9 Reasons You’ll Love Living in Savannah

1. The “To-Go” Cup – while it’s normally illegal to carry an open (alcohol) container, in Savannah’s Historic District (downtown) it’s legal to posses and consume your drinks on the street as long as it’s in an open plastic container of 16oz or less! #Winning

2. “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Possibly one of the most famous movie quotes of all time was filmed on a bench located the north side of Chippewa Square. However, you’ll have to go to the Savannah History Museum to see the bench today.

3. 24 public squares. Speaking of squares, this Southern Belle of a city was built into grids and is now dubbed “America’s First Planned City.” 21 of those parks — that the city is centered around — are the original squares laid out by the city’s founder, General James Edward Oglethorpe.

4. She’s a looker. During the Civil War, as General Sherman marched through the south he was so taken aback by Savannah’s beauty that he sent President Lincoln a telegraph offering him the city as a Christmas present.

5. All the home cooking you could want. Seriously, Paula Dean opened her restaurant, The Lady and Sons, in Savannah in 1996. The menu offers up the best of southern and coastal cooking, not to mention a side of Southern Hospitality.

6. It’s a pirate hangout. Well, not anymore but The Pirate House Inn built in 1753 (making it the oldest standing building in the state) opened their doors to all kinds off sailors. And yes, sometimes that even included pirates. Stop by for a visit and some satisfying gumbo from their restaurant.

7. Girl Scout Cookies. That’s where the scouts started. Even better than home cooking!

8. Lots of places where you can hit things with golf clubs. Mainly, golf balls. There are seriously over a dozen courses and clubs to check out. So put on your golf shoes and get out there.

9. Affordable living. Freshrent can hook you up with a great apartment for less.

Hot Happenings in the Holy City

Finding things to do in a new city can be the hardest part of moving. So you’ve packed up, found a home (via FreshRent), unpacked and decorated – now it’s time to go out!

But where? What even happens in Charleston, South Carolina in February?

The answer: lots of things.

Concerts generally make great excuses to go out alone and strike up conversations with total strangers, not to mention dance like no one’s watching. The well-loved Music Farm is a great place to see live music. The intimate space lets you feel connected to the band and the crowd, beers are cheap, and they host a wide variety of artists including Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Band of Horses, and Minus the Bear. This is also the place to catch some pretty fabulous tribute bands. Michael Jackson, anyone?

(Sidenote: The Royal American is another awesome option for live music. Think smaller scale and with the perfect late night snack. Their Frito Pies are to die for.)

Nature lover? You’re in luck! February 15-17 is the 30th Annual Southeaster Wildlife Exposition. This three-day long event includes everything from art and exhibit openings – with over 100 artists in attendance – to lectures and seminars on wildlife conservation research. The calendar is literally overflowing with events, perfect to pick and choose what sounds fun for you! And you never know, maybe you’ll meet another nature-nerd during the “Living with Wolves” presentation.

Hungry for a taste of your new city? Check out the Charleston Wine & Food Festival February 28 through March 3. Local and nationally acclaimed Southern-Style chefs will be serving up the best of Lowcounty Cuisine. The weekend will offer food tastings, seminars, a culinary village (80+ food and beverage vendors just waiting to serve you), and dine-around options. Hit up alone, or call that cute someone you met at Music Farm and hit the town on a delicious outing. Better yet, let your inner hipster beer snob shine on February 23 at Brewvival. Yes, you read that correctly. Brewvival. It’s a collaborative beer festival brought to you by Coast Brewing Company and the Charleston Beer Exchange. The outdoor festival offers over 100 craft beers from all over the U.S., as well as live music, and some local food vendors.

So grab some tickets, get out of your house, and start living Charleston.

Making the most out of your apartment (size)

It’s no shock to anyone, inside or outside of Manhattan, that New Yorkers pay tons of money for teeny, not-so-homey homes. But, Michael Bloomberg (New York City Mayor) is on to something: cheaper, sustainably-sized apartments. In fact — under his New Housing Marketplace Plan — the City recently held a design competition to create 55 “micro-apartments” to be built by 2015.

Photo from archdaily.com

The winning team (composed of Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and Brooklyn’s nARCHITECTS) designed apartments ranging from 250-350 square feet. Sounds small? Well, it is. But with the right eye and the right design it’s completely habitable, and — judging from the models — much chicer than most other affordable housing options in the boroughs.

But what does this have to do with you? Everything. Because we could all learn a thing or two about how to make the most out of the space we’re given. So lets take some tips from New York and Bloomberg and start working with what we’ve got.

Read on for ideas, tips, or just plain old inspiration.

Lack an entry-way in your new place? Frustrating, but you probably have a bookshelf (or can find one at a thrift store, or Ikea). Take out the top several shelves, drill in a few hooks, and suddenly you have a well-contained coat rack. Plus, you can use the remaining shelves for shoes.

Need more storage in your bedroom (or living-room)? Buy a chest instead of a coffee table. Holds sheets, towels, winter clothes, rain gear, the list goes on.

Apartment Therapy recommends having a space for everything because – to be frank – if something doesn’t belong anywhere, it ends up on the floor. Clutter begins here, and clutter makes apartments feel small (and claustrophobic).

For those of you with a lot of jewelry, stop trying to hide it. It’s actually a space saver if you leave it out. You wear it to decorate your person, so decorate your walls with it as well.

Tiny kitchens? Invest in a dining table on wheels. That way you can move around at your will, and store to the side, as needed.

What do YOU do to make your FreshRent Apartment feel homey and clutter-free? Tell us on Facebook- We’re listening.

On Breaking Winter Boredom

So it’s the middle of winter. It feels like the sun hasn’t shown its face in weeks. No, months. And the inside of your beautiful apartment is suddenly starting to feel like a jail cell.

YOU NEED TO GET OUT!

But how? Where? To do what?

How about ice-skating? If there’s one way to enjoy the winter weather outdoors it’s ice-skating! Too far south for snow? Plagued with rain instead? Head to an indoor ice rink, or better yet, bust out the old rollerskates for an acceptable southern alternative. Now call up a friend (or make one at the rink) and channel your childhood memories. Or—if you’re one of those people who never skated as kid—make new memories. Whether your fall on your butt or land a triple axle you’ll find yourself laughing and sweating. Winter boredom: be gone!

Looking for a way to be out and about without the joys of a red, runny nose, or soggy shoes? Save up some gas money, get in the car and make a day of road-tripping. You don’t have to go far to see something new, and it’ll make you feel like you got to take an adventure without spending or doing a lot. Get old school- burn a mix CD, pack some snacks and hit the road. Maybe even dust off that old Atlas of yours and navigate as you go.  Don’t have a car? Have no fears—ZipCar is in nearly every city, offers affordable rates, and allows non-car owners to get out and drive when they want.

Photo from DJRay.com

Or, you can always bring the party and the people to you. The next couple of months are packed with TV events that 20somethings just love to use as excuses to throw a party. Football fan? This year’s Super Bowl Sunday falls on February 3. Make some 7-layer dip (check out this awesome/easy recipe), order a bucket (or several) of wings, get some beer and have your friends come root for their team of choice. Added bonus- maybe Beyonce will actually perform an interesting halftime show. Not into keeping score? There’s always The Oscars (on February 24). The recipe is pretty much the same, maybe some hummus and mini quiches go better with Best Movie nominees, but then maybe not. Music’s big night is also quickly approaching. The Grammys are February 10. Either way they’re fun excuses to have a get together.

And don’t forget – you can always host a movie night at your apartment too. Redbox that dramadey/horror/film you’ve been dying to see for the last year but somehow never had time to watch, get some people together, pop some popcorn, call it BYOMD (bring your own Milk Duds), and make a night out of it.

Other ideas:

  • Craft nights at your FreshRent-found apartment- tell your friends to bring supplies and start crafting!
  • A bundled-up scavenger hunt- brainstorm a list, put out a Facebook event, and have the losing team(s) by the winners dinner or drinks at the bar you’ve been wanting to check out.
  • Restaurant hop- make a list of the best appetizer, dinners, and desserts in your city and make a night out of being a foodie!

FreshRent. Here to help you with all your apartment hunting needs, and sometimes even more. And remember, spring is only 60ish days away!

New Year, New City, New Apartment

So you’ve moved to a new city and survived your first holiday season in your new place. Congratulations!

But now, as the confetti is getting swept up and the festive decorations are coming down, life returns to it’s normal ebb and flow. Except, you’re in a new place and have yet to fully find your niche.

It’s time to make a resolution or two. Now, New Year’s Resolutions can feel a bit…trite, but in your situation they might actually be useful. Take the typical January 1st proclamation: “I Will Work Out More.” This year going to the gym will not only get you in better shape, it’s also a great place to meet some locals. This could be the best of both worlds: new friends, and a gym buddy will probably keep you motivated to work out all the way through 2013.

And we’ve all experienced the post-Holiday cleanup high that often leads to the self-affirmation “This year I’m going to be neater.” This usually lasts for a few weeks before the clothes are back on the floor, and the sink is overflowing. But this year you’re trying to meet people, and having a place where your not embarrassed to bring people to is always helpful. It might just be the inspiration to keep your new FreshRent apartment clean. Because—let’s be real here—no one wants to bring a new-city-date home to a messy house.

But resolutions aren’t just about getting your life into shape; they’re also about giving yourself room to reinvent who you are. Relocating makes that even easier. In 2013 get over your shyness, or your stage fright. Finally carve out some time in your life to learn guitar, take a dance class, or go to that open mic you heard about. It’s a great way to meet other cool, like-minded people, and the adrenaline rush will keep you talking well past the “nice to meet yous.”

Make the most of 2013, shake up your routine, and get yourself out there. And remember, FreshRent is here to help with all your apartment hunting, and living needs!

Holidaying Your Apartment

The holiday season has descended. Several menorah candles have been lit and you can’t seem to escape the over-cheery Christmas music. Let’s face it- you can’t beat it so why not join it? And one of the best ways to find yourself in a festive mood is to decorate your apartment!

Maybe you’re thinking you don’t have the time, or the money, or that a lot of holiday garb is…well, tacky. So let Freshrent help you find the perfect seasonal decor for your home.

A holiday tree – can’t decide whether or not a tree is worth the investment (and the pine needle clean up you’ll face on January 2)? Try some of these reinterpreted trees – brought to you by CB2 – instead. They have a “frame tree,” a tree made from a string of lights, and even a “tree” made from a ladder.

If a real tree still sounds better you can always get a potted one. They’re smaller and therefore much more compact. And they’re still alive so there’s less “shedding” involved.

Get fancy with a peacock menorah a la Jonathan Adler and make sure to put it on prominent display! Or, better yet, get an electric one so it can be lit (safely) through the night.

Want something more personal? Get in touch with your crafty side. Stay simple by making cranberry and popcorn chains and kid-like snowflakes and stars. Or, if you really feel like delving into the homemade, try this window swag idea from Women’s Day. How about turning some old knee high socks into stocking?

Dining room tables are also good (and easy) places to add some holiday pizzazz. Go tacky with Stars of David-themed (or Santa Claus) table clothes. Be understated with a nice dark green, or blue, throw-over. Make (or buy) a centerpiece with some fir branches and poinsettias, or even carnations in the holiday color of your choosing. And last but not least, take any leftover glass bulb ornaments, put them in a vase, and, ta-da instant holiday cheer on your table!

Freshrent- here to help you find an apartment, with tips on how to make it home once you live there!

 

Apartment Hunting: How-To

So it’s really that time, you’re officially contemplating a change in scenery? In other words- you’re ready to move. But where do you go from here? What neighborhood fits? Are there roommates involved? Can you afford it?

Here are a few tips, brought to you by FreshRent, on starting your hunt for a new home.

Roommates: To have or have not? This is a big question, and one that involves a few factors:

  1. Can you afford to live alone?
  2. Will you enjoy the solitude or end up being that crazy person who talks to their plants?
  3. If roommates are the answer- are you looking for friends, acquaintances or straight up strangers?

Living alone can be nice, especially if you choose to be in a trendy (i.e. 20-something filled) neighborhood where your friends and possible future friends are likely to hang out. However, if a more quiet, family-friendly neighborhood is better suited for you, roommates might just be the answer. You can travel out to the busy parts of town when you want to or have a quiet night at home- but not alone- if desired.

Living alone can be costly- there’s no one helping with rent, electricity, internet, and you really weren’t ready to give up cable. Roommates can help that.  And they’ll probably keep you from talking to your plants, but then you need to decide if you want to take the Craig’s List approach:

Benefits:

  1. You don’t owe them much—had a bad day at work and don’t want to hang out? Escaping to your room with no more than a simple “hey” is acceptable.
  2. Their allergies will stop you from getting that dog/cat/ferret you don’t actually need.
  3.  No risk of destroying a friendship—you weren’t friends to start with, so a fight over who didn’t do what dishes won’t turn into an argument about how you’ve NEVER been a supportive friend.
  4.  You might actually make new friends.

Negatives:

  1. Your roomie-to-be might be a bit more Type A than they let on in the interview and suddenly they’re yelling at you for not keeping the DVDs alphabetized.
  2. There could be a Significant Other in the picture that ends up being the third (non-rent paying) roommate …warning: this can happen with friends too.
  3. Are you vegan? Random-Roommate is not, and just cooked a juicy burger in your cast iron frying pan.

Honesty is always the best policy when picking roommates. If you know doing the dishes in a timely manner isn’t your thing-SAY IT. Maybe add in that you find vacuuming to be stress relieving, but say it. If you’re a night person you probably don’t want to live with a morning person. Making note of these things, prior to signing a lease, can be a lifesaver.

Now that you have all that sorted let FreshRent do the rest!

Prepping Your Place For Summer

Atlanta’s warming up so before summer officially hits make sure your fabulous DDA apartment is summer equipped, and we’re not just talking air conditioned.

First thing’s first: hide any and all winter clothes. You’re sick of looking at them. You even more sick of wearing them. Pack them up, shove them under your bed and be done with them ’til Thanksgiving rolls back around.

Invest in a new (cheap) pair of shades, Urban Outfitters always has some fantastic options. The brighter the better. Keep them, along with a tube of your preferred sunscreen, by the front door at all times. That way you can grab and go.

You’re livin it up in Atlanta now, better follow through in true Southern form: sweet tea and lemonade should be on constant refill in your fridge.

If you haven’t already, get a window box, and plant stuff in it. Tomatoes and basil both love the sun. Or, if you want to be really adventurous, try planting a watermelon. It probably wont work, but who knows, and how cool would it be if you had a watermelon growing from your third floor kitchen window?

Learn how to make the perfect Mojito. Or better yet, watermelon mojitos!

If you’re on the sunburning side of life, invest in an aloe plant. Learn to love it. Help it grow. Apply liberally to burning, blistered skin. You can thank me later.

Always-seriously, ALWAYS- keep some kind of fun popsicle that’ll dye your tongue weird colors in your freezer. It’s a guaranteed friend pleaser and childhood-memory restorer.

Simply remember: brighter is always better. Pillows, curtains, new sheets, table-clothes, cheap plastic cups (for the mojitos).

Finally, stock up on some trashy summer reading- (think John Saul, Danielle Steele, Jennifer Weiner) for the beach, for lounging in front of your air conditioner, or, because you used DDA, your awesome apartment building’s pool. Just don’t be that person who decides to make a splash by jumping from their balcony to said pool.

And now, just sit, sip, and wait for summer in 5…4…3…2…

Makin a Friend or Two in Hotlanta, Roller Skates Optional

One of the two most complicated things about moving to a new city is finding a new crew. (The other is finding a new place but thanks to DDA you’ve already gotten that part out of the way!) But everyone wants friends, so stop being shy and get out there.

Except where exactly is there?

Thanks to modern technology this question is relatively easy to answer. Everyone—and their mother—is on Facebook and Twitter. And befriending people via social media sometimes saves you from that mildly awkward first conversation. Start by finding an interesting event happening in your new city and stalk the guest list until you see someone who looks “cool” (you have to define that for yourself). Then do a bit more investigation of their profile—do you have any similar interests? Do they look they like to put on a hockey mask and reenact horror movies (the answer should be NO if you choose to message them). But if they seem like someone you might possibly get along with, send them a message asking if you can get drinks at said event. Worst case scenario they say no or don’t write back, best case scenario you meet someone for drinks –giving your outing more purpose— and maybe you made a friend…with someone who most likely has other friends.

Not a fan of social network stalking? Don’t worry, that new job of yours comes fully stocked with co-workers. Hopefully a ton of fun, like-minded, 20-something coworkers, but if not tons there’s probably still one or two. If you’re feeling bold wait until Friday afternoon to ask them what they’ve got planned for the weekend. If they don’t invite you outwardly, ask if you could grab drinks or coffee sometime during the next few days. Remind them you’re new to town, if nothing else they’ll feel bad or relate to a year ago when they moved to the city.

Finally, if you’re still feeling doubtful, join something. GoKickball has leagues throughout the country and the one in Atlanta is especially popular. It even has it’s own “league bars” throughout the city for post game refreshments (hence you have to be 21 to play with these kids). Summer registration starts on April 26.

Or really branch out, bust out your roller skates and try out for Dirty South Derby with the Atlanta Rollergirls. They’re currently recruiting with workshops and tryouts starting early this summer. This way you can work out and instead of one new friend you get a whole team’s worth.

So now you’re ready to go make some friends, and because you checked out DDA, you already know where you’re crashing tonight.

Need a Spring Fever cure? Atlanta is loaded with eggcellent Easter action.

Spring is in the air and Easter is only a bunny hop-skip-and-jump away. Quite possibly this is your first holiday in your new apartment, and maybe you’re feeling a little unsure of what to do with yourself.

Well, Atlanta is overflowing with seasonal events—with everything from art festivals to Easter Egg Hunts. So get out of your house, grab a new friend, a co-worker, or the person who shares a wall with you and check out some of the spring activities! This gets you new friends—bonding over a silly outing is a great way to build nostalgia. Also going on a silly outing is the best way to get to know (and fall in love with) your new home.

If you love Easter check out the Kirkwood Easter Egg Hunton April 7. Maybe you’re too old to participate in the search for2000 eggs, but nothing else will get you in the holiday spirit like this. Then you can go home, make some mimosas and dye your own eggs. A make-shift chosen-family Easter.

Still looking for the perfect coffee table or nightstand? Check out Salvage on April 14, at Ambient Plus Studios. There’ll be everything from clothes to retro finds to books, and even a mason jar design contest. For the hipster in all of us.

Just want to get outside and enjoy the blossoms? Piedmont Park is hosting the 76th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival (76 years means it has to be good right?). For three days the park will be the site of live music (four stages if you’re counting the kids stage), and hundreds of artists from all over the country. Not to mention—funnel cake.

If you consider yourself a foodie, save up for the annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, May 10–May 13 in Midtown. This year they’re celebrating southern cooking, with food, drink and some interesting background on the southern culinary traditions. Besides, how often can you afford to splurge on a good meal? This way you can try several!

And remember, if you’re hunting for the perfect new apartment at a better price, checking out DDA is easier than biting the ears off a chocolate bunny!