Here’s to the next adventure.
Here’s to the next adventure.
It’s hard to believe that just a year ago I moved into my first studio apartment in Manhattan. For those that know me, the first two months of living and adjusting to the poorly kept and slightly chaotic space led to quite an accumulation of stories and tales, ones that will live on long after I continue my travels beyond the Hudson River. In honor of one era ending and the beginning of yet another brand new adventure, I’ve compiled a list of my infamous love/hate relationship with D3.
Here’s to the memories… at least some of my favorites.
1. Discovering a dead mouse, amongst other things, the day I moved in. Discovering a live one in the months that followed. I will never forget the night I woke up to him crawling up my window, right next to my bed. Way to invade my personal space Mickey.
2. Building, painting, and decorating a 13’ x 8’ space and making it feel like home. I particularly loved painting the vines that surrounded my archway, and finding ways to make storage items look pretty. Thank God for Pier One, the Container Store, Target, Home Depot and Bed, Bath and Beyond. It truly takes a village.
3. Waking up every morning to the big tree outside my window. Especially when I woke up early enough to catch the morning light… a golden glow that illuminated the fire escape as the sun came up. It was a rare moment of peace.
4. Living in a fourth floor walk-up. Great for the ass, a nightmare when moving. Or when you would get to the bottom of the steps and realize you forgot something upstairs.
5. Grey Dog. And Grey Dog chocolate chips cookies. Right. Next. Door.
6. Daily walks to Hudson River Park, laying out and lunching in the circle park, and regular trips to Red Mango.
7. My writing desk. A place where I sat staring blankly at times… and typing madly and furiously at other times. It was my jumping off point to many ideas, pieces, and aspirations… I hope the next time I come back to it, I will be sitting down to write from an even more inspired and successful place.
8. The kitchen. I must address the kitchen, with it’s gaping hole in the ceiling and 50 year old confectioners oven (which I insisted be removed for health reasons- I’m pretty sure it had a gas leak). My kitchen window faced my chain-smoking neighbors apartment, and each puff she took would blow directly into the 2x4’ space, filling my nose with the stale scent each time I went to get a glass of water. It had two little white doors that opened to about 4 tiles, a sink, a mini-fridge (that broke the last month I lived there) and a stove top. I made many delicious egg white omelettes in that little cell. It was the most “New York” thing about that place… hands down.
9. The musical serenade from my next door neighbor. I always knew what kind of mood he was in… For example, in the first few months he was going through a break up. I deducted this (the slick detective that I am) because his daily playlist consisted of three Justin Timberlake songs: “What Goes Around Comes Around,” “Cry Me a River,” and “Another Song All Over Again.” After about a month of this, he moved on to Judy Garland. Just one particular song. Also on repeat. Then came the rebound phase. The soundtrack to that? Lady Gaga. Obviously. Last I heard he was blasted techno dance music at 8am. Glad to see he’s moved on.
10. The neighborhood. What a wonderful spot to immerse yourself in and learn to navigate the city. I spent many nights walking home from the LES and Greenwich Village, taking in the quiet moments on the city streets, discovering architecture, and spending quality time with my iPod. I could be at a venue in 10 minutes, BK in 15 minutes, uptown in 20 minutes, and Jersey in a half hour. You just can’t beat that.
The memories. For better or worse, that apartment took me through one of the biggest transitional years of my life. If those walls could talk, they would spill stories of love, friendship, fighting, tears, laughter, frustration, hope, sleepless nights, wonderful nights, sleepovers, music, dressing up, dressing down, and so much more.
We had a good run D3. I’ll miss you.
About three years ago, I picked up the book “Eat, Pray, Love.” Recently released and generating quite a bit of hype, I was curious to see what was so unique about this woman’s journey. It took me about a month to get through, for although I flew through “Eat” and “Pray,” “Love” seemed to require much more attention and energy to focus. However, it was the author of this book, Elizabeth Gilbert, who inspired me to find my writing voice. I researched her career, her background, and her struggles. I fell in love with her style, her honesty, and her subject matter… never before had I related to a piece of work and a protagonist in such a way. I put the book away for a few years, as I ventured into new journeys in my life, but a few months ago I found myself re-reading the beginning.
This past weekend I went to check out the movie, hoping it would live up to it’s reputation and do the book justice. I was pleasantly surprised with the adaptation, and even more inspired by the poignant quotes that lingered long after the credits rolled. Here’s one of my favorites… a lesson for us all to understand: Ruin is the road to transformation.
”A friend took me to the most amazing place the other day. It’s called the Augusteum. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the barbarians came they trashed it a long with everything else. The great Augustus, Rome’s first true great emperor. How could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. It’s one of the quietest, loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won’t let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured - the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”