Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Home Sweet Home, minus one thing

When we last left our intrepid heroine, one week ago, she found herself on a bus bound for New York, full of hope, energy and confidence, and ready to hit the streets to find her very own Big Apple apartment.

Where is she now? Back on the bus -- DC bound this time -- cynical, worn out, a little nauseous, and the proud owner of two very VERY tired feet.

And also the proud tenant of a lovely second floor, 1 bedroom walk up in the East Village.

My new home-ish, slightly edited to protect my privacy. Although knowledgeable New Yorkers who read this blog might be able to find the building based on this picture.

The ink on the lease is still wet.

It took a lot of hitting the pavement, hitting the internets, schlepping around the UES to the LES to Midtown and back again to find this gem. The rent is more than I wanted to spend, but once I walked in the apartment I just couldn't walk away. It had everything I needed: space enough for my bed, a big desk, and a pullout couch for all the guests I expect to crash with me (gotta pay it back for all of the couchsurfing I've done with NYC friends over the years). Space in the apartment to store my bike and stairs wide enough for me to carry it up and down easily. A kitchen with enough counter space for a drying rack and work area. I knew I was home.

Well, home-ish. One thing was missing: Nick. This apartment, as much as I love it, will never really be home because it will never be "our" home. Home is where Nick and I live together. This will just be my NYC basecamp. I won't really be "home" until I join Nick in Cairo in 2013.

Yes, I could have spent less money for a hole in the wall in the East Village, or the same amount for a bigger space elsewhere in the city. But the East Village has been, and I think always will be, one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. Although, I haven't lived there yet. One year from now I may be singing a very different tune. But for now, I love it. I love the artists/punks /freaks/ravers/hippies who have long called the neighborhood home, the old Ukrainian immigrants who saw the neighborhood through its rougher days and who sell -- my landlord included -- some of the best meats and baked goods in the city, the small bars and coffee shops that I will soon call my study spots, Tompkins Square park, the relatively low presence of tourists...all of it. The fact that I am only 2 blocks from a subway, a 5 minute bike ride (or 15 minute walk) from my classes, and right in the middle of the downtown theater world (handy for future internships) only sweeten the deal.

So now I'm heading back to DC to spend some quality time with my wonderful, generous, amazing husband -- who, let's be honest, is essentially bankrolling this whole adventure -- and to concentrate on the real reason I'm moving to New York: school. This isn't about fulfilling some teenage dream of living in the Big Apple. This is about getting a graduate degree in field I love from a prestigious university located in the performing arts capitol of the world. I'm going to give it everything I've got.

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