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.

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!

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!

Will You Unpack Already? Five Ways to Make Your New Place Feel Like Home, Fast!

So you’ve finally moved into your new place (which you probably found on DDA). Boxes are overflowing with your half unpacked life, the refrigerator still smells like cleaning supplies and the walls are so bare they resemble the inside of an eggshell.

What can you do to make it feel more like home? (Besides the obvious unpacking, grocery shopping, and decorating that all spells WORK).

Here’s five ways to kill two birds at once: procrastination and nesting.

  • Take a long—like actually long—walk around the neighborhood. It’s the best way to run into your abutting neighbors, and you’re going to want to know what their about. Are they nosey or noise sensitive? Do they throw massive parties? Could you borrow a cup of sugar from them? Plus, you’ll get to see the other colorful characters of the area, and you’ll find the closet coffee shop for the next morning.
  • Pull out your laptop and do some online shopping—this is a great way to put off late night unpacking AND you can find cool house stuff online. Best of all: there’s ALWAYS a sale online. If you wanna get a hipster look for your home look into Urban Outfitters and Anthropology’s house-wares. For the fancier type try out West Elm. For everyday stuff Bed, Bath and Beyond works.
  • Go on a public transportation adventure, because—let’s face it—if you’re new to an area its almost a guarantee you’ll get lost. Try to do this before you’re first day of work. This will save you from becoming known as the girl or guy who was Late On Their First Day. Embarrassment Life Saver.
  • Check out a neighborhood thrift store (or find one during your metro adventure) and pick up some funky looking records. Even if you don’t have a record player they make fantastic—and cheap—wall décor. It’s a great way to add a touch of new to you, and naked walls.
  • During your neighborhood stroll you probably discovered the local liquor store—or two—buy some mid grade alcohol, a few limes, a couple of mixers, and a bag of Doritos and invite your friends over for an unpacking/sitting on the floor party. You might not have food in your fridge but you can have fun mixed drinks and nothing says adult life like a cocktail party.

But first, you’re going to need that apartment. So visit DDA and start looking for
your new home today
!