Happy Saturday to you, readers.
I write to you from my lovely new apartment on the east side of town. Murray Hill — a section of Manhattan derided by some as boring (it’s worth noting that these detractors often are younger than 30 and therefore don’t know any better) but celebrated by people like me for its lack of noise and, much to my delight, strollers — suits me.
The place in Brooklyn had become less than pleasant. The windows had cracks, gaps and, in some cases, outright holes, and they could not be replaced because the building is a historical landmark. These windows let in a tremendous amount of cold air, dust and, above all else, sound from the street below — a busy thoroughfare for vehicle and foot traffic.
Adding to our discomfort were our new neighbors: the son of a well-known singer from the late ’70s and ’80s, his wife and their children. Thankfully they’d only recently moved in, so we didn’t have to endure for long their incessant pacing, running, yelling, dropping of things on the floor, and bongo playing. Yes, bongo playing. At night.
What’s more, because it is so close to one of Brooklyn’s most prized elementary schools, the neighborhood is over-run by Mommies and Daddies. These aren’t your normal parents, with whom I have no problem and a few of whom even live in the area. These are the Super Dads and their wives, men and women who apparently do not have to work and can therefore spend all day making a spectacle of their parenthood. They’re overly permissive, they manage to take up the whole sidewalk and refuse to yield even an inch when you try to pass, they are smug, they use common areas to store their strollers, they have obnoxious voices, and I hate them.
After a few trips and some cursory cleaning today, that place and its people will be behind us, leaving more time to enjoy the considerable comforts of the new home, which include:
- An elevator
- Laundry in the basement
- A separate kitchen
- Windows in all four rooms
- A walk-in closet
- Two additional ample closets
- Proximity to work (it’s a 10-minute walk — no more effing F train!)
- Nearly total silence, day and night
A note on that last bulleted item: It’s a marvel. Many of you reading this know I’m something of a collector of past addresses. For a time there in Dallas, I moved nearly every year (this tendency probably stems from some deep character flaw, but whatever). Anyway, my point is that of all the many, many apartments I’ve occupied over the years — in Kansas, Dallas and now New York — this is by far the quietest. And it’s in the middle of Manhattan!
The living room and bedroom windows face a courtyard and a few other buildings, and while one might assume that means we have no light and no view of nature, one would be wrong! In fact, it is very bright in the afternoon, the sky is plainly visible, and some of the walls in the courtyard are covered in ivy. We even have a few tendrils climbing past one of the bedroom windows. And, though it may very well be dead, a tree stands not so far from the bedroom, and it, too, is covered in ivy. V picturesque, no?
SGF and I couldn’t be happier. This feels like home.