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In a Fifth-Floor Brooklyn Walk-Up, A Woman Finds Her Dream Space

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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: Jessica Poole


Dream: $2,300 to $2,500 a month

Reality: $1,700


Dream: West Village or Soho

Reality: Fort Greene


Dream: No elevator, Prewar, Nice Views

Reality: Top Floor in a Fifth-Floor Walk-up, Small Studio, Views


California native, Jessica Poole, tried to make her four years in Philadelphia work, moving around various times but despite her efforts, it just wasn’t the city for her. As luck would have it, a new job in Midtown as a senior allocator for a fashion retailer landed her back in New York (she lived in Brooklyn before moving to Philly). This time around, she wanted to live in Manhattan so she set a budget of $2,300 to $2,500 for a small studio apartment.

Poole knew exactly what she did and didn’t want—cookie-cutter apartments in contemporary buildings devoid of character wouldn’t do it. She wanted a sunny place in a prewar walk-up and the deal would be even better if it was on the top floor. Her unconventional request wasn’t strange to Poole at all. "I am willing to climb the mountain to see the view," she told the New York Times.

Her hunt began in Soho at a top-floor studio asking $2,400 a month. Initially, she liked the place and even negotiated $50 off of the monthly rent but upon learning that her bulky furniture wouldn’t fit, she passed. The second stop was a West Village studio going for $2,200 a month and though the sunken living room was cool, the interior views were not so she looked to another unit on the same floor with a street view. Just as she was ready to seal the deal, another person snatched it up even quicker.

Two weeks and one characterless place in Soho later, Poole decided to take her hunt to Fort Greene, Brooklyn where she came across a studio on the top floor in a walk-up. It had a bathroom skylight and views of nearby rooftops and Manhattan, asking just $1,700 per month. She was immediately sold. After some rearranging, the space accommodated her vintage trunk and seven-foot long antique clothing rack and she finds that the unit’s quirks add to its overall charm.