We have not been here a week yet, we had temporary housing for 3 days and have only been in our place for 2 days. In those 5 days, I have learned a lot about city living, specifically, Brooklyn/NYC living. I could go on about the energy of the city, and the architecture, and the people, and the… you get the point. I want to point out things that I have figured out in the short time we have been here.
Moving in is not as bad as you think
Pay attention to the words I used, moving in. I did NOT say unpacking. Moving in isn’t so bad IF
- You have movers to help unload your truck/cube/etc
- You have a designated space for the truck/cube/etc
- You are on the first floor
- You don’t have a lot of furniture
- Everything you have fits through the door
We actually had all of our stuff moved in about an hour. A lot of boxes, very little furniture, and everything fit, and we are on the first floor.
Unpacking is as bad you think
We have learned that we have accumulated a lot of STUFF. Clothes and blankets mainly, but a lot of stuff. Going from a 4-2 1/2 almost 3000 sqft house to about 800 sqft, things tend to not fit. Dishes, blankets, beds, clothes, clothes, did I mention clothes? The bathroom we had was a double vanity with a lot of counter space, Now there is no counter. Our kitchen was a wrap around kitchen with a double sink and lots of counter space, now we have MUCH less. It makes you value the things you really use and need.
Walking around the neighborhood is awesome
Ok, it is awesome for now. We sold our cars and we walk around the city, pick up stuff, and rain/snow/sun you are in it. You need to prepare when you go out. Layers are key. Good shoes are important too. I love the area, all the dogs around us, and a short distance to the promenade. Plus, I have lost weight in just the past week from walking 15k steps a day.
Everyone should live in a city once
It is not because cities are the best places to live, it is because it teaches you something new. How to navigate a new area without a car, how to get groceries, how to get dog food, how to walk your dog, how to take out your garbage. The garbage process is quite a thing here. We are lucky enough to have a guy help us. He and his family are truly amazing. I understand the phrase if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. I believe that. City living is NOT easy, but life is meant to be LIVED, not slept through.
Location, location, location
Pick a place that has the necessities YOU need. A short commute to work, a close by grocery (or Amazon Fresh), a good restaurant that is special to you… etc… I love my life right now, it is a mess, overwhelming, and just a plethora of puzzles to be solved, but location is not one of them.
Cities are more efficient than rural america
That is not necessarily by choice, but out of necessity. If you have 1000 people in your town, you can chat with them, say hi, and see what is going on with them. If you have 3 million people, you need to get them through whatever process they are doing (grocery shopping, ordering food, picking up packages, ordering coffee) as fast as possible. There is definitely a certain charm of smaller towns where Gracie runs the local grocery, and Mike works the post office… and you know Gracie and Mike and have even had dinner with them. I have lived around a level in between the Gracie area and the NYC area. I am definitely appreciating the city life right now, we’ll see how long it lasts.
Apparently my southern residency has affected me a little, I was told I have an accent and slight southern drawl. Yes, that happened, at the vet. WHAT? I do like to make eye contact with people and I do like to say hi, not a common occurrence up here in NYC. I did find an amazing sushi place (so good we ate there twice already). I have had 2 pizzas, neither amazing yet. I’ll let you know when I hit something amazing though. Oh, and cities have SO many options for food. That could be its own post.
Overall, this has been such an energizing experience for me. Susie has been through this a few times, and I definitely thinks she enjoys watching me go through it. I am very grateful for this experience and I can’t speak enough of how exciting it is to be a writer in Brooklyn. I’ll be technical architect next week, but this week I’m a writer. Happy New Year.
Also published on Medium.