Today is moving day! Today David and I will carry all of my worldly possessions down four flights of stairs, load everything into a U-Haul and drive it to Manhattan, where we will unload it all into my first-ever studio apartment. I have never lived alone in my life—if you don't count two years in college, where I technically had my own room but still shared a bathroom—and to say I'm excited is a huge understatement.
I'm trading two roommates for just one—a particularly loud, 8-year-old, grey cat who still won't help me with the rent despite the fact that she never leaves the apartment. This will be my fourth move in four years of living in New York but I've signed a two-year lease so I won't be apartment- or roommate-searching again for some time. Uncertainty in my housing situation is one of the things I like least about living in New York—I didn't move out of my childhood home until I was 24, and I'm a nester by nature. My idea of "playing Barbies" when I was younger was to set up elaborate homes for the dolls and then break them down and start all over. We had a tiny plastic toilet that really flushed and I was never happier than when I was tinkering with my miniature interiors.
I'm moving back into the Harlem brownstone where I lived two years ago, when I was roommates with my mom. She still lives in that apartment (with a roommate) and she'll be able to visit Mozart when I'm away, and I can help her carry heavy things up the stairs. As long as we can avoid the slow slide into our inevitable Grey Gardens future, I think we'll both benefit from being neighbors.
I will miss many things about living in Brooklyn, which has been my home and so much more to me during the past two years. David and I fell in love in Brooklyn and he lives there, so I'll still be there all the time, but every place I've lived in New York leaves its mark. I ran my first continuous mile along Prospect Park West; I started eating falafel and guacamole; I had four different roommates and still count them all as friends; David introduced me to his regular bar and I became obsessed with their mac n' cheese; I walked home from dinners, bars and Celebrate Brooklyn; and Jim and I sat through countless nerdy Brooklyn Brainery lectures and rewarded ourselves afterwards with scoops from Ample Hills.
In hindsight, I was hardly in my actual neighborhood much, but I will miss being in such close proximity to fresh mozz pizza slices from Anthony's and Danish pancakes from Tom's. But I'm also excited to discover places in Harlem and upper Manhattan—both the new and the old.
I'm looking forward to the fresh start, and although physically moving is a total pain, I am very excited to unpack and set up my new space. I've never been one of those New Yorkers that balks at traveling too far outside of my own neighborhood, so moving won't have much effect on my city adventures, but I don't think it's dramatic to think that coming home to a space of my own will be nothing short of life-changing.