We are moved! Officially!
This is hopefully our final move for a few years to come. We moved "dahn tahn" just a bit, and are perfectly situated in West Villiage. I honestly can't gush enough about how much of a game changer it's been to finally live in one of "The Villages" (and to be west of 7th Avenue to boot)! Though we absolutely love our new spot, our apartment in Chelsea was pretty special. It was definitely the nicest apartment Brian and I have both ever lived in: space-wise, detail-wise, view-wise, but there are just some things over the course of the year that we realized we didn't need or really did need for our home space. A few things that totally make sense, and a few others that only make sense after you live through it
What we realized:
SPACE... We don't need it! The Chelsea apt was perfect for us for moving back to NYC after being in LA. It had 4 closets, and normal sized kitchen/bathroom, great sized bedroom and living room. Which gave us the space we needed (at the time) to fit back into the compact lifestyle that is New York City. However, we realized just having more space left room for more "stuff" and more area to clean (which we kept up with for the most part). Our old apt was approx 600 sqft and though to some that sounds ridiculously small to most, our new apartment is 300 sqft. We literally cut the space in half, and were able to fit most of our furniture and items into the new space (shockingly)... we just got rid of the "stuff" that cluttered up our life. Once we learned we were downsizing from 4 closets to 2 I told Brian that we had to be able to live off of two closets in the old place before we got to the new. That strategy I think majorly set us up for success (also thanks, Dad, for helping move the special "stuff" back to PA).
Amazing Views... Great to have, but a tad overrated. Yes, the views were truly amazing in the Chelsea place. We had a corner unit, with practically wall-to-wall windows in the bedroom. We fell asleep every night to the glow of the city and Empire State building as our night light. That view will forever be ingrained in my head, but with the corner unit, big bedroom windows comes sun, a lot of sun, and a lot of heat. Didn't really think that through at the time, but when you're hung over and all you want to do is sleep, a hot sunny room is the last thing you need. Maybe eventually we'll have those views again (and the central air to keep it cool), but for now we have our perfect little windows, on our perfect tree lined street, and the change of scenery/greenery is quite lovely.
Location... So important. Convenience is still a top priority for us and both places are just that. The new spot is located close to both the ACE and 123 lines, just below 14th Street, and our old place was prime on 8th avenue. Something we didn't consider the 1st time around, but did this move was the block. I always joke with friends but our block in Chelsea was probably THE sketchiest. We had 3 sex shops within the block, a dodgy bodega that we shared a corner with, a very suspect drug dealer who lived a few buildings down... all these things added up. It brought up all kinds of things we never thought about before - sketchy people hanging out around our apt entrance, dirt and trash always around, and did I already mention the sketchy people?? Honestly, any other block of Chelsea was night and day different than ours - which is hard to imagine, but I kid you not.
Location... SOOOOOOO Important. We thought being on an avenue would be great, but it actually was very noisy. We had a Gristedes right next door and that was convenient but I never realized how many deliveries a grocery stores gets, and how early. We were always woken up by the backing up beeping of a delivery truck, or by honking horns from traffic and 8th Avenue being a pretty major throughway for the city, definitely made the block hectic with traffic. We actually had a car crash into our building this Spring from a T-bone incident. It crashed into the sketchy bodega... again, the corner that our bedroom shared... and though the accident took all night to clean up, the bodega was open with the usual suspect characters still lingering the next morning.
Location... SO IMPORTANT! I'll sacrifice space for location any day of the week. We now live on a quite block, with no store fronts below us, and close to avenues but not living on one. We go for walks at night and feel good when we leave our apartment and don't dread about what might be around the corner.
Apartment Insurance... It's not silly, and absolutely necessary. Last November a few days before Thanksgiving, we were hosting my parents for the holiday. As Brian and I were hopping into bed, we glanced out our bedroom window and noticed a cloud of smoke that came crashing over our building - almost like a a wave onto sand. We opened the window only to see flames shimmying on our roof. It was a fire... A FIRE... on our roof! Who has fires in New York?! I know a lot of people actually do, but I never thought it'd happen to me. Boy, is it scary. Lots of stuff was running through our heads in those first moments, but first thing we did was run to tell our neighbors, and as we were, a police officer came up to our floor and Yelled for everyone to evacuate. Brian and I went into panic mode, ran back into the apartment and grabbed everything "important" and zoomed down the 6 flights of stairs so fast, thinking back to it, I imagine myself just floating down the stairwell. After watching from across the street for what seemed like an hour (really 20 minutes), and crying that "all our stuff" that we worked so hard for was going to be just a pile of ash soon, the fire was contained. We weren't allowed back into the apartment because the NYFD had to go through protocol for securing the apt, so we went to our diner around the corner at 11:00 at night, got some hot chocolate and discussed what we were truly Thankful for... and the next day Brian got us apartment insurance.
I could probably keep going about the needs vs. wants vs. don't wants, but I think the above are 3 big hitters in our decision to move and where we moved to. Whats funny, now that I think about it, the Chelsea apartment was not only special because it was our first apartment back in NYC, but it was our first apartment that Brian and I found together... 3 1/2 years later. Here are a few pictures of the apartment that I wanted to capture and remember.
Though moving has taken up a chunk of our time, I do still have pictures to edit and work through. Brian and I have a couple in the city we have become close with - Brittany and Ian who got engaged recently and they were so kind and asked me to take a few engagement photos of them (!!!). I've never done real engagement pictures so I was really nervous, but the experience was totally good to have. I have SO MUCH to learn, but it was really fun doing it for the first time. I'm definitely not comfortable photographing people... but thats something I'm focusing with photos to come.
Speaking of engagement pictures - my amazingly talented girlfriend Nicole, who is shooting our wedding, crashed with us in the city a few weeks ago and did a mini - at home photo session of Brian and I. She is truly, incredibly and unbelievably talented. For some of the pictures she took of us - you can find them here. Enjoy.
Well my tummy is full of Chinese take out and and the bed is calling my name.
Until next time.