I knew I wanted to live within 3 blocks of the West 4th street stop, in part to be close to Joe's pizza, in part to be close to Washington Square Park, and in part because the West 4th street stop is very centrally located and an express stop on two lines (on the west side nonetheless, which is the side more traveled, I'd say). So I just constructed a list of apartments that were within that radius and picked the ones I liked the most. I was fortunate to get my top pick, and during COVID prices nonetheless ($2500/month for a 1 bedroom in the village, on MacDougal and Bleecker).

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I even came up with a composite score so I could rank all of the apartments I was looking at. Basically it was just a linear equation. All qualities were rated 0 to 5, and the qualities were VR space (weight 4), movie night space (weight 4), bedroom quality (weight 2), lighting quality (weight 5), etc. You just multiply the ratings and the weights, add them up, and you have a (relatively) quantitive measure to compare apartments by.