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All exits look the same

September 2, 2012

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:

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2012 3:00 pm

    Kent and I have often talked about what makes a place home for us. We ended up deciding that home is wherever the two of us and our kitties are. In May, that meant home was two different hotel rooms when we made our own drive half-way across the US. And right now, home is a rental apartment in the burbs of KC.

    I agree with you — the beauty of a lease is that at the end of it, you can stay or go. Your call. You’ll still be home though.

  2. eleanorio permalink
    September 2, 2012 3:59 pm

    I can’t help but think that you are now in my time zone, a mere eight-hour drive almost due south, and that I might have to find a reason to visit NYC sometime soon.

  3. September 3, 2012 8:11 am

    Only the brave deserve the fair city.

  4. September 3, 2012 9:58 am

    Where ever you go, there you are.

  5. September 4, 2012 10:15 am

    Yes, it’s hard, but there are indeed advantages. Being under one roof with your whole family is one.

  6. September 4, 2012 10:59 am

    Though it was nothing more than the surrounding trees and houses, I do miss the views from my apartments on Ridgewood Court and S. Dorchester.

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  1. Fast away the old year passes « spynotes

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