A trip to Ikea in Brooklyn

My mom was in town this weekend and one of the fun things we did during her visit was take the Ikea ferry. We’d spent several hours in Manhattan and were sitting in Bryant Park deciding what to do next when she reminded me not only that I’d said that I wanted to go to Ikea but that there was a ferry that would get us there.

She was right on both counts. In a rare moment of wishing I had a smartphone (NB: my mom doesn’t have one either, but 99% of my visitors in New York do, so this usually isn’t a problem), I called information and got connected to Ikea so I could ask what pier they left from. The Ikea automated message was really unhelpful: Unless you knew your party’s extension, they assumed you wanted to talk to Customer Service and rattled off an 800 number.

So I texted a friend, who looked it up and texted me right back. (Carly, you’re the best.)

The ferry costs $5, but you can apply that cost toward your purchase (and there’s something about getting a free ride back if you purchased something, but it was confusing, so look it up yourself). Even if you don’t feel like buying any furniture at Ikea, you can get yourself a hot dog and a soda or some pizza, or, better yet, FIVE CINNAMON BUNS with that $5. I wouldn’t recommend eating five cinnamon buns by yourself, but what I’m saying is, you can’t go wrong with taking the ferry to Ikea. Bonus: You get some pretty stellar views along the way (see above).

Why did I want to go to Ikea? I needed a rug for my living room. I’ve been in my apartment for nearly a year and I’ve wanted to buy a rug for that long. This weekend I did it. It’s a round 51 inch rug, with mixed brown and grey and white fibers. When we got it home and looked at it, my mom and I both agreed it wasn’t perfect – slightly bigger, and less grey, would’ve been better – but it’s decent, and the grey is helped by some grey-and-beige patterned pillows I picked up at Ikea, too.

During my first month in New York my roommate and I went to Ikea to buy shelf brackets to put up a shelf in our long hallway. We had to call our other roommate and have her talk us out of buying cheap bar stools to put beneath the shelf. In retrospect, bar stools would have been a really terrible idea. We were drunk on the exhaustion that comes from wandering the Ikea showroom.

Pro tip: If you more or less know what you’re looking for, skip the showroom. Get yourself to the second floor (my mom and I turned left at the bathrooms and snuck past the registers) and you’ll be able to go straight to the items you’re looking for. Who needs to see the rugs laid out with furniture you’re not buying?

So who has made the Ikea pilgrimage, and what have you taken home with you?

2 Comments

  1. In Holland you go to Ikea by train and then they deliver, and it was a ton of fun. Owen and I bought a whole lot of stuff when we went because it was our first unfurnished place, but we spent approximately 20 hours online beforehand looking at options, cutting out graph paper models of our apartment and how all the furniture might fit. Then when we went, we just got to wander through the show rooms and confirm what we'd already chosen, or a look for few things we knew we were looking for like a cheap, under-cabinet light for our dark kitchen. By the time we got to the warehouse to pickup the stuff we were worn out, but happy. Putting together the furniture (boxes and boxes and boxes of furniture) was surprisingly fun, here's a couple blog posts telling some of the tales, and showing around the space.

    http://doeshecollectbutterflies.blogspot.nl/2014/02/projects-big-and-little-for-our-new.html

    http://doeshecollectbutterflies.blogspot.nl/2014/03/tour-of-our-apartment.html

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Clara, that sounds like fun! I think the Ikea here also delivers but I know people who have had trouble with it, so lugging it home yourself (or in my case this weekend, taking a car service instead of the bus!) is a good option.

    I love your posts about setting up! That pegboard looks gorgeous, and the fold-down table is such a great idea for that space! I also love the video. Do you ever go on the site Apartment Therapy? Each spring they have a “Small Cool” apartment contest. They haven't posted this year's deadline yet, but I'm hoping to enter, and you guys should too! I think there's an International category…

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