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Where we used to live

November 9, 2010
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Already the old neighborhood feels like a place we used to live. Familiar, but different.

We hired movers this time. Best money I’ve spent in a long time. They were efficient, polite, and they didn’t break anything. They really know what they’re doing. I felt even better after we had paid and tipped them when one said, “you are good customers.” I asked him what he meant and he said sometimes people don’t tip, or they only tip a little on hard jobs. So not only was it a legitimately difficult move because of all those stairs, but we also tipped the right amount. I felt like it went pretty smoothly and I made a good decision. It felt good to pay people fairly to do what they do well.

We left the beagles at the old apartment during the rest of the move to the new apartment and the office so they wouldn’t be in the way. We went back on moving night for one last celebratory goodbye dinner at one of our favorite local spots and it just felt different. We drove there and it seemed so far away. Talking to our downstairs neighbors, we explained we were moving and they said goodbye. They joked about how someday we would talk about how we used to live there. There was the feeling that we wouldn’t be moving back. It was a little sad, but also satisfying because I think it indicates that we are somehow moving in the right direction.

Our new neighborhood already feels more like home than Inwood ever did. It just feels like we belong more. Things are just a little nicer. Also more expensive, but that is to be expected. We are farther from the train, but it takes us where we need to go so much faster. We went down to Union Square last weekend and on the way home I was thrilled again by the realization that it would take just three stops to get there. And the upshot of being farther from transit is that you have to walk more, which I don’t mind.

I also reclaimed my weekends and a little of my sanity. Now, instead of having to prepare like I’m going out for an expedition every time I go to church, I can just walk over five blocks. I can plan things before Saturday evening mass, or in the afternoons on Sunday because I don’t have to leave a four-hour window for getting there and back to do one service.

Now we just have to find new tenants for our old apartment so we can break our lease. I will have to visit Inwood at least one more time, and I hope we can tie up loose ends soon. It is so far away. My expectations have already shifted. Spending an hour on the train to get anywhere just feels like death, even though we did it for two years. I will be glad when we are free of this obligation. It weighs on me, and there are other things I would rather buy than a second apartment.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Julia Bates permalink
    November 9, 2010 4:35 pm

    Our first few years were spent continually moving. The idea of home became not a place, but our relationship, our marriage. Toby now says home is wherever Candice is. Now we are so set in our ways. I’m struck at how much ‘stuff’ we have. Sometimes I just want to ditch it all. but any individual article can strike a chord of remembering, and I put the vase back down and walk away. So glad you feel at home already. Good luck on finding a sub-let.

  2. November 13, 2010 10:39 am

    As one who is allergic to commuting, I have to say this sounds right in every possible way. How hard will it be to find someone to take your old apartment? Good luck with that.

  3. November 16, 2010 6:46 am

    OK. So, I’m commenting to assuage the guilt related to feeling like I’m spying (because of the work relationship with D)! I so enjoy your blog though, which I’ve told D many times. When you write, it seems so authentic — not like you’re presenting an image of how you hope to be perceived. Love that. My only complaint is: I wish you would post more!

  4. sarah permalink
    November 16, 2010 9:57 pm

    Sounds like this was a good decision in every way. Can’t wait to see the new place (eventually, when I am independently wealthy and can afford a pleasure trip to NYC). The sublease situation will work out, things always do. Good luck, love! xoxo.

  5. Julia Bates permalink
    November 21, 2010 11:44 pm

    Hope you’ve found tenants to take your old lease. Loose ends are so tiring! Have a great trip to St. Louis tomorrow.

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