carolina anymore, Toto.
I ended up accessing four different ATM machines within a three block radius (because of small amount restrictions enforced by the machine) before my ATM card reached its own limit and stopped accepting transactions. After learning that there was a post office about eleven blocks north and one avenue over, I called my boss to explain why I was running late. She immediately offered to front me the money in lieu of ATM card limitations. I politely refused, but how cool is that?
Then, as I power-walked (without the exaggerated swinging arm motion) up Broadway, I called my bank to ask them to reset my ATM card. In addition to resetting my card, a very pleasant representative increased the card withdrawal restriction to accommodate the amount I needed. It will revert back to its previous security restriction tonight at midnight.
At the post office, however, I was able to pay for two money orders with my debit card and apply the cash I had all ready withdrawn toward the overall total. Finally, I raced back down Broadway to the management office, where they greeted me and my money with a smile.
Roughly two-and-a-half months of camping out in my best friend's living room, eleven brokers (over half of which were arrogant, insincere or don juan-ish), 100+ Craigslist hits, two dozen viewings and a two-hour frantic cash crisis later, I am now a signed, deposit-paid renter in New York City.
On July 1, I started my 30-day countdown to becoming a New Yorker. Now I'm counting down to move-in day of first New York City apartment.