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8 Nov 2017

After moving to New York, you may not have time to visit family for Thanksgiving, especially if you want to make the trip home for other holidays. Instead of eating alone, you can celebrate Friendsgiving in your apartment.

Follow these five tips to make your first Friendsgiving a success!

Make an Appropriately Sized Guest List

Take a close look at your apartment so you can decide how many people you can fit comfortably into the space. If you have a fairly large home, then you may want to invite a few coworkers, fellow students and people who live in your building. If you have a small apartment, keep your list as short as possible.

When you invite guests, ask them to RSVP for the event. Some of them probably won’t have a chance to attend, so you can select replacements from names lower on your list.

Related: Thanksgiving in NYC

Shop for Ingredients a Few Days in Advance

Grocery stores can run out of popular ingredients during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Getting an early start will help ensure that you can find the ingredients that you need for your dinner.

A traditional Thanksgiving meal requires a turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. If you want to serve these dishes, then you should go shopping several days before your event.

Of course, you don’t need to take the traditional route for Friendsgiving. Feel free to get creative with trendy foods you and your friends enjoy. Remember to offer vegetarian and vegan options for people with restricted diets.

Cook and Store Food Before Your Celebration

As the Friendsgiving host, you will probably prepare the turkey or other protein that serves as the meal’s centerpiece. Turkey takes a long time to cook, so you should get started early. Even an eight-pound bird will need at least two hours and 45 minutes in the oven.

If you have a frozen turkey, let it thaw in the refrigerator the day before Friendsgiving. Thawing will save you at least two hours of cooking time.

You can also prepare several dishes ahead of time and store them in your fridge. Some good options include cranberry sauce, pecan pie and most casseroles. Just put them in the oven to warm them up before serving. If you have limited space in your refridgerator, ask a neighbor if he or she might be able to lend a shelf for a day or two.

Host a Potluck to Save Time and Money

Your guests probably won’t expect you to cook everything for the Friendsgiving meal. Everyone understands that you have limited space, time and money. A potluck gives you an easier way to have the dinner out your apartment.

As the host, you will have to manage the potluck, though. Make a master list of your guests and what they will bring to the event. You don’t have to assign people specific dishes. Instead, you can ask one person to bring dessert, one person to bring a vegetable side and another person to bring drinks.

Stay in communication with everyone to make sure they bring their assigned dishes.

Maximize Your Kitchen and Dining Spaces

If you have a small apartment, then you will have to get creative to maximize the space in your kitchen and dining area.

Start by rethinking your furniture placement. You can move couches, small tables, and televisions into your bedroom to create more space. Of course, you can also consider your couch a part of your dining area. It just depends on how casual you want to keep your Friendsgiving.

In the kitchen, make sure you clean as you cook. It will prevent frustration and clutter. You can also create more space in the kitchen by setting the table before you begin cooking. Suddenly, you’ll have a couple of cabinet shelves where you can store ingredients and let items cool before serving.

You don’t have to travel home to have a memorable Thanksgiving. This year, you can start a new tradition by hosting your first Friendsgiving.

1 Nov 2017

Whether you’re renting by yourself or with a group of friends, moving into a new apartment is always exciting. There’s a new neighborhood to explore, tasty restaurants to try out and furnishings to buy for your new home. With so much to do, it’s easy to forget about matters like renter’s insurance. However, renter’s insurance is actually very important and a definite must for every New York City renter.

What Is Renter’s Insurance?

Renter’s insurance is insurance specifically designed for those who rent property, which usually means apartment dwellers. This type of policy is offered by most major insurance companies in New York City and typically includes property coverage and liability protection, which provides protection to those who may become injured while in your home.

Property Coverage

According to a 2015 American Community Survey, 51 percent of American apartment renters are under the age of 30, many of whom not be familiar with renter’s insurance. If you’re part of this group, understanding the broad range of protections provided by renter’s insurance is sure to help you see its value.

Renter’s insurance, which is sometimes referred to as tenant’s insurance, provides four main types of coverage: personal property, personal liability, loss of use and medical payments (for others). Damage to personal property caused by fire, smoke, explosions, heavy snow, ice or sleet and plumbing issues, in addition to many others, are all covered. Most policies also cover theft and vandalism.

RELATED: Five Important Tips for First-Time Renters in New York City

Additional Coverage

However, coverage isn’t limited to personal items that are located in your home at the time of the incident. For example, if you park your bike at a rack and it gets stolen, the value of the bike may be covered by your insurance policy. Likewise, if you leave your laptop in your car and someone breaks in and steals it, you likely can recover the value of replacing it if you have renter’s insurance.

You can also get additional coverage for high-end items like jewelry, artwork or collectibles. Insurance experts also recommend getting replacement value coverage so that you get the full cost of your items should a claim need to be filed and not just the depreciated cash value. Some policies will also cover pets.

Liability Coverage

No matter how careful you are, accidents can, and often do, happen. If a friend or family member is injured in your home, depending on how serious the injury is, you could find yourself responsible for thousands of dollars of medical care. With the right renter’s insurance policy, both you and your guests will be physically and financially protected, potentially even from costly litigation fees, should it come to that. You can even be covered for damage that you cause to someone else’s property or qualify for financial assistance if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a disaster or damage.

Cost

A study by the Insurance Information Institute found that 95 percent of homeowners have home insurance, but only 40 percent of apartment renters have renter’s insurance. Some people may be reluctant to get renter’s insurance because they assume that it is expensive. However, according to Insurance.com, the average apartment renter in New York state only pays $204 a year for about $40,000 of coverage. While rates do vary based on the policy, your credit history and the city or neighborhood in which you live, the cost is still only about $15 – $30 a month.

In a city where anything can and does happen, protecting your property just makes sense. Renter’s insurance can give you the peace of mind you want at an affordable price and in New York City. That’s a win-win situation.

Of course, finding the perfect apartment comes before the need for renter’s insurance. If you’re looking, NoFee Rentals has the size apartment to meet your needs and budget in the neighborhood you’re looking for. Start your search HERE.

18 Oct 2017

New York City is many things to many people. For some, it’s an opportunity to receive a world-class education while others see it as a step towards their dream career. Whatever your reason for wanting to live in this amazing city, there’s one thing on which everyone can agree — NYC has one of the most diverse food selections on the planet. Food from nearly every corner of the globe is available in abundance, satisfying every taste and budget.

Budget

If you’re a student or just starting a new career, you may need to cut back on your food expenses every now and then. Fortunately, NYC has many tasty and budget-friendly options. One of the city’s most popular and shockingly cheap eats is dollar pizza. You can get a huge slice of pie (as the locals say) for only $1. Midtown and Lower Manhattan have the highest and best-rated concentration of these locales so you’re sure to run into at least one no matter where you go.

Another affordable food option is the local bagel shop. Ideal as a companion for your Sunday morning coffee or a quick take-out option, a New York bagel will never disappoint. Even vegan and gluten-free food lovers can enjoy them. Food trucks have also become an increasingly common sight throughout the city and are much beloved by the lunchtime crowd, especially in Midtown, Flatiron and the Financial District.

Mid-Range

If you’ve got some wiggle room in your budget, you’ll find that spending a bit more gives you access to a lot of the city’s best food. There’s so much food diversity in NYC that you can try something new every day of the week — in some cases, without even leaving your own neighborhood. If you’re in the mood for takeout (or sit down), you can sample all the flavors of the Orient, including Indian, Thai, Korean, Chinese and Japanese, every few blocks in Manhattan.

Queens also boasts an impressive selection of Asian eateries, which are frequented by locals, as well as celebrities and even former Presidents, so you know that they’re the real deal. Want to try Ethiopian, Moroccan or Lebanese for the first time? You can find all three in lower Manhattan. Of course, NYC staples like Italian and Americana are abundant throughout the city and if you’re in the mood for soul food, a trip to vibrant Harlem is an absolute must. Best of all, even if it’s a rainy day and you’re stuck in the office, you can still treat yourself to a culinary feast at the click of a button thanks to food apps that deliver around the city.

High-End

Birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions are the perfect time to go all out and treat yourself to some of NYC’s finest dining. Ranked among the top five cities in the worldwith Michelin star restaurants, the city that never sleeps is home to 99 of them! In fact, six of these restaurants are ranked three-star, the highest honor possible, which denotes exceptional cuisine, service and an overall unforgettable experience. One three-star Michelin restaurant in NYC serves French and Japanese fusion in a 20-course tasting menu. French, Japanese and Asian fusion cuisine dominate NYC’s top-ranked restaurants. However, if your tastes are more sophisticated but your budget can’t quite keep up, you can also try one of the city’s newest additions, Tim Ho Wan, a dim sum shop affectionately dubbed the “world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant.”

NYC attracts a diverse range of people, and thanks to this diversity the city hosts an amazing range of food options, enough to make your taste buds sing, one bite at a time. To find a great apartment that will put you in the heart of NYC’s food scene, please visit us at NoFee Rentals. We’re happy to assist you with your apartment search.

11 Oct 2017

Photo by California Grown

No one’s better at making furniture do double duty than apartment dwellers. Ottomans with secret storage, a chair that converts to a guest bed…yup, you’re really good at making the most of every inch and making it look good.

That’s why you need a pumpkin keg at your Halloween party!

RELATED: Entertaining in Small Spaces (and on a budget)

It’s not just festive, it’s also eco-friendly and a natural insulator so your beverage of choice will remain the proper temperature throughout the party. And, it doesn’t have to be cold beer, either. Think warm cider! Imagine being the guest who shows up with one of these!

We found a lot of how-to’s online for making pumpkin kegs but this one by California Grown is definitely the easiest and best looking. Check it out! When you make one, post a picture on our Facebook page so we can see your handiwork.

4 Oct 2017

Some of the most compelling art in New York is displayed publicly. Residents and visitors in the area can see these installations at no charge. Here are the best public art displays in and around the city.

You can see Adrian Villar Rojas’ The Theater of Disappearance sculptures outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 1000 Fifth Avenue. The installation is on display until October 29, 2017. If you love figurative ensembles, this display belongs on our list. The Argentinian artist created a detailed replica of more than 100 objects from The Met collection.

Take a deep dive into the idea that the Internet changes how we perceive the natural world with artist Katja Novitskova. Her aluminum sculptures, printed with digital photographs, are of-the-moment and breathtaking. The work is both funny and dark. The Earth Potential display is at City Hall Park, Vesey Street to Chambers Street Between Park Row and Broadway until November 9, 2017.

The public art installation in Marcus Garvey Park is an amazing representation of the diversity and excitement of the New York art scene. The park is located at 120th Street and 5th Avenue. The artist Suprina uses a DNA Totem installation to represent our collective disregard for our absurd disregard for our natural habitat. The Harlem resident is a respected member of the New York Society of Women Artists. Her award-winning work has been featured in venues all over the United States.

The designer KAWS collaborated with painter Brian Donnelly to create the stunning installation at a basketball court located at Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Find it by taking Chrystie Street to Forsyth Street between Canal and East Houston Streets. New York Made: Stanton Street Courts will remain until November 16, 2017.

Check out the large abstract bronze nudes along the Broadway Malls. The artist grew up in Japan, and her love of minimalism shines through in her sculpture pieces. Joy Miller’s installation includes several figures standing, sitting, or reclining. You can see them on the Upper West Side at Broadway Malls on 72nd through 166th Streets. The installation remains until November 17, 2017.

Rose DeSiano’s Island of Empirical Data and Other Fabrications makes Randall’s Island Park a destination for art lovers. It’s an interactive piece with photographs of landmarks, sites and buildings from government records. Large reflective panels, covered with these images, superimpose archival images in a way that is thought-provoking and striking. You can see the installation through November 30, 2017.

Born in Romania, the Brooklyn artist Leonard Ursachi used his memories of a Cold-War childhood under a Communist regime to create yet another sculpture that brings to mind fortified military bunkers. Although it’s a departure from his more obvious work, this woven-basket, globe-like and egg-shaped figure echoes his distinct artistic voice. This incredible installation is on display in Tribeca Park through December 15, 2017.

Do you feel inspired by New York’s amazing art installations? Making this incredible city your home is easy with NoFee Rentals. We’ve helped students and young professionals from all over the globe find apartments in Greenwich Village, apartments in Chelsea and NY apartments in nearly every neighborhood. We’d love to help you find the perfect NYC rental apartment to call home.

photo credit: trevor.patt IMG_5765 via photopin (license)
27 Sep 2017

According to a recent article from the Washington Post, millennials are filling their empty hearts with houseplants. It was a comical title to an article, but in a way, there is some truth to it. Human beings naturally want to connect with nature, no matter how small the scale is. Living in the concrete jungle can sometimes make you feel like a blade of grass is a foreign object. Sure, here in NYC you have many beautiful parks, but do you always want to get on the subway and head across town to enjoy some greenery? Luckily, making NY apartments a bit more lush is pretty easy with a trip to a local hardware store or nursery.

House Plants

A house plant is a basic type of plant that is usually very easy to take care of. There are small ones and large ones, and a house plant shouldn’t be high maintenance, especially if you are new to the whole plant game. Succulents like aloe and cacti are especially easy because many of them only need to be watered once a month, or at the most once every 2-3 weeks in drier seasons. Another good choice is the philodendron, a vine plant with heart-shaped leaves. It tends to grow quickly, filling your space with serene energy before you know it. When purchasing a house plant, make sure you get the information on how much sun it needs for perfect placement in studio apartments in New York City.

Window Boxes

Window boxes are those cute and picturesque floral bins you see hanging out of some windows. Head to your local hardware store to get the supplies you will need to set this up. They are usually filled with colorful flowers and can add some real joy to NYC rental apartments. You want to choose hearty plants that will withstand sun and shade, as they will likely be getting both. For a pop of color, go with red verbena or purple summer snapdragon. Both have a lovely scent to go along with their colorful displays.

Kitchen Herbs

Fresh herbs always add exciting ingredients for cooking in apartments in New York, and they are typically easy to grow. If you’ve got a kitchen window, then you have the perfect spot for a bit of basil, sage, thyme or rosemary. Most herbs need about six hours of sun per day, so keep that in mind when you are picking the spot. Don’t forget to label your herb plants so you don’t forget what they are, because some of them look similar. Happy cooking!

The Advanced Stuff

So, you have had a few houseplants and they’ve lived for a while, and now you want to try something more challenging. There are plenty of finicky plants to choose from that need a bit more attention than the usual. Orchids are famously difficult to please, but when they are happy they blossom with the most beautiful flowers, so it’s worth it. If you really want a challenge, you can even try growing plants from seed, which is incredibly challenging for many types of plants but very rewarding.

You have your plants, and now you just need a place to enjoy them! Find the perfect NYC apartment for you and your greenery at NoFee Rentals.