My wonderful friend Jonathan (who, between his sojourns in Italy and busy work schedule I don’t get to see nearly as often as I would like) has accepted a teaching position at Dartmouth for the next few months. Never having been to New Hampshire, and always loving a road trip, I readily agreed to help him with his move to take up residence there (Hanover). We head out in a couple of hours, and I will spend the weekend in the frigid temperatures, hanging out with my friend and helping him get settled in. Since this is obviously barren wilderness, I assume we will be chopping our own wood and skinning and eating whatever small animals we find in the forest. I doubt they will have internet or running water or indoor toilets, but I remain hopeful. (My point being: don’t expect blog updates, treat them as the luxury item they are should they arrive.)
Should I survive, I will return via opulent, Wifi equipped bus on Monday evening.
Although I am still taking multiple trips to Bed Bath and Beyond, IKEA and the like for the necessities, I am now at least moved into my new apartment and it is starting to feel like home. There are a number of things about this living situation that are new to me. I have never lived in a building with a doorman before. I haven’t lived alone (for longer than 2 months) in some 18 years. I have never lived above the 6th floor. I have never lived in a building with this many apartments (almost 900 in two towers). And outside of when I was young and living with my parents, I have never moved into a brand new building before. I am amazed by how modern all the systems are: the laundry room with cards, the building website for reporting and tracking repairs and requests and shipments, as well as the fact that they email me when any of these events happens. I am getting to know the names of the staff, and they all seem really nice (I guess I should start saving now). There are a number of really nice common spaces, club rooms and terraces for enjoying some quite fantastic views. It is funny, the building is so new that there is almost no one living here yet. I estimate that I am perhaps the 30th tenant out of an eventual 900. And really, they are still finishing construction on a number of areas, which I expect will take another couple of months. All in all, I am loving it. This feels like a milestone, a turning point in my life somehow. I have lived in too many places to count really. More than one for each year of my life, if you can believe that. The shortest one being a month or so (I don’t count ones that were even less or part of traveling) and the longest one being the 4.5 years I spent in one apartment in Los Angeles. This has an air of greater permanence for a number of reasons (although that is a relative concept that good buddhists don’t really believe in). Of course only time will tell. Stay tuned, I will try to post some photos soon.
Oh, me and my moving about. I have been living in this apartment in Chelsea for only 8 months (still more than double the last place I lived), but I have come to like the neighborhood and its conveniences quite a bit. That said, I am very excited to be moving into my new place in Hudson Yards (or Clinton, or Hell’s Kitchen, or Hellsea), a new one bedroom all to myself. This will be the first time I have lived alone in something like 15 years. I have always had roommates (and almost always liked having roommates), so it will be interesting to set the rules of a place by myself. The movers come in just 10 hours or so, and this time tomorrow night I will be all settled (more or less) in the new high rise, 14 floors above ground. And although one can never predict the future, I have a feeling I won’t be moving again for a good long while.
After a fair amount of consideration, I have decided to move to a new apartment. There were a number of reasons for this decision, but the main ones were noise and location. My current apartment, while fairly nice, is in a building with constant loud noise at all hours ranging from the tap dancing / furniture moving / domestic violence loving family upstairs to the screaming partiers in apartment 2b. While there are no guarantees in a city like New York, I feel confident the new apartment will be at least somewhat quieter (at the very least from above. I will be on the 6th floor with no one above me). The other major reason is location. I find that I spend my life on the subway heading down to the Village and Chelsea where I do much of my hanging out with friends. My new location is on 22nd and 8th ave, right there. I will be able to walk to the vast majority of places I go all the time, and the subway is one short block away. The room is more expensive, but I am in a much more stable financial position than I was 6 months ago, so I figured what the hell. My new roommate seems very nice, and she is around my age which is an added bonus.
Last night I came back to my apartment to find that one of my roommates, Shayna, had decided to move out at the drop of a hat. She spent all night moving her stuff out, and now everything is gone. She didn’t bother to notify our landlord until she was completely moved out, and yet had the chutzpah to ask for her deposit money back from him. I wish I could say that I was upset at her leaving, as she was (for the most part) a nice young woman. But she was also the messiest person I have ever lived with, and I am more than a little pleased at the prospect of getting someone cleaner in here, and someone who respects others. Marc, our landlord, came by today to change the locks, and asked why she had left without saying anything. And it made me remember being in my early twenties, and learning how to negotiate as an adult in the world. A lot of it comes in fits and starts, and it can take many years for people to get over their fear of conflict and to develop a respect for one’s neighbors. There is no perfect guidebook, we all learn these things by trial and error. Lord knows I have made many mistakes with regard to interpersonal relationships, especially at that age. Hopefully over time, through trial and error, we learn how to cope with ourselves and others in an honest way that respects both. Obviously there are some people that never learn how to deal with conflict or how to be aware of other people. And the vast differences in cultures and the ways that people are raised result in many misunderstandings. But a little good will and Golden Rule goes a long way.
I am all moved into my new place, as of a few minutes ago. After the paint job and removing a lot of the stuff that was already in the room, I feel pretty comfortable with the zen simplicity. It is nice to finally unpack everything and no longer live out of my luggage.
I am happy to report that I now have found an apartment, and I will be moving in at the end of the week. The people I will be sharing with seem very cool, and the apartment setup is quite nice as each room is separated by common space, and there is a living room, dining room and kitchen. It is at 143rd street, higher north than I have ever lived in Manhattan, but timing it to where I normally seem to spend a lot of my time (around 14th street), it is only about 30 minutes (versus 45 from where I was in Brooklyn). And the subway is less than a five minute walk from the apartment. When people ask what neighborhood I live in, I jokingly refer to it as Canada, which everyone but my friend Sivan seems to appreciate. She tells me it is offensive, but I think of it this way: It is offensive if you think being Canadian is offensive, which I don’t (except maybe for Les Québécois with their insistence on French only signage).