Thursday, July 27, 2006

A bit about home

I live in New York City, and I love it here! I considered this my home long (long) before I moved here -- since about my second year in high school. This summer, New York and I had our 8 year anniversary. As ever I find it engaging, enthralling, truly unparalleled. Each time I open the Village Voice or New Yorker or the New York Times Arts section, I wish I could clone myself because with only one body and mind, it is not possible to see, do, hear, taste, and fully imbibe the cultural and intellectual wonders and happenings in the splendid City!

New York is not for everybody -- just this past weekend while visiting, my sister (who lives in Chicago-area, the vacinity in which we were born) said, "I really enjoy visiting, but I could never live here!" I've heard this over and over again from many people. New York is indeed a demanding, exhausting, and (sometimes) unforgiving place -- especially on a hot summer day on a crowded subway car with no A/C.

And yet I've found the secret to living in New York City: having a home that is a sanctuary, a peaceful place to escape all the smog, smell, noise, and trouble of the city. Unfortunately, due to the high rents and property values, many people live in tiny, cluttered, dark places with limited privacy (which is why few people here entertain at home and why the streets are busy at all hours -- most people only want to go home to have their head hit the pillow). Fortunately (for those of us with comfortable homes), everyone delivers everything and anything, so if inclined, one need not leave one's abode for days (or weeks) at a time. In my old neighborhood on the Upper East side, I used to order for delivery a toasted bagel and cup of coffee from the deli down the street at any hour -- and it would arrive promptly, even if I was ordering at 3am!

Currently, I live in a Harlem brownstone -- on the southern edge of Harlem, at Central Park North, at the base of the killer hill. (No, not that kind of killer! Killer because the hill is very steep!)

Here's my sanctuary:

And on Friday I will pack my clothes and knick-knacks (not my books, thankfully!), on Saturday movers will put these things into storage and on Sunday the sublettors take possession. Gulp.


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