The idea for the “Meet a Member” series is to give you a behind the scenes look at the Cohabs Community and understand what Cohabs is.
So, if you’re curious to learn more about one of our members?
Meet Maxence, Belgian reporter living at Cohabs Prospect 885, New York.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I am Maxence, 38 from Belgium. I’m a reporter with two different Belgian outlets, one daily and one weekly. I cover politics and social issues.
I flew to New York shortly after I got the job, in January 2020. For the first three months, I stayed in the Lower East side of Manhattan, in an overpriced room of a shared apartment – a familiar story for many new residents in Manhattan.
Just when I started to get a chance to discover the city and feel like an insider, COVID hit. Shortly after, I moved to the Bushwick Area in Brooklyn. It was a rough summer I must say.
Can you tell us how you found yourself living in a Cohabs house?
That’s an interesting story 🙂
I got to know Cohabs from relatives in Belgium, and about three years ago, when I was looking for a new apartment, I had a chance to visit the Cohabs located near the Botanique subway station. It thought it was a gorgeous coliving concept.
When I heard that they were opening a house in New York, I sent an email to Laure (Community Manager @Cohabs) in order to make sure it was on the list.
Finding accommodation in New York is tricky. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t find myself in a dire situation so I could get off to a flying start, from a professional or personal standpoint.
How has your experience with Cohabs been so far?
Though I might be a little bit old compared to my roommates, I made this choice willingly.
New York, very paradoxically, can feel pretty lonely, especially with this pandemic, and it can be very challenging to make connections. I thought that the best option for me was to sign a lease with Cohabs so I could get to know people, and start a social life from there.
What are your best memories in the US so far?
Without a doubt covering the last presidential election cycle.
I got to travel to many parts of the country, including Texas, where I’d never set foot before. Austin is fantastic, and I could totally see myself living there someday. I also had a chance to attend a Trump rally in Miami. People were fired up. I’m fortunate to have a job that enables me to travel extensively.
What are your “best and worst” of New York?
I would say that certain parts of the city can be a little rough, though people are always nice.
The area where I used to live prior to coming to Crown Heights was all about concrete, with very few green spaces. It can be very challenging from an emotional standpoint.
New York is a very demanding city. You need to stay active and create opportunities.
In the Brooklyn branch of Cohabs, we’re very fortunate to be located just next to Prospect Park. It’s a huge park, and I go there at least three times a week, either for a run or just to relax and read sitting on a bench.
The New York subway system is old but reliable, and downtown Manhattan is not that far away. I look forward to the COVID outbreak being just a bad memory.
Best of your experiences in New York City?
- A morning tradition: A bagel and a coffee at Lula Bagel. That’s just around the corner at Nostrand Avenue, and they’re good. Really good 😋
- A roommate tradition: On Friday evening, we like to play board games, and practically every other evening, the girls do puzzles!
- Best spot in the area: I would say Prospect Park. It’s such a blessing to be able to roam free in nature a mile away from your home. Also, the Brooklyn Museum and the Botanical Garden are just in front of the park’s entrance. What more could you ask for?
- Next big thing on your schedule: When I’m fully vaccinated, I will for sure attend a Knicks basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Hopefully a playoff game. They haven’t made the offseason in ages!
- Favorite neighborhood: Carroll Gardens. But better watch out for the mob! Kidding, that was ages ago … so they say!
Any last anecdotes?
Right before leaving Belgium, I printed my business cards with the Cohabs address in Brooklyn, since Laure had promised me a spot in the house, which was due to open in March.
Unfortunately, COVID hit and the opening was delayed. I had to find a plan B and I signed a contract with another company. But in the end, my business cards turned out to be useful since I was able to enter the Cohabs house, one year after the original date.
Just a matter of patience, I guess!
You’re interested in joining your own new family in Brooklyn? Let’s have a chat together, apply to join here!