taking a break from apartment hunting, at a cafe on south Bedford
Joe and I came back early from New York yesterday after signing a lease on an apartment. We found a place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, off the Lorimer stop on the L train, right near Dumont (you know, one of those place that serves expensive mac and cheese) and Union Pool. We chose Williamsburg because Joe will be able to get to and from work very quickly (important when he's on call). St. Vincent's is right at the 14th St/Union Square stop. Also, most of my friends live in Williamsburg. Convenience is key--otherwise I'd want to live in a nicer neighborhood, like Carroll Gardens (where we used to live). I definitely wouldn't call our new neighborhood nice. It's slightly sketchy. But then again I'm used to living in an idyllic, cute little Kansas neighborhood where we don't even have to lock our doors.
So the last week was pretty sucky. We stayed with Joe's brother in Red Hook while apartment hunting in Williamsburg, so we had to walk. A LOT. In the cold rain. It rained non-stop while we were there. We spent four days straight wet, cold, and tired, looking at expensive apartments that were total crap-holes. I think I said, "I hate New York" about 800 times. I was so discouraged that by day three I just stopped speaking all together. I was too depressed to even complain anymore. Finally, at the end of the fourth day, we somehow found a miracle, an apartment that we could afford that didn't make us want to puke. So what if the bathroom is so tiny there's no room for a sink? The stove looks like this. Yeah, totally awesome. In fact, the whole apartment is very vintage and unique. (I really prefer that to those newly renovated apartments that have about as much character as a dorm room.) Also, it has a back yard. With a garden, benches, and a grill. And one entire side of the apartment is covered with built in wood cabinets and shelves for storage. The guy who lives there now is an artist who paints and designs window displays for Bergdorf Goodman and Barney's, and he's moving to Sweden indefinitely. He's subletting to us and leaving his paintings and some furniture. I'm pretty happy about it--the apartment's a steal, and I really like his paintings.
So things are looking up. Except for the fact that I'm feeling somewhat torn about moving back to New York. At this point in my life I feel like I've sort of already been there done that. In a way moving there feels like taking a step backwards. Now that I'm older my priorities have changed a bit, and I'm less concerned with living in the hippest city in the country and competing in that arena and more concerned with living a peaceful life and having good relationships. Right now I live on a quiet street in Kansas. There are no crowds, no loud street noises, no rat race. It's hard to give that up. It's hard to give up having my own studio in my home. In New York, our apartment will be small, and my studio space will have to be combined with the living room or bedroom. I'll be the first to admit that I'm completely spoiled, and living in New York is so expensive that I will not be able to have the quality of life that I'm used to. Yes, there will be outstanding restaurants and shops and fun things to do there. But I'm not sure I'll be able to afford any of those things. These are all thoughts that I'm struggling with now. In a perfect world, I'd move with a positive attitude and be super excited and ready for anything. But in my heart I know that's not how I really feel. What I do know is that I'll try to make the best of it and see how it goes. Oh, the crazy things we do for love.
Posted by jenny gordy