In mid-December I made one of the biggest changes I could to make my life better: I signed a lease on a new apartment.
To back-track a bit, I’d been more or less living out of a suitcase, storage bins, or Space Bags since the end of May, when I went to New Jersey to care for my parents’ dogs while they were in Ireland. Then I went to London, then spent my summer holiday in New Jersey, then I took a 4-day trip to Paris, then I moved completely out of my apartment in Staten Island, then I spent a month in Paris, and then I was supposed to go to Hong Kong and instead lived with my parents for a few weeks while they were renovating their kitchen… you get the idea. A few apartments fell through before I found this one, and though I was devastated about each one, I see now that it was all absolutely and without question for the best.
I ended up finding a really lovely apartment on the 1st floor of a sweet old building in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium. The rooms are generously sized, and because I got a 2-bedroom, I have an entire room set up as a painting and exercise studio!!! (Also umm, some shoe storage).
I keep meaning to take these artsy, Architectural Digest-y photos of my apartment in gentle afternoon sunlight, but for now I’ll just say it’s lovely and colorful and perfect. My parents and brother (who remain the kindest and most generous people in all the land) came up on the one unseasonably warm day of February to help set up the rest of the furniture and stuff that really made it a home.
And possibly best of all, my new home is about 40 minutes door to door from work. 40 minutes!!! The total amount of time I spend commuting both ways each day is still less than one way of my previous commute. And there are no boats, just one subway without transfers. I feel like I hit the jackpot.
I’m still getting to know the Bronx, but I love it intensely already. I love my neighborhood and my neighbors, I’m excited to go to the Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden, and to get fresh mozzarella on Arthur Avenue. My subway stop is on the B/D or the 4, so I can get to the east and west sides easily, and I’m truly enjoying being like 4 stops from the Met or Lincoln Center.
I made myself the deal that I would be happy and healthy here. I am working to make my life better in a lot of different ways, and I’m genuinely hopeful for what the future holds. It’s been a problematically long time since I’ve felt that way, but it is so great to be on the other side.