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California Native Finds 1BR in Hell's Kitchen

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
Price
Dream: $2,100/month
Reality: $$2,150/month + fees
Neighborhood
Dream: "Below Central Park"
Reality: Hell's Kitchen
Amenities
Dream: 1BR, few stairs
Reality: Corner 1BR, no stairs
Summary
This weekend's Hunter is a gent from California named Guillermo Murga. Guillermo moved here a few years ago and settled in Hell's Kitchen, but his studio apartment in a four-floor walk-up grew understandably irksome. He wanted to live somewhere "below Central Park" so that he could commute to his job in the Financial District with ease, so he looked around Manhattan. Eventually, he found a pretty nice corner one-bedroom in the West 40s, just a few blocks from his apartment. It was asking $2,050/month, with no broker fee, because the tenant was about to break their lease and needed someone to take it over. He filled out the applications—during which time the landlord raised the rent to $2,150/month—and eventually got the apartment. He ended up paying $600 in fees. [The Hunt/Hell's Kitchen: More Room, Less Noise]