Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...
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 student looking to rent
Reality: $1,350/month + fees
This weekend's Hunter is Miriam Oedegaard, a Norwegian undergrad looking to rent. Exemplifying the practical, businesslike nature of the Nordic people, she started looking for simple one-bedrooms in Harlem, with little in the way of dream amenities. Unfortunately, her budget of $1,500/month (subsidized by Norway, of course) and her lack of an American guarantor didn't take her very far. Things weren't looking great, and—we assume—she found herself yearning for her homeland, for social democracy, brutal black metal, and the pungent aroma of pickled herring, wafting over the majestic fjords. But then, her broker found a studio in the West 130s for $1,350/month, which would accept Insurent, a service that acts as a guarantor for renters. The place had four walls, a kitchen, and some windows (as the surprisingly wry broker says, "a huge asset for an apartment in New York is when there's nothing awful about it"). She moved in over the summer and she seems happy with the place, especially with all her new Ikea furniture. "Everyone in Norway uses Ikea," she says, proving that at least one stereotype is, in fact, true. "I basically grew up putting Ikea furniture together." Skål, Miriam! [The Hunt/A Realistic Renter in Central Harlem;