Another possibility arose in a nice walk-up building on 35th Street. Two one-bedrooms were available on the top floor. One, for $1,700, was small and dark. The other, for $1,900, was big and bright, with a pretty tree outside the living-room window.
A Touch of Europe in Astoria, Queens
“I was kind of sold the moment I walked in” to the bigger apartment, Ms. Slattery said. The landlady “told me all about the best delis and the best bakeries, and we hit it off instantly. She was very kind and friendly, and I was very relieved she didn’t want a lot of the things I heard every landlord in New York asks for.” (She was prepared with tax returns in Czech and bank statements in Hebrew, but “I looked at this stack of stuff and thought nobody was going to take us seriously,” she said.)
By now, Ms. Slattery had discovered the Bedbug Registry (bedbugregistry.com), a privately run site that tracks infestations. She went there to check out the address. It came up clean.
She even got a bonus — organ music from the nearby Church of the Most Precious Blood. “They play actual melodies,” Ms. Slattery said. “The first time I heard it, I was so caught off guard by these chimes playing ‘Ave Maria’ that I almost cried. On the weekends there is a whole spectacular chime show. It is very much like living in Europe.”