on the move
I’m in. And despite having, after two weeks of vagrancy, returned to a spot less than two blocks from where I lived before, it still feels like a different world. I’m reminded of E. B. White’s This is New York, in which he tells the story of a woman who moves five blocks uptown, heads to the butcher shop she’s been frequenting for years, and finds the butcher crying tears of grateful joy: “You’ve come back!” he exclaims.
New York is an odd city like that, a place where, in any given few square blocks, you can find everything you need. Several hundred yards from my old apartment, and I’ve already shopped at a hardware store, a dry cleaners, a drug store and a supermarket other than the ones I primarily used over the last two years. —
Another thing about the new apartment: it has doormen. Which, in the minds of most New Yorkers, is a big plus. I can have packages delivered, screen visitors with a live person rather than an intercom, and generally look swank. But, at some level, contrary to the apparent nature of this site, I’m an intensely private person. Which makes me vaguely distrust the whole idea of doormen; I don’t like someone knowing when I come and go, and with whom. —
Deja vu: Although the bedroom is a different shape, and the closets are slightly repositioned, the apartment is otherwise nearly identical to the first I lived in when I came to New York. —
With the same layout, my old furniture, bought for that first apartment, would have been a perfect fit. Sadly, over two years of intensive roommate use, little of it was in good enough condition to justify carting in. So, once again, it’s back to furniture shopping. And to frequent Bed, Bath & Beyond trips, where they still don’t like people riding in carts on the shopping cart escalator. Apparently, the apartment has come full circle, and so have I.