All exits look the same
I am sitting in the window of our new apartment, sipping my morning coffee, staring at the New York skyline, and watching birds fly in and out of the trees on the opposite side of the street. It’s a lovely city view, but I am also missing terribly waking up to a view of the barn and the horses and the sound of the stream at the bottom of the garden. There is some continuity though — the cicadas here are chirping just as loud as they do at home.
I can see the new tower going up near Ground Zero and am thinking about how 11 years ago, this view would have been horrifying. 11 years ago was when we decided to leave the city of Chicago for a more bucolic environment. That was a shock too. It was beautiful where we were, but there was nothing there — no culture, no food, nothing that we were used to. Or at least, we didn’t know where to find it. After 11 years, we learned to like different things, we found places that made us happy, but we still didn’t feel totally at home. And here we are, back in the city and finding the change isn’t any easier than it was the last time.
If anything, it’s harder. It’s harder to downsize. Our apartment, despite all its windows and light, feels small and shabby and dirty. It feels like a step down from our previous life. New York is not an easy city to live in and it may be that after a year, we decide we are done with city life. But the nice thing about a lease is that it guarantees a year to get used to it, to see what you really think. Maybe this will be a temporary adventure. Maybe not.
Still, there are definitely some advantages.
“I like watching all the people go by,” says AJ, sitting in the wide windowsill, staring down at the street several stories below.
“I like that too.”
And then there is this: