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Syracuse Grad Discovers Studio Living On The Lower East Side

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Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...

The Hunt: Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality
The Hunter: A Syracuse grad who got a job in Midtown and wanted to stop commuting from Connecticut.
Dream: $1,600 a month
Reality: $1,945 a month
Dream: Park Slope or the East Village
Reality: Lower East Side
Dream: A roommate situation
Reality: A studio

This week's Hunter is Sarah Sterns, a 24-year-old graduate of Syracuse University. She initially got a job and lived in Connecticut, but always intended to move to New York City. She eventually got a job in Midtown, but commuted by train for a few months while saving up enough money to move to the city. She thought having a roommate would be ideal and wanted to stick with areas she knew: Park Slope and the East Village. Her budget was $1,600 a month. She went through several potential situations with friends and Craigslist renters, and also raised her budget to $2,000. None of it worked out. So she changed her game plan, and decided to look on her own for studios. She eventually found one just north of Delancey Street for $1,945. It hasn't been without its issues: The landlord had to replace the stove due to a gas leak, but Stern's basic needs satisfied. (Those don't include a table or couch—she eats in bed.) [The Hunt/A Foothold on the Lower East Side]