Tuesday, December 28, 2010

5 Years Ago Today - A significant day in my life

5 years ago today I moved to Brooklyn - December 28, 2005. It was one of the scariest decisions I ever made and it was harder on me than I can tell you. 2005 was by far the most difficult year of my life - in April my husband and I decided that our marriage was really over. (He had already moved out the year before.) In May I put my house on the market. By the end of June I was officially divorced.

For months, I had to deal with lawyers & real estate people for the selling of my house and it really took a toll on me. I was so depressed - I ate a lot, drank a lot, gained weight and if that wasn't enough - the stress was so much on me, I actually developed alopecia - losing giant clumps of hair! (My hair! One of the few things I liked about myself!) To make matters more stressful, it took me a really long time to find a place to live - I didn't even see this apartment until the week before Christmas, and I had to be out of the house by New Year's Eve. I really cut it close, but got so lucky. I love my apartment and my neighborhood.

Move day had its own challenges - I had to do the entire thing myself - from the packing to organizing to unpacking and arranging. I was out of shape and exhausted - mentally and physically. I had serious problems with the movers (including them not showing up because they mistakenly cancelled my appointment! and having to demand they send people over because I *had* to be out of my house that day). About 10 hours later, I remember collapsing on my couch when they finally left - only to hear my neighbor's 3 little girls running around and screaming. At the time, I thought "What did I get myself into?!" and wondered if I had made a terrible decision moving here.

This is a blog I put up on Myspace on January 15, 2006 with photos of how my place looked at the time. For the most part, it looks the same, except now it's painted and there have been some small furniture changes. (My notes added today are in RED)

Many of you have asked about my new place. I finally made enough progress to take pics for you. You'll see some boxes & random carts in some of the pics, that will all eventually be gone of course. Anyway, it's a railroad apartment- The place is long, but a little narrow. There is a large room at the front of the house that I use for my bedroom/computer room. Here are pics from there: The yellow dinette is at the very front of the room-

(That's my cat, Booba. She died last year. She was such a bitch! And I loved that table. I 'lent' it to an ex and he destroyed it and I never got it back. Thanks, Matthew!)

Behind the dinette, I have a bamboo room divider so people can't see in from off the street - here is the rest of the room behind the divider -

(Look! It's the Hello Kitty Cruiser! She barely had 5 miles on her at the time! And I no longer have that dresser, I gave it back to my ex-husband and bought my own, the beautiful new big one with mirror I have now)

Here is a full view of the room from the adjoining hall-

and some detail pics of the room-

(I replaced that crappy Ikea dresser with a nice Heywood Wakefield Highboy earlier this year)

The hallway has all sorts of stuff that I haven't figured out what to do with yet, and some things that need to be hung, gotten rid of or put in storage. Whatever is left will be neatly rearranged and put on the black shelves- I bought a red curtain to put up to wrap around the shelves so they are out of view, but I haven't had time to put it up yet. A major job was getting the cleaning closet from Ikea put together and set up yesterday. What a joy that was! I hadn't organized anything in so long, I forgot how much I missed it. Here it is-

Here's the full horror of the hallway-

And then that leads to another large room- I split it into the dining and living rooms. The only closets are in this room. They're floor to ceiling though! And my ceilings are about 10 feet high. Here's they are-

And right next to these closets is the dining room set up-

And in that same large room is the living room-

(this is how the couch looked before Littleton got to it. He's since torn it to shreds)

This is a view of the 2 rooms-

There is an alcove in this room, which was perfect to install the Ikea closet that I use to store my bathroom supplies. This also went up yesterday. Here it is closed -

and open

Then there's a hallway leading to the kitchen, but on the way there is the bathroom, which is super small and hard to photograph, but here it is-

(of course I have an MTA subway map shower curtain now)

And finally, the kitchen-

Ikea didn't have the door for the pantry I bought, so this is obviously still a work in progress too-

(ew, this was when I still drank soda. Not often, but still. Gross!)

So that's the place. I didn't have time to paint and I haven't hung anything yet. (I have a ton of stuff to hang) but that's the layout. I actually felt more 'normal' today than I have in weeks- I did laundry for the first time since moving out and didn't even mind the laundromat. I actually had fun. I also mopped the apartment for the first time because I have more access to the floor after doing all the cabinets yesterday. I only wish that now that things are finally settling down and I will soon have a real routine, that my Smokey was here. It's so unfair. I keep looking over at the bed wishing I would see him there curled up on my pillow like he always was. I had no time for him the last month and now he's gone. God I miss him so much.

(My beloved Smokey died on January 10th, just 12 days after moving in. I adore that cat and I still miss him so much)

(Here is a set of random apartment photos, including what it looks like now. Beautiful paint job and all)

It wasn't the smoothest path to Brooklyn, but I'm so thankful I took that huge leap, and survived it. In the 5 years I've been here so far, my life has changed in so many great ways and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now. In fact, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. And it feels great to say that. I still think moving to Brooklyn was probably the most significant life decision I've made to date. I'm so happy to be here, geographically, and where I am in my life right now. I'm proud to be a resident of NYC who resides in the county of Kings. Thank you, Brooklyn! And thank you, Greenpoint, for being so awesome!


Diana said...

I've always loved your apartment, so organized! I concur on your last paragraph, I moved here in early 2007 and it was the best thing I ever did as well. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else! Next time I see you, we'll drink a toast to the fabulousness that is Greenpoint, Brooklyn! xo

Rutila said...

How does someone destroy a table? Ugh.

Welcome to DeluxeVille said...


One of the things I noticed first when I ran across your blog a few years ago was all your FAB Hey-Wake furniture...I am also a collector and had fun drooling over your scores.

I really enjoy seeing the different design stages you have taken with your cute little apartment...(I think your house was very cute too).

One of the things I love about blogging is the ability to look back and have a visual diary of how much things have changed in my life. I document good and bad and have noticed with a little time, something I thought was the most horrible thing that could have ever happened in my life, really wasn't that bad at all. A bad event at the time (divorce and selling your house) was actually the start of an amazing journey for you.

I hope the New Year holds lots of exciting adventures for you with the opportunity to let go of some of the bad ones!

All the best,

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner, sub/dude said...

Why dost thou callest thyself BC, doll? You should call yourself the Glorious-Immortal-Queen-Besides-Our-Mum, miss gorgeous. Lookit my blog (the one you left the post on). Sorry about the 5-month-interim. I left you two, delicious posts. God bless you, doll.