In One Queens Building, the third apartment is the charm (for now)

Isaac Goldberg was working on the 2014 re-election campaign for Representative Steve Israel, Democrat of Huntington, NY, when he decided to throw a party at his apartment in Astoria, Queens. He sent out a mass invitation to everyone working on campaigns for Democrats on Long Island.

Anna Doré didn’t know Mr. Goldberg, but she was helping with another campaign, heard about the party and decided to go. Ms. Doré, who works in public relations, has spent just five months of the past seven years working in politics. But that short window of time coincided with Mr. Goldberg’s party. “It was very kismet,” she said.

It was also 90 degrees when she arrived, and most of the revelers were circled around the A / C unit, feeding Jell-O shots to keep cool. Campaign posters, an American flag and a 1996 Yankees championship poster adorned the walls. “The decor definitely needed love and affection,” Ms. Doré said.

Surrounded by a mixture of memories, election speeches and enriched refreshments, she and Mr. Goldberg reunited. One spark spawned another, and seven years later they are married and live in the same apartment building where they met.

“We joke that Anna came to a party in my apartment and hasn’t left since,” Mr. Goldberg said. The joke is only partially true: While the couple stayed in the apartment building, they live there in their third apartment, all on the same floor.

It was barely a few months after the start of their relationship when Ms. Doré moved in with Mr. Goldberg. She lived on the Upper East Side, but fate forced her hand when a fire broke out at 4 a.m. in her apartment building. “Isaac ran and came to the rescue,” she said, “even though we were just dating.”

She stayed with him that night, and the next day his apartment building was boarded up. Sharing T2 with Mr. Goldberg quickly went from being a short-term fix to a long-term commitment.

“I didn’t want to be burnt out living together,” Ms. Doré said. “But it worked.”

Ultimately, she lamented that the circumstances of the fire deprived them of a time when they could, more deliberately, make the decision to move in together. The night after she mentioned this to him, she came home from work and found that Mr. Goldberg had a dozen roses waiting for him. “There was a note with them,” she said. “He wrote:” I have lived alone and I have lived with you, and I never want to live alone again. Do you want to move in with me? To which I said: ‘Well done.’ “

They were happy together, but it was a little T2 – and there was still that Yankees poster. Then they learned that their neighbors across the street were moving from a two bedroom apartment.

“I think by the time they found a place,” Mr. Goldberg said, “we basically had our sofas in their apartment.”

The larger place had a kitchen-diner and an additional bedroom to convert into a home office for Mr Goldberg, who still works as a political consultant – and the move required little work. “The doors line up perfectly,” Ms. Doré said. “So you can just push our stuff right down the hall. “

In 2019, after the couple married at the Queens Museum, they imagined themselves staying in the second apartment for years to come. But then, Covid.

Both working from home, Ms. Doré set up a makeshift desk in the bedroom. “I shared a wall with Isaac in his office,” she said. “As a political consultant, Isaac tends to talk on the phone all day.”

Investing in noise-canceling headphones helped “preserve our sanity,” she said, but it soon became clear that they needed a more permanent solution.

They thought the day had finally come when they would move to another building. For a few months, they surveyed 10 apartments in 10 apartment buildings, sticking to Astoria for their research.

They are, by Mr. Goldberg’s admission, “obsessed with Astoria”. For more than two years, Ms. Doré ran a local Instagram account, WeHeartAstoria.

“I started to like the neighborhood through this lens,” she said. “We knew we didn’t want to leave.

For his part, Goldberg is drawn to Astoria’s spaciousness and working-class vibe: “There’s the joke that the two hardest things to find in Astoria are doormen and dishwashers. “

$ 2,600 | Astoria, Queens

Occupation: Ms. Doré is Senior Director of Communications at Rothy’s, a fashion company; Mr Goldberg is a consultant for the Democratic campaign in BerlinRosen.

About doing what you love: Mr. Goldberg began his political career as an intern for the 2008 Obama campaign: “I have always loved politics,” he said, “and I have always felt blessed that my hobby and my profession overlap. Ms. Doré enjoys working in public relations, she said, because “it’s storytelling, at its core.

Proposal: Mr. Goldberg suggested Ms. Doré at Elias Corner for Fish, a favorite neighborhood restaurant. “It’s classic no-frills,” he said. “They don’t even have menus. The waiter walks up and tells you what fish they have in the crate. I proposed in the middle of the restaurant, and everyone applauded.

During their search for an apartment, they met a neighbor of their building in a bodega. “We saw Mike,” Ms. Doré said, “and he said,“ Watch out, we’re moving to Long Island. “

They were invited to visit the apartment and wasted no time stopping there. “That evening, we knocked on the door while the children were having dinner,” Ms. Doré said with a laugh. “And we’re like, ‘Yeah, we live here now. “”

It was another two bedroom apartment, but about 200 square feet larger, with a dining room and a hallway. “We were like, ‘Are we really going to be in a third apartment in the same building? ”, Declared Ms. Doré. “The answer turned out to be a very clear ‘yes’. “

Both moves were made possible not only by the good relations with their neighbors, but also by the accessibility of the owner and the informal atmosphere of the building: handwritten by the super.

“It allows you to approach them and say, hey, listen, we’ve been model tenants, minus a few loud evenings, can we move down the hall?” ”, Declared Ms. Doré.

They have been living in the third apartment for a year now. With more space to decorate together, Mr. Goldberg managed to keep some keepsakes in his office. “It is essential,” he said, “that the 1996 Yankees championship poster always be displayed in a conspicuous place.”

Ms. Doré now has her own workspace, in the living room. “I’m not in the bedroom anymore,” she said, “which is great for my sanity. And my Zoom background.

She said her mother noted – as did Mr Goldberg’s mother – that the apartment may be large enough for the children. “I think both moms are cautiously optimistic in this department,” she said. “No plans yet, but it could happen in this apartment. “

That is to say, unless the neighbor opposite moves.

“He’s been here since the 1970s,” Ms. Doré said. “He’s an old rocker who gives guitar lessons and perpetually threatens to flee to Florida. It has that insane three bedroom that we’ve been looking at for years.

She paused briefly, then added, “I guess you could say we don’t know how the story ends.”