How We Became Residents of Crown Heights

Nearly two weeks ago I went from being Ms. Kaplan to Mrs. Aylyarov, hopped in a car and followed the love of my life to Brooklyn just two short days after our wedding. If you would have asked us 3 months ago we never would have thought we’d end up in New York — but we did so here we are.


Photo: Zeefoto Cleveland

Hold Up. Let’s rewind to why we choose this borough. We drove up for a day. Yes, one day to find our first “home” together. We met the broker, who had the beautiful Long Island accent (seriously though, I love this accent) and he took us to what felt like a million places all over Manhattan. Now, coming from the spacious MidWest these bite size apartments in Manhattan were shocking and insanely expensive.

So, after spending hours, literally hours we started to look in our future home of Brooklyn. We went from Greenpoint to Bushwick to Park Slope experiencing all each one had to offer while still being in somewhat of a shock. We’re Clevelanders people not New Yorkers. WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW NEW YORKERS DO IT, but we’re going to try 🙂

Then something inside of me told me to utilize my network, something I pride myself on being good at. I lived in the Cleveland Moishe House and knew there was one in Williamsburg (We didn’t look in hipster haven because we knew it was $$$). I sent out a few emails and within 90 minutes a resident of the Williamsburg Moishe House connected us with a broker. It was soon after that we were walking up to a building in Crown Heights. Yep. I said it. C-R-O-W-N – H-E-I-G-H-T-S.

Now I think to myself, can we even call ourselves Brooklynites? Will others in Brooklyn think we’re cool? Is Brooklynites even a word? We live in Crown Heights?

So, so, if you ask me… Crown Heights is a borough of it’s own. Complete with a large Chabad/Hassidic community with kosher ice cream trucks whose lyrics of “Come and say a Bracha a Bracha” get stuck in your head for hours to being the hub of the West Indian community that sells small turtles outside the subway station. My hubby and I are def the odd ones out but somewhat as cozy as can be.

Scroll down to see a few of my alternate ego Snap Stories. 

We’re in a newly renovated apartment with an amazing security system, a great kosher butcher shop around the corner, a 25 minute walk from the Botanic Gardens and a small hipster scene up the road. So yes, New Yorkers will continue to chuckle when I say I live in Crown Heights and we’ll probably never be the cool Upper East Siders or Upper West Siders or Murray Hill residents but what I can say is that I bet my rent is cheaper than yours and I have a new gas stove (and if I wanted to open an exotic aquarium in my bathtub all I have to do is get off the 4 train).


Soon-to-be exotic aquarium.

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