Good morning, Monday. It's gloomy outside but I'm digging it- I love the variation in weather and realize how much I need the seasons to make me feel complete.
And speaking of complete, our apartment is really, really almost there. Complete, I mean. We figured out how to maximize the space, have come to terms that we need to invest in a new sofa but willing to wait until we find the right one, and generally loving what we've done to our little spot of heaven right here in Brooklyn.
As we were taking Khan in the snowy yard last night for a bathroom break, we looked at each other and realized this is our first "real" home, in the grownup sort of way. We are deliberate with everything we put in here, and we're realizing we want quality pieces in here that will last us a lifetime. I think coming home to New York feels more for keeps than anything we've experienced in a long time- and even though we lived in a lovely building in Miami with a doorman, a view of the water, a gorgeous renovated kitchen and multiple bathrooms, we couldn't quite get the space right, because we knew we would not be there forever and couldn't quite be asked to make it a real home.
In New York, people move. A lot in fact. It's just the way it is when you live a life of subletting, on high alert for a better place, a cheaper rent, and more space or a better neighborhood. But as many of you know, there's nothing easy about the hunt for spaces in New York, but somehow I had good karma when it came to that- one of the few areas of my life where I think I have a real "luck" thing happening.
As someone who has perpetually rented (and of this, I'm glad believe me considering the black cloud hanging over home ownership these days), I've been everywhere and back. Last night I started thinking about all of the places I have called home over the years, and thought it may be fun to recap them here for you, so you can see what kind of gypsy you're dealing with when it comes to me and my ever changing moves- let's go in order from college, shall we?
10th and Pine- my first apartment ever. With my amazing roommate Tifa. Who answered my ad at Temple U that stated I was looking for a roommate who loved the Grateful Dead and smoked cigarettes. Needless to say she did, and we had the greatest time being absolutely out of our minds together. We lived in an attic spot full of Ikea furniture. Was a fun time. We also used to get free beer from the deli next door from the young punk rock kid with rotted teeth. Awesome. And then there was the coke addicted criminal defense attorney on the second floor, and the heavy metal dude called Chip who we used to drink with. I recall dressing in disguise from time to time, as well as spraying Easy Cheese out the window at the Jefferson Med School frat house across the street. Ha. Crazy kids were we.
5th and Pine- My first apartment with a man. I was 19. Yes, 19. I fell in love with a bartender from San Mateo who was going to Penn. We lived in a gorgeous pad with a fireplace full of more Ikea furniture- I still say this was one of my nicest apartments I ever had in a beautiful historic townhouse- too bad the relationship was completely doomed due to the fact that he became a cheesy asshole and I left him for an even cheesier Frenchman. C'est la vie.
6th and Spruce- Lovely apartment with a pretty French door to a tar roof, where I spent a million summer days getting tan. Lived with the preppiest girl alive. Needless to say, we were not pals for life. Great apartment but anyone who came to visit perpetually got their car broken into in the alley behind it. No bueno.
5th and Spruce- Pit stop after breakout. Lived with a super annoying girl who was a brilliant writer. She lived upstairs, I lived downstairs. Cool apartment, but hated the roommate. Made sure to avoid her at all costs- twas the winter of my discontent before I moved to New York. No happy memories of this place, I'm afraid.
72nd and 2nd- My first apartment in New York. Moved on my birthday into a one bedroom in which I slept in the living room, on a futon. I could not have been happier. My first introduction to my roommate, whom I didn't know before moving in, was her jumping into a limo, blonde hair flying with a very short skirt and heels, off to the Meadowlands because she was dating the drummer from Guns N Roses. I shit you not. Lived there for years until she kicked me out because , after a particularly volatile exchange, my beastie boy of a boyfriend called her a whore and a gold digger. Those were the days...I did meet a lifelong friend in that buidling though, my girl Tracey who I met and became a partner in crime of mine for many years...I can't talk about most of that.
Bergen and Smith, Brooklyn- After I got kicked out, I broke up with the above dude and fell apart. I moved to Brooklyn in the late 90s, three blocks from where I live now. A gorgeous apartment where my bedroom overlooked a garden and courtyard. I painted my room Xanax blue, listening to Frank Sinatra on an endless loop, and made paper dolls out of supermodels I cut out from magazines. I was super depressed from the breakup, and Frank and Brooklyn got me through it. Enjoyed the car service on my street that always took me into the city in a shitty old stretch limo. It's no longer there, believe me, I looked. I payed $550 in rent so could afford to finance my depression. Insane.
70th and 1st- This was a seminal moment in my apartment renting career- MY VERY OWN APARTMENT SANS ROOMMATE. If i remember correctly, I was about 28. The Brooklyn roommate had her boyfriend move in (she was nuts too), and I took his apartment in the city. The place was above a diner, had an exposed brick wall, and a persistent smell of gas. The tub never drained correctly and my super was a drunk leprechaun. Coincidentally, I dated one of those at that time- an Irish American Eddie Burns type who drank way too much and would get surly and call me "pretentious" and "fancy" when lit. I think he may have tried to pee on my floor once too. Word of advice: never date someone just because they love Keith Richards and the Stones as much as you do. That's a mistake. On the plus side, it's the first place I ever kissed David, so it's not all bad...and the diner below was divine.
20th and 1st- Stuyvesant Town- My first apartment with David, who moved in with me three months into my lease. I was in Stuyvie Town when there was still a list, and I sublet the place from a friend's friend, and paid peanuts for a huge one bedroom. But there was no air conditioning. And David and I spent many summer evenings in the hotel three blocks away. We also felt we were living in a "sick' building without proper ventilation, and I remember being there during 9/11, where the man across the hall from us was a fireman, whose dusty shoes at the front of his door were a brutal reminder of those horrible days. We also ate a ton of pizza then for some reason, even though we both were emaciated at the time due to failed relationships and general malaise- eggplant, mushroom, and spinach from some place on First Ave if I recall. Almost on a nightly basis, where we would sit on this crappy sofa I had and watch TV, which was way too close to said couch to really be safe for the eyes. Worst part of this apartment was the complete inability to get a cab in the morning from here, unless you were willing to FIGHT. I am not proud of the millions of pushes and shoves and expletives I uttered getting people out of the way so I could jump in...
6th Avenue and Spring- Hands down the best neighborhood EVER. The chill side of Soho. Anything west of West Broadway is a little slice of heaven. My apartment was the tiniest ever and was a sublet from a girl at work who moved to Manhasset- we paid $680 a month and spent every penny we saved on rent- we did live in Soho, after all. I painted the bathroom pink, David had to crouch down in the shower, and we used to eat dinner and watch TV in bed because it was the biggest room in the place. I remember that the Halloween Parade would start outside our door, but we couldn't fit people with costumes in our apartment to watch it. Sad.
Oh, boy....I knew that the shit was going DOWN as we drove away from the New York skyline. Miami...oh, Miami. I was not a fan as you know. These were some rough years, but I must admit, you can live very well there for very little.
Aviation Avenue, Coconut Grove- our first "house" and probably our last. Coming from New York, I am not sure we understood how in places other than Manhattan, you could actually afford to live in a renovated apartment with a doorman, so we instantly went for charm, on instinct. We lived in a Key West charmer with palm trees, dark wood floors, and a fireplace. Though ceaselessly charming, it quickly became known as the "Grey Gardens of Coconut Grove". Our landlord lived behind us, was a stoner triathelete in his 60s who would knock on my door in a Speedo, and when my heel went through my bedroom floor and the attic sprung a leak onto all of clothes, his famous retort was "can you live with it?". Nope. We couldn't. And for those of you keeping score on the life and times of Sheri and David, this is where David infamously killled a possum. We had more bugs and mice and rats than a subway tunnel. I hated that place, and I just remembered that it too stank like gas...
Edgewater Drive, Miami- Oh my we loved this place- a high rise with a pool, a gym, and many doormen. It was a menschy apartment with marble floors and huge closets and rooms that were supersized. We had never lived anywhere where everything we owned had a place, and then some. We realilzed we like apartment living way more than house living, and this was our last pad in Miami- and a gorgeous one at that complete with view of the waterway as well as a birds eye view of the massive yacht across the way, which was featured in the SNL short "I'm on a Boat". Yup.
Cut to now- I'm not writing this chapter yet, because it's still evolving. We live on Pacific Street in Cobble HIll- a block from Trader Joe's, which was so not here when I lived here the first time. We live in a two story apartment with a yard, and look forward to never moving again. Until we do, that is...we are thrilled to be here,looking forward to having you all over for lazy, reggae tinged summer bbqs and happy walks around the 'hood. I just felt the need to share with you how I have lived many lives, in many places, and my recall for all of them is pretty uncanny. I am not sure if this post is a trainwreck, but I just wanted to share that even though I have lived so many places in terms of residences, I am HERE now. Fully, and that's that. I am not planning on leaving New York again, but as a free spirit, one never knows...I gave you the abridged version but needless to say, much more crazy shit happened in all of those places, but not sure how much time you have to hear it all- so that's what's up this banning cardboard boxes and packing paper for a longggg time kind of Monday in the best borough of Brooklyn. Sorry for the rambling, but this was a good exercise to show I am a) not senile for remembering all of these palces and b) a wandering Jew through and through. Come visit me- I'll be here, in space number 12 of my adult life..I have always felt the importance of home to ground me and please me- and very much looking forward to this place becoming the best one yet, slowly, surely, and completely our own. XO