Manifesting an apartment in New York (or anything else) the easy way

Howdy, Reader

It's me, "zenbilling-Calvin". Yes, it's been a long time!

Last time we spoke I was motorcycling in India. Now I'm citibiking in Manhattan :)

Phoebe and I left India for good 2 months ago, spent the summer in Copenhagen (got lots of time with my kids, yay!), and now we're in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (it's very, very Polish here!), which someone today referred to as "the new Williamsburg".

Funny story, actually. I was at Propellor Café, sucking coffee and internet, when I overhead a conversation, in Danish, about Danish politician Søren Pind's hair style. In a café in Brooklyn! Crazy!

When the three Danes got up to leave, I said hi. We talked apartment hunting (hey, it's New York), and one of them offered that Greenpoint was "the new Williamsburg" - much cooler than both Williamsburg and Manhattan. So there you have it!

Me... I'm not so sure. I like Manhattan a lot, I have to say.

We got here a little less than 2 weeks ago, and have a place (without internet - oh, the outrage!) until September 1st. So naturally we've spent some time apartment hunting. And finding an apartment here can be very challenging, especially without credit (something you only earn over time by borrowing money and repaying them with interest - like a legalized pyramid scheme!), without US jobs and income, without previous landlords as references, and so on.

Usually they'll ask for at least 6 months up front + 1-2 months deposit. One place we were looking at wanted the whole year up-front + 2 month's deposit, at $4,650 per month, for a total of $65,100. Cash. Up-front. Uhm, we don't have that kind of money to part with.

So we did a session with our mentor, Gay Hendricks, on this. And he helped us open up to the possibility for magic to enter the situation. After the session, we put the project on hold and let it go emotionally.

Then Phoebe received an email with a beautiful beautiful apartment, in the perfect location (right across the street from one of our favorite Italian restaurants), wonderfully decorated, owned by the people renting it to us, no broker, no fees, flexible on the term, at a fair price (and willing to negotiate a bit). 

We initially passed because it was too expensive. But Phoebe boldly wrote and said "we can only pay this much". They suggested we come see it anyway. We did. It was awesome. She was awesome. We wanted it.

It was a definite expansion for us, but it was a clear "Hell yes". So we said yes. She accepted. 

We celebrated!

Think about it:


How magnificent is that? Pretty darn magnificent, that's how.

If that's possible, what else is possible? It opened up a bunch of possibilities.

Well, there was a minor set-back...

Late last night we got an email. "Hate to do this to you, but someone else came along and offered 6 months up-front, and they have proper jobs and offices and stuff." Turns out the husband had intervened.


But we're actually still feeling great.

We now know that magical solutions are out there. It didn't manifest all the way this time, but it very well might the next time. Or the one after that. We were very close.

Like my Indian developer Bhushan said: It just means there's an even better apartment out there waiting for us.

More importantly, though, we expanded a lot thanks to this experience.

The act of stepping into the expanded version of ourselves that the apartment represented was very real and the effects lasting. It inspired me to come up with entirely new directions in my coaching business. It made us much more prepared for the next opportunity that presents itself.

It also made us jump from an apartment on the upper west that we'd verbally committed to. In the light of this new apartment, it was clear it wasn't a "hell yes". It was just an ordinary yes. And ordinary yeses are really nos.

So now we don't have a place to stay after Sunday, but we know we'll find something in perfect time. Uncertainty can be quite exciting, actually.

So ... What's going on in your life?

Much love,


awesome article Calvin :) Wishing you guys a great day there!! Living not by force or method, but by synchronicity. Trading in control at the "universal pawn broker of life" for surrender, flow and Co-creation. It ALL DOES come together! And you guys deserve it!!!!
By David Belo on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 05:17 · Reply
Hey, Calvin. Good luck with your search. I'm in New York 3 days a week - work for NYU now, and live in Philadelphia with Lizzy. It's been interesting staying at different places through airbnb. My host this week was a very engaging reggae musician. I want to settle into one place to stay...
By Alex Sokoloff on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 09:32 · Reply
Kristine Øjken liked this on Facebook.
By Kristine Øjken on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 16:10 · Reply
good to hear from you :) Best of luck with your apartment <3
By Angelika Anagnostou on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 01:47 · Reply
Bjarke Schultz liked this on Facebook.
By Bjarke Schultz on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 16:10 · Reply
Angelika Anagnostou liked this on Facebook.
By Angelika Anagnostou on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 16:10 · Reply
Jonas Bruun Nielsen liked this on Facebook.
By Jonas Bruun Nielsen on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 16:10 · Reply
Heh, sounds like fun, Alex. Grab coffee some day when you're in town?
By Calvin Conaway on Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 14:52 · Reply
Lisa Fraley liked this on Facebook.
By Lisa Fraley on Sun, Sep 01, 13 at 04:36 · Reply
I'd like that. I'll be in touch.
By Alex Sokoloff on Sun, Sep 01, 13 at 10:55 · Reply
I love how you guys weren't attached to it not working out. Knowing some even better is coming is excited. Living on that edge keeps it real.

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