I have been trying to keep the blog more regularly updated, but the move-in has kind of taken all my time for the past two weeks. Also, we don't have internet yet in the new place so that makes posting even trickier. And on that note, trying to set up internet in New York is crazy! After lots of research, Keith decided to go with Verizon Fios (kind of like cheaper Google Fiber) and a technician arrived this past Saturday morning to install it. The process required him climbing a telephone pole in the backyard, which meant getting access to the out-of-town downstairs neighbor's place and private backyard, to set up a whole new system and then install everything inside. Unfortunately, after accessing the yard with our building super's help, the technician discovered that the telephone pole in the back is actually in someone else's yard (on another street) and no one was home to let the technician in. Now we have to wait another week for someone to try again to access some stranger's yard so we can get internet. Weirdest set-up ever.
There are a lot of strange quirks like that with returning to apartment living and being in a whole new city. We're slowly figuring it all out. I am very happy to not be responsible for a mortgage or house repair or yard maintenance anymore, but we're also currently living in a brownstone that is still under construction. Remember how our "unicorn apartment" had just been completely redone and has beautiful new fixtures? Well now the same is happening to the empty apartment above us and the basement in our building, which means all week while I'm home unpacking, there are loud clangs and noises above and below (and occasional strange smells), and the water has had to be turned off for between 2 - 4 hours every few days for work. I just have to keep reminding myself that eventually it will all be over, and when it is, we'll have a washer/dryer and storage in the basement. Oy vey. This is all a very good reminder that "perfect" apartments are never really perfect.
On a more positive note, I fall more in love with Brooklyn, and our little apartment, every day. Storage in our new place is quite a challenge, but aside from that (and the ongoing construction) I love having so much less space. I love that I can see from the front to the back of our apartment while sitting in the living room. I love having so much less clutter and how easy it will be to find everything (once unpacked and organized). Keith and I both already agreed the next time we buy a place, we want to go much smaller than the 2,100 square feet we had in Austin. And now in this new space, I'm even more convinced of that. I know plenty are thinking "wait until you have a kid", but I have many friends that live in 1200 square feet and under spaces with kid(s) and it works great for them. It's all about your organization skills, which I'm already planning tips on for smaller living.
Buying again is a very long way off for us, because we are loving living in Brooklyn. Every day that I walk out our front door and am strolling through Prospect Park in less than 8 minutes or past shops and cute cafes, I become further smitten with this place. I am even starting to enjoy being able to take the subway into Manhattan in 20 minutes or to another neighborhood in Brooklyn and explore all the different places. We found a local hardware store our first week here and within the next few weeks, they'll probably know me by name from how often I swing by for nails and screws, paint, wall hooks, etc. There are also two YMCAs within 2 - 3 streets from us and we've already toured both and will be joining in the next two weeks for access to their classes, large indoor track, free weights and swimming pools.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love exploring a new place on foot. Any area that can easily be seen simply by taking a stroll out your front door, is sure to gain a special place in my heart. I don't think I'll ever love Manhattan the way I love Brooklyn already, it's a little too fast and overwhelming and noisy for my taste, but this borough and neighborhood (and street and apartment) will always have a very special place in my heart. It feels like where our grand adventure really began. To wrap up, I promised a few photos of the current state of our new apartment, so after two weeks of late hours and long days, this is where things currently stand.
We have a long way to go (the future nursery has a boxspring, random boxes and baby shower items starting to gather in it) and are still coming up with creative storage solutions, but it's already starting to feel more like home every day. I haven't started hanging much art yet, but once I do, I also want to find ways to infuse even more color in these spaces (with throw pillows, accents, etc). I'm currently spending the week in Texas with my sister, so Keith has a long task week of projects for while I'm gone. Can't wait to share more in the coming weeks!