Friday, April 30, 2010

fare thee well, bay ridge

Well. I did it. I cut the chord.

I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet, leaving home. That’s what it feels like when you’ve lived in the same place you did as a kid, a mere 23 years old. It seemed like such an adult step back then - moving to the city, finding roommates, getting a job, paying an electric bill for the first time…

I’d found my way to Bay Ridge when I was suddenly ousted from my apartment in Washington Heights (long story for another time). So that I wouldn’t have to commute to my li’l desk job from Poughkeepsie, my good friends Mary and Mark benevolently let me crash on their living room futon here in the neighborhood. In that month’s time or so, I fell in love with the neighborhood. It had the perfect blend of suburbia and accessibility; deep roots, multi-generational households, family owned businesses … great food. There is an utter lack of pretension or longing to be current with urban trends - I was/am often the hippest gal on the block - (no. really.)

Like most, I found my apartment by way of Craigslist - suspiciously cheap for being in the center of all the 86th St. action, I had my doubts. Turns out, it truly was a lucky find. 3 ladies of about the same age were here to greet me. I remember feeling so instantly cozy with my initial family of girls. Parties, drama, laughter, tension, friendship … this was 516.

As roommates and sleeping quarters rotated over time, the dynamics shifted further from what had made my life here a comfort --- drifting more toward a place where I simply hung my hat maybe a little too far from the city. Having been financially dependent on the relatively low rent, I stuck around until I had more means and stability to make a real move. I'd also been attached to the convenience of Frank living nearby, so late-night recording sessions weren't an issue ... and then he abandoned ship for Staten Island.

And so, with all signs pointed toward "it's time", the day has come and off I go.

I found an adorable (albeit much smaller:) apartment in one of my favorite neighborhoods in New York - Park Slope, Brooklyn. Not exactly an enormous leap (an 81 block leap north, to be precise), but certain to be an adjustment -- one that I’m equally apprehensive and thrilled about. The swift commute alone just may send me into shock (related, I anticipate more frequent, less travel-weary visitors)

I have a month to make the transition - and I don’t know where to begin on the accumulation of 7 years here in this once home. I suppose I’ll begin with boxes and bags and lots of them ... doing my best to bat away the range of emotional triggers from the past.

I’ll soon no longer be the coolest kid on the block (that title belongs to Maggie Gyllenhaal) but I trust I’ll find a little pocket to squirm and settle into - calling this apartment and neighborhood a place I belong before long.

And I can’t WAIT to be all up in that park.

All in all, a positive change … I look forward to the fresh view.

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