Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Manhattanite (manˈhatnÄ«t). n. an individual belonging to a nomadic tribe that inhabits the island of Manhattan, one of the five boroughs of New York City. Many such individuals ritualistically change dwellings annually, ordinarily as a result of exhausted resources, general angst, indecision, or chronic dissatisfaction  with a current location or comfort of their particular shelter. Typically highly psychologically unstable, anxious, and cynical, with a characteristic lack of sentimentality that borders on pathological, these individuals will seek out and select a new residence in a rushed or hurried manner, committing little critical thought to their decision both for fear of impending homelessness and paranoia resulting from competition—real or perceived—posed by other prospective tenants of their chosen dwelling. In many cases, finding other boroughs (see also: Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, or The Bronx) more habitable for their specific needs or desires, the Manhattanite will even routinely abandon the island and relocate elsewhere, despite that Manhattan remains the central site of either their educational, professional, or social environments. In the case of emigration, the Manhattanite will no longer qualify as such, must adopt the identity of their new locale, and will be shunned, often violently, by the remaining tribe members. The former Manhattanite will likely retaliate (see also: tribal warfare) by invoking subjects such as “affordability,” “square footage,” “proximity to the subway,” a “cuter hood,” or a “more chill” pervading public temperament.

Here’s the straight dope, folks: I’m moving. To Brooklyn! More specifically, to Boerum Hill, a charming and lovely neighborhood close to the subway and other charming and lovely neighborhoods. And I’m SO EXCITED.

A lot of thought went into this decision, and MANY, MANY apartments were viewed in both boroughs before I ultimately decided to make the leap. I do love my current apartment (mostly). And I do love Manhattan (mostly). But I live on the Upper East Side—which, if you don’t know New York, is relatively inexpensive but is also essentially the suburbs of NYC. It’s quiet and it’s safe and it’s clean. And it’s boring as hell. So, the choice was either a shoebox in any of the areas where I actually wanted to live in Manhattan, or something a little more roomy in an area I’d be equally happy in in Brooklyn. And when I saw the new place, well, it was a no-brainer. You’re going to love it. You know, once I get my grubby paws on it and start an extensive beautification process. This place needs some work.

Here, allow me to anticipate your questions/comments:

Q: “Daniel, you’re crazy! You put so much work into that place! What are you thinking leaving it already?”

A: Yeah, I know I’m fucking crazy. I know I did a lot of work, most of which can be brought with me. And if I can make this apartment at least semi-cute (I’d like to think cuter!), surely I can do it again somewhere else. I like a challenge, after all… and the new landlord is reimbursing me for paint. Yeeeehaw!

Q: “Daniel, you’re crazy! Your blog is called Manhattan Nest! MANHATTAN! Doesn’t that mean you’re, like, legally obligated to live in Manhattan?”

A: Yeah, I know the dumb name I picked for my blog whilst bored and alone and probably stoned one day in my freshman dorm. It wasn’t the best idea if I intended to blog in perpetuity, I get it.

Q: “Daniel, you’re crazy! Are you changing your blog name already? Do I have to do anything special to keep reading Manhattan Nest?”

A: For now at least, everything’s staying the same here. No new name. No new URL. No new RSS. No blog redesign. I’m tossing around ideas for small tweaks that can be made so things make a little more sense now that my Manhattan Nest is no longer in Manhattan. Any brilliant ideas for me? Don’t be shy, kiddo. I’m mostly clueless about most things.

Brooklyn. It’s happening. Soon and very soon. Get ready!

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 6.6.11
    J&J said:

    Good for you! My sister moved to Greenpoint last year and they love it. We went to visit in October and we loved it. ReaLy awesome places to eat and bars right downstairs. I can’t wait to see what you do.

  2. 6.6.11
    Jill said:

    Yayyyyy! You won’t regret it. So psyched for you, congrats! :)

  3. 6.6.11
    Kate said:

    I never thought I would like not living in Manhattan. After two years in Brooklyn, I love it. You will, too. Welcome.

  4. 6.7.11
    S@sha said:

    Eh, the blog title is just semantics. The real reason we all read is to see how you transform your space. Happy moving!

  5. 6.7.11
    Callista said:

    Hooray, hooray, hooray! My brother used to live in Cobble Hill, and I freaking LOVE that part of Brooklyn. If I ever moved to NYC, that’s where I’d want to live for sure. It’s quaint and charming but also loud and busy and interesting. I hope your move goes smoothly!

  6. 6.7.11
    Callista said:

    Also, I hope you’ll keep us updated on your current landlord’s reaction to the changes you’ve made at Manhatten Nest.

    • 6.7.11
      Ginger said:

      This was going to be my comment! I really want to know what current landlord thinks/says when they check out your improvements.

      W/r/t the blog name, if you *did* ever think of changing it, you could go for New York Nest. That way you’re covered no matter where you live in NY, and it has some nice alliteration to it.

      Also, I’m hoping for lots of “before” pics of the new place, so we can all better appreciate the “after” ones!

    • 6.7.11
      Daniel said:

      I’ll let you know all the gritty details on that front when I know! I’m as curious as you are.

      Oh please, Ginger! There will be more “Befores” than you can wrap your head around!

  7. 6.7.11
    Brismod said:

    The Not Manhattan Nest? Good luck with your move. Looking forward to reading about the new abode. x

  8. 6.7.11
    Rose said:

    Good luck in your new move. I can’t wait to see a whole new process or renovation!

  9. 6.7.11
    Andrew A. said:

    I live in L.A, work in Philly, but have left my heart in Brooklyn! I got to spend four weeks in Park Slope and fell head over heals. I know you’ll love BK, plus you’ll be closer to Green Village!

    • 6.7.11
      Daniel said:

      Exactly! That was actually one of the deciding factors in the end. Almost all my thrift scores come from Brooklyn anyway!

  10. 6.7.11
    Janet said:

    Dan’s Den ? Brooklyn Bivouac ? Or maybe just stick with Manhattan Nest… but then you’d constantly be questioned ‘why is your blog called Manhattan Nest when you live…’ etc. etc.
    I’m so excited about the before and afters to come, we want a blow by blow account of EVERYTHING.

  11. 6.7.11
    Sarah said:

    Woohoo! I’m on board!

  12. 6.7.11
    Daniel said:

    Congrats! I’m actually looking forward to seeing you start “from scratch” – it’s always energizing to be in a new place and hopefully the ideas are already flowing. Good luck on the move.

  13. 6.7.11
    susan said:

    Well, thank goodness I’ve got you on my RSS feed so I’ll at least be aware of any potential blog name/url changes.

    Good luck with the new place. Nice that your landlord will reimburse you for the paint. That’s got to help. I’m very excited to see where you’ll be and what you’ll do with it.

  14. 6.7.11

    As long as I get to redesign the blog, I’m happy for you. ;)

    p.s. Keep the name. Even though I warned you.

    • 6.7.11
      Daniel said:

      You can redesign ANYTHING you want for me! Who else would do it, silly?

      I’ll email ya!

  15. 6.7.11
    Anna said:

    You lucky duck! How did you find your new digs? I’m currently stuck on the UES, and I troll craigslist daily for apartments in the Boerum Hill vicinity, but I can’t find anything affordable.

    • 6.7.11
      Daniel said:

      I’m going to get into it a bit more in a later post, but Craigslist! I got REALLLLLLLLY lucky… saw the ad the night before, was the first caller, set up an appointment in the morning, and immediately put in an application. It’s not dirt cheap but it’s also FAR below market value for the type of apartment it is in the area it’s in.

  16. 6.7.11

    Yay! Welcome to Brooklyn!

  17. 6.7.11
    Alice D. said:

    That was an awesome definition.

    I’ve lived in 3 apts in in the past 6 years and always in different Manhattan neighborhoods. It’s a year-long staycation in one of the best cities in the world! One is obligated to try all the hole in wall restaurants so you can pretentiously bring visitors to the best one.

    I adore redecorating every apartment–if you play your cards right, you can always buy furniture on CL and re-sell it the next year at cost or a small profit/loss.

  18. 6.7.11
    Amanda said:

    Welcome, almost-neighbor! My husband and I moved to Boerum Hill last year after a harrowing experience living in the East Village (…after 10 years in DC). We loved the ‘hood (LOVED), and our apt was actually great — but our neighbors sucked. Constant stomping overhead, pot and cigarette smoke wafting through the air shaft… yuck. After an extensive search in many areas of Manhattan & Brooklyn we ended up here in BK and are so happy. Callista’s description of this area is exactly right: “It’s quaint and charming but also loud and busy and interesting.” We can relax and our home is a true haven, and then we can be back in the EV in 15 minutes. You really can’t beat the subway access. Anyhoo, welcome, and glad to discover your blog…

  19. 6.7.11

    Congrats on the move! Boerum Hill is TOP on my list of places to live when I move next so I can’t wait to see what you do with your new apt, and how you like the neighborhood!

    I just started reading you, but I couldn’t be more excited. Don’t worry about changing your name or URL. I’ve kept mine the same and the focus of my blog has changed many times. It will all work out, your readers love you.

  20. 6.7.11

    I for one am super excited to live vicariously through you! Carry on!

  21. 6.7.11
    Emily said:

    Happy new apartment – pumped to see all your new projects and transformations!

    As far as “Manhattan Nest”, don’t change it. It’s your brand name. Alliterated blog titles are too cutesy for your style, (sorry Janet!) and who knows, maybe you’ll move back to the island in a year or two.

    • 6.8.11
      Janet said:

      It was very tongue in cheek Emily, I too cringe at twee blog names (à la ‘Dan’s Den’, god forbid he actually choose that :-( … but then Daniel has too much style for that:-).
      I also think he should stick with the original ;-)

  22. 6.7.11
    Kimberly said:

    You could keep the name and just add a little tag line

    Manhattan Nest … in Brooklyn

    Good luck with the move!

  23. 6.7.11
    Collin said:

    Keep the name, URL, etc…it is who you are. But you could do something fun with the title/heading of your blog…like subtext.

    Manhattan Nest
    …moves to Brooklyn….

    Manhattan Nest
    …goes Brooklyn…

    Anna will help you fo sho!!!

  24. 6.7.11
    Melissa said:

    Congratulations! I am a serial mover but always stick to Brooklyn. Boerum Hill is by far one of the most adorable neighborhoods. You are going to love it! Good luck!!!

  25. 6.7.11
    Colin said:

    Welcome to the neighborhood! I can’t wait for the Brooklyn-based design inspiration and your thoughts on the local hardware stores, thrift shops, etc. You’re right next to one of the best strips of (overpriced) antique shops in the city. Have at it!

  26. 6.7.11
    Carly said:

    Welcome to the better borough.

  27. 6.7.11
    Jamie B. said:

    I can’t wait to see pictures.

  28. 6.7.11
    Joy said:

    When I saw the title of this blog post I thought for sure you rehabbed another grimy-as-hell shell chair, haha.

    Welcome to Brooklyn! Boerum Hill is fantastic and you’ve absolutely made a great choice. I am so excited to see what you do with the new place. And I’d love to make you a whateverkindalatte you want at my Park Slope cafe in the hopes of having a DIY nerd conversation. We’ve had a few celebs come through but it would be FAR more exciting to talk to Daniel Kanter.

  29. 6.7.11
    Kara said:

    Ever since I first read your blog (and pretty much every time I’ve read it) I’ve thought of you as Mister Manhattan, as in ‘this dude is COMMITTED!’ Haha, it was just a name all along!

    Can’t wait to see your new place!

  30. 6.7.11
    Eliza said:

    oh, hi! so i’ve been reading your blog for… er? six months? but i’m not much of a commenter, so… sorry? but i’m excited to watch you work on a place from scratch!

    i don’t think that there’s any real issue with maintaining the name/url of manhattan nest. a simple tag line either on or just under your banner would do the trick. ‘one dude’s quest for nest improvement, started in manhattan, and currently residing in brooklyn’ or something far more succinct and edited. you know.

  31. 6.7.11
    Ann said:

    Congratulations on the new apartment.

    Keep the name- if a rooftop garden in Queens can be named Brooklyn Grange, I think Manhattan Nest is fine in Brooklyn.

    Looking forward to much more “photo trickery” in the new place.

  32. 6.7.11

    From this California Girl, can’t wait to see it all unfold. How lucky is the tenant who gets your apartment? I bet (like the obituaries) someone has already pounced! Sigh, but seriously, happy for you.

    p.s. This was my first comment on your blog. Cheers.

  33. 6.7.11
    Eva said:

    Congrats! I am in the middle of apt searching… in Chicago. I know it’s annoying but it feels so good to start fresh! Can you post a last before and after of your current apartment… I would love to see that…because I love ur blog!

  34. 6.7.11
    Jeff said:

    But the bed!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH IT!? Is it possible to dis/reassemble!?

  35. 6.8.11
    Sharon said:

    Welcome to the borough! Brooklyn in the summer is AMAZING. I’m really excited to see what you find and feature from the neighborhood on here!

  36. 6.8.11
    Ginna said:

    Love your blog and am excited for new before/afters! As others noted– keep the name, add a sub-line:

    Manhattan Nest _ does Brooklyn

  37. 6.8.11

    Welcome to the hood, Daniel! I live in Cobble Hill and LOVE it. There are tons of furniture stores on Atlantic Avenue so prepare to have your mind (and wallet) blown!

  38. 6.8.11

    Mazel tov, Daniel! Apartment hunting in the city gives me a big ulcer and Boerum Hill is adorable. I can’t wait to see what you do with the new place. I won’t lie, I’m excited to see you start from scratch. I know you’ll love every minute of it.

    Changing your name is silly. People who care if it says ‘Manhattan’ are borough elitists. Borough-hopping is what’s up!

  39. 6.8.11
    Monica said:

    Yay for you! I use to live in Carrol Gardens and it was the best time I had in my NYC experience. Umm, Stoop Sales!!!!! Smith Street, Atlantic Ave… Hope your move goes smoothly and I can’t wait to see some pictures!
    P.S. When I moved there I would often spend an entire weekend without leaving. I mean like I felt no need to go to Manhattan. =:o

  40. 6.9.11
    Rachel said:

    I think this is exciting and I don’t think you’re crazy. As a regular visitor to your “nest” (did that sound as creepy as I think it did?), I actually got a little giddy at the thought of seeing all the new projects you will probably take on. A fresh start is exciting – enjoy it!

  41. 6.9.11

    i say keep the name too and then just a little “note” underneath it….
    “has moved to Brooklyn”

  42. 6.9.11
    Erin said:

    If you move, this blog is dead to me, and I think a lot of followers feel the same but are too afraid to say it.

    • 6.12.11
      Kate said:

      I have to disagree! Love your blog, has really inspired me to start diying around my own house again! Good luck with the move!

  43. 6.9.11
    Michelle said:

    Welcome to Boerum Hill! Hubs and I have been here for two years (I lived in SoHo for 13 years prior) and LOVE IT. You will too!

  44. 6.9.11
    Julia said:

    Good luck with the move, can’t wait to see what you do with the new place.

  45. 6.9.11
    Savannah said:

    Contrats to you! I moved from Manhattan (LES) to Queens (Astoria) about 3 years ago. For me there was a sense of loss at the time, but I am over it now. Not that I know you well enough to make this judgement call but, I think you’ll find that Brooklyn suits you. Best of luck!

    PS. If you haven’t already snooped around the Navy Yard, you should. It has lots of people making things with big tools. Make friends!

  46. 6.9.11
    Noelle said:

    I’m excited for entirely selfish reasons. The makeover aspect is my favorite part of blogs like yours, and I loved what you did with your current place. I can’t wait to see you makeover a whole new place.

  47. 6.9.11
    Mary Beth said:

    Check out your bedroom here:

    Congrats on moving. Can’t wait to watch the reno.

    My vote: Keep Manhattan Nest. Add a byline, as in “goes to Brooklyn.”

  48. 6.10.11
    Tenzin said:

    Congrats on finding a place that you love! I think you should not change your blog name. Not only because of the brand name thing, but also the fact that your move from the dorm to a ‘nest’ was this place. As your most sporadic commenter :), I think in a way it was stretching the analogy of leaving home to create a new ‘nest’.

    So in a way Manhattan nest, atleast for me, was not so much about the location or the physical space of your apartment or even its occupants, it was about your journey from the dorm room to a space that you lovingly made your own. I am sitting in India and getting excited about your move to Brooklyn. And also wondering what the proximity to your favorite thrift shops will lead to.

    Good luck with the packing and the move.
    p.s. I love Mary Beth’s idea of a byline – “goes to Brooklyn” WOO HOO!

  49. 6.10.11
    nicolezh said:

    Wow, what a decision! Goog luck while moving I am really exited what the new place will look like.

  50. 6.12.11
    Janet said:

    Oh you modest thing you! You never told us your tulip table makeover was featured on APARTMENT THERAPY
    Good style gets noticed :-)

  51. 6.14.11

    Congratulations on your new place in Brooklyn Daniel! I cannnot wait to see the before-and-after-documentation of every single part of the beautfication process!
    The Biscuits!

  52. 6.15.11
    Rebecca said:


    I always wondered what someone with your style was doing on the UES.

    And you definitely don’t need to change your blog’s name. Brooklyn is just Southeast Manhattan.

  53. 6.19.11
    Angie said:

    Your blog can end, and you can start another one. Why not?

  54. 6.21.11
    Oona said:

    Ha! My blog’s called “Little Pink House” and we painted said house quite a while ago. Hell, I don’t even live there anymore, my current house is yellow brick, and I still haven’t changed my name…

  55. 6.23.11
    Jeff said:

    So excited for you. I love this blog. I just moved into a new apartment about a week ago. Your blog was a big part of me getting excited and ready. Can’t wait to follow you on the next leg of your journey.
    As far as a name change…may I suggest shoehorning the word “adjacent” in? Could be the ticket. But I do agree that loyal followers won’t mind a deviation in content from your title as long as you keep us high on your brilliance. ;)