After nearly 15 years as Manhattanites, my boyfriend and I are taking our 14 month old son, 2 cats, and all of our possessions to Brooklyn. Through a friend we have rented a floor-through apartment on the top floor of an old Victorian in Greenpoint. The apartment is a bit run down, but that's just how I like them. If it were too pristine I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I'm getting ready to start painting, and then, if all goes well, we should be sleeping there by the end of next week.
After spending the last year and a half squished into my old 380 sq ft, 5th-floor walk-up I am overjoyed at the thought of 1000+/- glorious square-feet, but still it gives me pause. This is a huge change and I'm actually giving up my apartment to make it. My apartment is not exactly beloved, but it is the dependable, steady friend that I can always count on to be there. I found it, 9 years ago, after a break-up when I desperately needed a place. It has its problems (shower in the kitchen, floors so beat-up that I have used duct-tape to close the gaps) but it has a spacious living room, flooded with light, and in Manhattan where space and light barely exist for under $3000/month I've always been grateful. It is also where we brought our son, his first home. Right now I see all of the problems with the place, but I know years into our future it will always hold a rosy glow of perfection in my memory, forever seen through the lens of happiness that our baby has brought us. Even if he has to walk in a 10 foot circle this apartment is where he took his first steps, staggering from his father to me, just a few steps at first, and then, so suddenly, from room to room, as if he had always known how.
I know that holding on to this place would be ridiculously sentimental, but part of me is terrified. Will this new place be a home, when I am in need will it be there, patiently waiting for me, welcoming me, promising that in this city, where sometimes you get your ass-kicked so hard just trying to make it, I will always have shelter?