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12 Jul 2017

If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway destination in New York City that has an easy, slow pace and charm to spare, look no further than Sunnyside, Queens. This hidden gem is off the beaten path of most New York City residents, but don’t let its low-key name fool you; this area is one of the Five Boroughs’ best-kept secrets for an easy, car-free escape that’s pretty far removed from the hustle and bustle of Midtown.

The neighborhood’s name dates all the way back to 1713, when the original French purchasers of the land named it “Sunnyside Hill.” The name stuck, and once the Queensboro Bridge was built, it became a haven for immigrants that even today feels a world away from the skyscrapers of the big city.

Within Sunnyside is a planned community called Sunnyside Gardens. These picturesque private townhouses, most built between 1924 and 1928, came with their own gardens in the front and the back as well as inclusive terraces. The tree-lined streets and landscaping of this development are typically kept immaculate. Sunnyside Gardens also incorporates one of the city’s only two private parks (the other is Manhattan’s Gramercy Park). Strict rules protecting the garden areas and limiting changes to even the exterior paint colors resulted in the development staying the same for decades, and it now looks like something out of a time capsule, when buildings in the boroughs were larger, more ornate and featured much more green space. You’d be hard-pressed to find an area with more stateliness, placidity, and natural beauty this close to Manhattan. Walking down these serene streets in the northern part of Sunnyside is one of the city’s simpler pleasures. Sunnyside Gardens is now a protected historic district unto itself, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But Sunnyside Gardens is only part of the neighborhood; many of the other attractions in the area are just as unique and come with plenty of character. Unlike other neighborhoods in the city, strong efforts have been made to preserve the tranquility, quaintness and original style of the district that the first developers instituted in the early 20th century. Cute vintage shops, cafés and boutiques give the area a laid-back, small-town feeling that’s simultaneously woven into the fabric of Queens and New York City itself.

The best way to experience Sunnyside is to visit and stroll down the neighborhood’s streets like Skillman Avenue, 43rd Avenue and Greenpoint Avenue. Take a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and explore the vicinity for yourself to see a part of New York City that feels like a breath of fresh, unpolluted air.

The 7 train stops at two places in Sunnyside, and the neighborhood is just four short stops from Grand Central Station in Manhattan. The large shopping centers of Woodside and the hip cultural attractions of Long Island City are within walking distance if you want to combine your visit with art viewing or eating, even though the neighborhood has plenty of quality dining establishments of its own, including a number of wine bars and cute little Asian, Latin and Mediterranean bistros. But even with big-city connections, the neighborhood doesn’t feel at all urban or industrial (with the possible exception of Queens Boulevard, which bisects Sunnyside’s center and offers a multitude of appealing eateries).

Come see what Sunnyside has to offer. And while you’re at it, if you’re in the market for a new place to live, is a great place to find a home base that’s not far from quick escapes like Sunnyside. Whether you prefer Uptown, Midtown or Downtown, has something for everyone.

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5 Jul 2017

Hello? Mom? I Have a Question

Moving out is something we all face at some time in our lives. Unless we’re planning to live in our parents’ basement for the rest of our lives – totally not cool – then moving out and living on our own is a step forward in life we all must make.

Fears Are Normal

When you think about moving into your own place, prepare to feel some serious reservations and anxiety over the prospect. You’ll feel certain that you don’t know what you need to know to live on your own. You’ll even worry about what your parents will think about your idea of moving out.

When you do move out, you’ll feel scared, anxious and lost for a while.

These feelings are normal and are not a valid excuse to stay in the basement. Instead, acknowledge your fears, then move out anyway.

Hello? Mom?

Whether you’re moving into an apartment down the street from your parents’ home, or you’re checking apartments in New York City for rent, realize that phone service works in all these places. You can be across the country from mom or dad and still reach her or him in an instant with a phone call.

One of your best resources for learning is your parents. If you have a question about how to cook something, call mom. If you’re uncertain on which water temperature to set on the washer, call mom. The fact that you aren’t in the basement anymore doesn’t mean mom’s no longer a useful resource.

In fact, she’ll probably be happy to hear from you.

There are no set rules on when you should call mom or how often you should check in. There are a few scenarios when mom’s voice may be the best medicine, however.

  • If you feel like your life is a total wreck and will never be right again, call mom. She knows you better than you know yourself.
  • If you need someone to tell you if you’re right or wrong, call mom. If you need a little tough love, or a loving someone to tell you to get over yourself, mom is the best one for the job.
  • When you need to talk about all the ways you’ve messed up during the week – from dropping the ball at work to bouncing a check at the market – mom is the one who won’t judge. She may not agree with your choices, and will probably tell you so, but she loves you too much to be judgmental.

Cutting the Apron Strings

Moving day doesn’t mark the end of your relationship with your parents. It can signal, however, the beginning of the end of your dependence on them. The best way to make certain your move culminates in your true independence is preparation for those times when calling mom should not be your first option.

  1. Compile a list of emergency numbers and have them handy on the fridge or programmed into your phone.
  2. Make certain you have the building super’s number. This is the guy you’ll call when the bathroom door gets stuck.
  3. Is the bathtub not draining, or the washer backing up in the kitchen sink? This isn’t a mom call; this is a plumber call.
  4. Find mouse droppings under the sink? Don’t freak out, and don’t call mom. This is an exterminator job.
  5. First day of subzero temps outside and the car won’t crank. Mechanic call for this one, not mom.
  6. And as happens every year, it’s time to pay the tax man. Definitely not a mom call (you don’t want her in your finances.) Give your accountant a call; that’s what she’s there for.

If you have questions, call your parents. If you just want to talk to someone who loves you, call your parents. You can stay close even when you live across the country.

21 Jun 2017

Part of what makes New York such an amazing city is the fact that you’re never too far from natural beauty. Sure, there are some neighborhoods with far more paved surfaces than green spaces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors.

So, go out and get some fresh air!  Here are some easy tips to help you along:

Eat Outside

Outdoor space for restaurant patios are at a premium in New York, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to find. From Shake Shack’s bustling Madison Square Park location to Gemma at Bowery Hotel’s European-cafe vibes, there are plenty of outdoor dining spots to enjoy delicious food and relaxing sunshine. Remember that you don’t need to wait in long lines or shell out the big bucks to take advantage of this strategy. Even just grabbing something cheap like a deli sandwich and sitting on a park bench can make mealtime more relaxing and enjoyable. Every New Yorker should have some go-to spots for an impromptu picnic. Try some spots close to work and close to your apartment and find the ones that are the most interesting and relaxing for you.

Do Something Touristy

New York newcomers will soon learn that complaining about tourists is a way of life, but those tourists are onto something. As a major international city with an incredible cultural history, New York has a ton of great tourist spots, and a lot of them are outdoors. You can visit the Cloisters, row around Central Park’s Lake, ride the Circle Line or Staten Island Ferry, stroll the High Line or traverse the full length of the Brooklyn Bridge. Many New Yorkers never actually check out these attractions, and while it makes sense in a way, there’s no shame in the tourism game. You’ll see a lot of great sights and enjoy some fresh air while you’re at it.

Discover Hidden Nature

When you’re ready to go even deeper into the natural beauty the NYC area has to offer, there’s a surprisingly great amount of outdoor immersion available without much travel involved at all. While some of these attractions are on the outskirts of Queens and other boroughs, Central Park offers amazing natural diversity. Still, for true lovers of unspoiled wild places, this isn’t going to cut it, and a trip to one of the city’s remarkable nature parks may be in order. Options include the 507-acre Forest Park in Queens, Owl’s Head Park in Brooklyn and Governor’s Island, a once-restricted island in New York Harbor. You can reach Governor’s Island by ferry and enjoy miles of walking trails, lush green lawns and some beautiful public art along with incredible views of the city from the water.

The best thing about most of these ideas is that they’re suitable all year round. While you probably don’t want to sit outside and eat when it’s snowing, checking out some parks or even trying to ride a ferry in wintry weather can give the city a whole new sense of beauty.

14 Jun 2017

Whether you work in an industry that thrives in New York or you’re simply looking for a fresh start in one of the most iconic cities in the world, the prospect of paying for an apartment in a desirable neighborhood like Greenwich Village or Murray Hill can seem daunting. Luckily, there’s an easy solution, and No Fee Rentals will help you take advantage of it.

 The Buddy System: Not Just for Field Trips Anymore

There are so many great reasons to live in New York. The culture, the career prospects, the people, the history…it’s no wonder millions of people proudly call this city their home. This is especially true for people in their 20s and 30s who are building a career path and looking for a way to really make their lives worthwhile. But the high desirability of life in New York means that apartment rentals can be astronomical, well beyond the reach of the salary of an entry-level or junior employee in most industries.

That’s why living with roommates has become such a standard practice in NYC. Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment can be less expensive than that of a 1-bedroom when you split the cost in two, and that’s driving more and more people to opt for multi-bedroom living situations with roommates. Having roommates can be great not only from a financial standpoint but also from a practical and social standpoint as well. Roommates can help you if you get locked out of the apartment or water your plants if you’re going for a weekend getaway upstate. Plus, lots of young New Yorkers luck out and find roommates who end up becoming friends, which helps combat the sense of loneliness that often comes with making a big move to a bustling new city.

 Finding a Good Roommate to Share Your Space

Finding good roommates really can feel like a luck-of-the-draw process, but before you break out the rabbit’s foot and start wishing for success, keep in mind that the growing trend of living with roommates has brought about some handy solutions for finding good people to buddy up with. Roommate finding services like are like dating apps for roommates, giving you the chance to review profiles and find the people you think you’d like to live with. offers some Multi-Room Share apartments, meaning you won’t necessarily have to do a lot of legwork and research to find an affordable place to live.  These larger units are available furnished or unfurnished,  in a range of prices depending on location, amenities, and time frame – from short-term leases of just a few months to long-term rentals. They enable tenants to share the cost of utilities and common areas, while retaining the privacy of individual bedrooms.

Interested? Grab a few friends and begin your New York story here.

24 May 2017
7 NYC Cheap Eats Every Millennial Needs to Know About

Savvy millennials flock to New York City for its limitless attractions and opportunities, but the cost of living in the Big Apple isn’t for the faint of heart. And with the micro-kitchens that are typical of New York apartments, eating out is far more attractive than dining in. Fortunately, there are plenty of places around town to get a great meal at a reasonable price.

Mamoun’s Falafel in Greenwich Village

Where else but NYC could you find world-class falafel at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning? Mamoun’s Falafel gets rave reviews among hungry, young locals looking for a quick bite. Here, you can grab a vegetarian pita bread sandwich for just $3.50. A plate features double the amount, served on top of a tasty salad with pita bread on the side — all for just $6.00! Mamoun’s also serves omnivore options, tempting sides and scrumptious pastries that are sure to satisfy your craving for Middle Eastern cuisine. You’ll find Mamoun’s in Greenwich Village at 119 MacDougal Street.

Whitmans in the East Village

Few meals satisfy quite like a tasty burger, and Whitmans has some of the best in town. Its most coveted menu item is the Juicy Lucy — a beef short rib blend that’s stuffed to the gills with pimento cheese and topped off by caramelized onions and spicy pickles. Whitmans also offers a blue cheese version of the Juicy Lucy — the Bluicy. For diners who are feeling particularly virtuous, Whitmans’ kale salad offers a satisfying crunch. The menu also offers sautéed kale and crack kale, which is as addictive as it sounds. Excluding the salads, the cheapest item on the menu at Whitmans is the BLT. For just $7, you’ll get Applewood smoked bacon and special sauce on Blue Ribbon Pullman bread. You can find the East Village location of Whitmans at 406 E 9th Street.

Potjanee in the West Village

You’ll find this delightful Thai eatery at 48 Carmine Street. Millennials love this eatery for its atmosphere, quick service and great food at even better prices. Potjanee is the place to go for pick-up, dine-in or delivery Thai food. Some of their menu items are on the pricier side, like the Salmon Roma and Kang Sapparod Duck, but there are definitely plenty of affordable dishes, too. Choose from six different spicy curries, four fried rice dishes (including pineapple fried rice) and more noodle dishes than you can shake a stick at.

Naruto Ramen in the Upper East Side

If you’re looking for a quick bite on a short lunch break, head for Naruto Ramen in the Upper East Side. It’s at 1596 3rd Avenue. You won’t find college students’ ramen noodles here — it’s all authentic Japanese comfort food. Pull up a seat at the bar (there are no tables) and treat yourself to rich, full-flavored broth, perfectly cooked noodles and crunchy edamame.

Broadway Bagel in the Upper West Side

Broadway Bagel is the go-to spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Upper West Side. It’s at 2658 Broadway, and it’s famous for — you guessed it — bagels. But these aren’t just any bagels. They’re hand-rolled, satisfyingly crunchy and pair perfectly with eggs on the side. Broadway Bagel also serves omelet platters, burgers, wraps and salads at reasonable prices.

Los Tacos No. 1 in Chelsea

If you’re new to Chelsea, the Chelsea Market should be at the top of your must-see list. At 75th 9th Avenue, Chelsea Market houses some pretty unique eateries, including Los Tacos No. 1. It’s a food truck-style eatery (no seating) with very affordable tacos, tostadas and quesadillas.

Previti Pizza in Murray Hill

No rundown of NYC eateries would be complete without a pizza spot. Previti Pizza at 123 East 41st Street is a counter service pizzeria that proudly features focaccia and thin crust slices. The artichoke and spinach pizza is a house specialty, and the sandwiches on homemade bread are just as affordable as a couple of slices.

Regardless of which NYC rental you choose, you’re sure to find exceptional cuisine at affordable prices. Check out NoFee Rentals to start your stress-free search for New York apartments.

13 May 2017

Stocking Your First Kitchen

Moving to New York means having your choice of NYC rental apartments to check out. Whether you’re looking at studio apartments in New York or planning to share a three-bedroom with friends, you’ll have plenty of options to consider. But one thing that all NY apartments have in common is a kitchen! In order to make your new apartment as homey as possible, you’ll want to stock your kitchen with all of the basic essentials so you can enjoy home-cooked meals whenever you like.

Everyone has different needs for their kitchens — some people are amateur chefs and love to cook at home all the time, while others only make the occasional sandwich or bowl of cereal. Regardless of your cooking habits, it’s a good idea to outfit your kitchen with the basic essentials so that you have the option of cooking whenever you want to. Here are some tips for stocking your first kitchen in your new apartment.

Basic Dishes

No matter how much of a gourmet cook you are, you can’t eat without the proper tableware. Here is a basic list of dishes and flatware that can help get your new kitchen into great shape.

  • 4-6 water glasses
  • 4-6 coffee mugs
  • 4-6 plates
  • 4-6 bowls
  • 4-6 sets of silverware
  • 4 wine glasses
  • A set of mixing bowls
  • Serving platters
  • Serving bowls

As long as you have a set like this, you’ll be able to cook for yourself or invite a few friends over to help you warm up your new apartment.

Necessary Kitchen Gadgets

Some of these are things you might not use that often but you’ll be glad you have them when you need them.

  • Can opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Kitchen shears
  • Pot holders
  • Serving spoons
  • Spatula
  • Knives: butcher, paring and serrated
  • Cutting boards
  • Grater
  • Tongs
  • Peeler
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Groceries and Shelf Staples

Everybody has different tastes, so you’ll have to make sure you have the ingredients you like best. But these are some of the ones that people tend to use most often.

  • Dry pasta
  • Rice/quinoa
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spices: basil, bouillon, cayenne, chili powder, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, onion powder, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme
  • Broth
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Ketchup
  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Soy sauce
  • Butter
  • Milk

Over time, you can start adding in more staples, like fresh veggies, produce, peanut butter, canned and frozen fruits and veggies, and more. But this list will help ensure that you have all the basics to cook a decent meal.


You’ll need pots and pans in order to do all your cooking and baking.

  • Skillets
  • Saucepans
  • Baking dishes
  • Cookie sheets
  • Colander
  • Cooling racks

Small Appliances

Small appliances can be considered a luxury until you’re ready to buy them. But here are a few you might consider starting out with.

  • Toaster
  • Blender
  • Coffee pot or French press
  • Coffee grinder
  • Microwave

Food Storage Items

It’s great to have items on hand to help you put away leftovers and preserve fresh ingredients.

  • Plastic baggies and freezer bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tin foil
  • Waxed paper
  • Food storage containers of all sizes

Getting your kitchen set up as soon as you move in can make your new NY apartment start to feel like home right away! Don’t have the home yet? Check out our available apartments now.