There's a force I've often described, only half-jokingly, as the Tyranny of
New York. It's what keeps us stuck where we are because we fear that we if give
up an apartment, we'll never ever find another one as good or as affordable.
This week, the chains were broken: we were notified by our landlords that they're
selling the building and we have to be out by December 31st.
This apartment was a wreck when we moved in. The windowed pocket doors were
hidden with cheap sheetrock and the kitchen door was sealed shut with foam insulation
and masking tape in a vain attempt to keep the vermin confined to one room.
We (mostly E.) nursed
and cleaned and painted it back to health.
I don't know if our apartment would win the Smallest
Coolest Contest, but we'd beat all comers for the title of Warmest Happiest.
Our place once made a grown woman cry: in the midst of her own breakup-fueled
housing search, she came over for tea and burst into tears because our home
was exactly what she wanted for herself, what she'd despaired of ever finding.
We had color,
and just a sense of being
So it's a blow, and the timing's really something. E. is half a world away
at an artist's residency in Brazil, I'm in the middle of a career change, and
we were planning another trip to Asia. Now our tentative plan is to put our
things in storage, travel for three months instead of one, and find an even
better apartment in our neighborhood
when we return in the spring.
It's so easy to fall into anger and bitterness, but I don't want to go there.
Please, no legal advice or revenge tips. We'd prefer to be happy and free. Instead,
can I ask you to share your stories of great Housing Karma and hidden blessings?
We have so many of our own: the generosity of friends, the excitement of new
beginnings, the renewed certainty that it's people,
not walls and plaster, that make a home.