So this is happening again. Or rather, at this point, it has mostly already happened. We have moved from the second floor of our building to the fourth floor—perhaps the easiest move we will ever make, but still our fifth move in 10 years, which is exhausting when you own this many books.
We were snug as a bug in our place and ready to sign another two-year lease when our landlord decided that she wanted to try and sell our apartment. She wasn’t sure she would sell, but she wanted to “test the market” and see if she could get a worthwhile price. Meanwhile, our friends Loes and Eli up on the fourth floor were planning a move to her home country of Holland, and they pitched us the idea of renting their apartment, which Eli’s parents own. Remember our “vacation” to the roof last year? That’s Loes and Eli’s place. Long story short, Eli’s parents kindly worked with us on a price we could afford, and now I can see the Empire State Building from my desk. I’m looking at it right now.
I’ve always said I am a lucky person. I feel lucky every day I’m in New York City. It isn’t just the big New York things, like access to museums or great food, it is the little things, like the man who held out his open bag of Lays, his eyebrows raised in offering, as I passed him on the street, or the patchwork of hopscotch squares that cover the sidewalks on a nice day. I didn’t accept a chip, but I still felt lucky. And now this. To have more space and a deck where we can watch ships move through the harbor every day and the skyline light up every night … it is so much.
Moving has a way of stirring up feelings, of making you weigh what matters and question all your routines. In the weeks leading up to this move, I found it wasn’t the roof deck I was anticipating the most, it was the fact that in our new place, I wouldn’t have to put my bed in the corner anymore. I wouldn’t have to climb out the end of the bed every night if I got up to pee, and I wouldn’t have to tug the bed away from the wall and climb behind it every morning to straighten the sheets, which I have done every. single. morning. for three years. Our new bedroom is actually smaller, but because we weren’t going to put my desk in the same room (another bonus), we would have room to place the bed in a different spot. More and more I realize it isn’t the big things—the vacations and holidays of life, or even the roof decks—that matter when it comes to being happy. They help, but they aren’t it. Now that we’ve been here almost a week, the bedroom is our favorite room, in part because it is the most “done” and in part because we are loving the bed and night stands we inherited from Loes and Eli and the bold, green paint we added. And every time I make the bed, I feel lucky.