Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A World of Its Own

It may be hard to believe, but this is the first time I've lived in an apartment building. After living in the dorms for two years in undergrad, three friends and I rented a small house and never looked back.

There were many reasons we felt houses were superior to apartments:

*Having a yard meant we could own a grill and host summer parties
*Lots of basement storage
*Driveways and parking out front
*Being able to be as loud or as quiet as we wanted anytime
*And,in all of my houses before Boston, we were lucky enough to have our own washer and dryer

So to me the move to an apartment was both exciting and sad at the same time. Living in a ridiculously small, old and overpriced apartment in Manhattan is the dream. If you are lucky enough to find one in a great neighborhood like Gramercy, you are envied every time someone hears you mention your address.

Our apartment building was built in 1902 and is pretty large by Manhattan standards. We put up a wall and converted a two bedroom into a three bedroom. The walls are thin so you are always conscious of the fact that you can't be too loud. But living in the city you get pretty used to the idea that you really have no privacy anyway.

We have very little storage space, but we've gotten creative. The lack of space though is positive. It has made me eliminate a lot of possessions and now I always think twice before purchasing things. I will be all set when it comes time to move out :)

I enjoy passing my neighbors in the hallway and trying to deduce what their lives are like through brief exchanges and observation. I know there is an older Irish guy who lives on the top floor. I know the three girls next door love karaoke and I also know the guy who lives above me works in Midtown because I've seen him on the bus. I know the mailman and the housekeeping lady.

I still miss having a yard and having more space, but when you live in a city as large as NYC, sometimes your apartment building makes the world seem just a bit smaller.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Remembering Who I Am

"I've always liked the time before dawn because there's no one around to remind me who I'm supposed to be so it's easier to remember who I am."
-Story People (http://www.storypeople.com/storypeople/Home.do - for those of you unfamiliar with their amazing stories.)

This quote is so perfect for my life right now.

Each morning I get up at 6 am to do yoga before work. The city is finally "quiet" in these moments and all I have to focus on is me. In those moments everything I want and want to be is clear.

Growing up in a small town I felt as if I was always being told who I was supposed to be but living in the city makes me constantly have to make an effort to remember myself.

It took me leaving home and all the hard times along the way for me to fully realize who I am and who I want to be. The hard part for me now is knowing that and knowing that that me can never be found in NYC.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I don't <3 NYC

It seems everyone's first question upon learning I am fairly new to the city is how do I like it. I usually answer with the standard I'm still getting used to it but I recently realized the true answer is that I don't. Yet, I always hesitate to say it and keep finding myself feeling forced into making myself want to like it because everyone else just seems to love it.

And you know, I did love it...when I could visit but didn't have to live here. When I could spend money on fun things in the city instead of a $6 box of crackers. When I could go out until 5 am and not be irritated with the noise at 4 am when all I want to do is sleep. When I didn't realize that the overflowing trash cans in the Subway stations weren't just a weekend thing.

I do love city life, but I'm just not sure NYC is the right city for me...and maybe it's about time I was ok with admitting that.