Settling in, with high ceilings: which apartment in New York did they buy?
Jane Jeong and Gabe Lewes have been looking for their own home since they got married last summer. The couple met on Settle, a dating app for people ready to settle down, and settle down. “We agreed to be happy with each other, and I’ve really liked Gabe ever since,” Ms Jeong said. “The real trouble started when we tried to find an apartment.”
Ms Jeong is an aerial yoga instructor and Mr Lewes suffers from chronic entrepreneur syndrome, running at least four unsuccessful businesses at once. They went looking for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment after getting married. “We honeymooned on StreetEasy, which might explain why we’re still not quite pregnant,” Ms Jeong said with a laugh.
Their budget was eight hundred thousand dollars—more or less. “I joke that while I have generational wealth, it’s not enough generational wealth to compensate for my terrible business choices,” Lewes said. They hoped to find a place with a modernized interior and high ceilings capable of supporting the weight of up to four aerial yogis. Their ideal neighborhood was Dumbo because it’s Mr. Lewes’ favorite movie and, as Ms. Jeong pointed out, “the views of what we can’t afford are so beautiful from there.”
WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Prospect Lefferts Gardens Apartment
Co-op in Dumbo
Condo in Brooklyn Heights
WHAT DID THEY CHOOSE?
Condo in Brooklyn Heights
Intrigued by the potential opportunities a lava floor could bring to her yoga practice, Ms Jeong was initially interested in the Dumbo Cooperative. And Mr Lewes noted that ‘No matter what’s going on in the toilet, we never need to light a match!’ However, the co-op application process proved overwhelming. “They really broke into my various businesses and as each one failed they were judged,” Mr Lewes said. The deal-breaker was the thought of their pug, Bruce, unintentionally stumbling into an active part of the floor. “The possibility of Bruce or any visiting pets being engulfed in a fiery inferno added a layer of discomfort that became non-negotiable for me,” Ms Jeong said.
Last spring, a second visit to the duplex in Prospect Lefferts Gardens shook the couple. Mr Lewes explained: ‘We were only there for five minutes and Jane was in tears over something the microwave said. Ms Jeong declined to repeat what it was, but said the dishwasher then texted her apologetically. However, this was not enough to convince the couple. “The home should be emotionally safe and your devices should be on your side, or at least neutral,” Lewes said.
After repeated visits and a discussion with a zoologist, the couple made an offer on the condo in Brooklyn Heights in March. “In our last building, the doorman was a human. Honestly, I found him a bit too talkative and he could be prying,” Mr Lewes said. Ms. Jeong learned that cassowaries are shy and secretive birds, ideal traits in a doorman. The couple moved in two months ago and stayed alive. There have been a few incidents of mayhem, but none involving residents. “We are cautious about going in and out of the house but, in truth, having Brian there, on the lookout, forces us to live in the moment,” Mr Lewes said. “Plus, we can see the city lights over the river from our living room, and it’s very charming.” ♦