ajp moves to nyc… here we go!

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down is the new up…

in the general vocabulary of high-rise living, it seems almost universal that “up” is better than “down.”  there is a pervasive mystique about living high off the ground, about resting your head as far from the earth as possible, and in striving for nothing as fervently as the opportunity to gaze out your windows onto a beautiful view.  and perhaps there is something (else) wrong with me or something (else) that makes me different from the rest of mankind, but i simply do not share the rest of the world’s enthusiasm for stretching as far skyward as i can.

the fact of the matter is that i like the ground.  i like earth.  i like people and nature and streets and even a bit of noise.  and sure… i like a nice view as much as the next person, but i’d also prefer to walk up a stairway than to take an elevator.  so with that in mind, i hereby announce that i have abandoned by plans to buy unit 4B at be@schermerhorn

…in favor of unit 3B.

yup, i’m moving down… and i’m doing it on purpose.  3B was actually my preferred unit from the get-go, but another buyer snatched it from my paws just a few hours before I submitted my offer.  luckily, after a few months of hemming and hawing, those buyers backed out on their deal late last weekend, thereby placing my preferred unit gently within my reach.  and i pounced.

why do i prefer unit 3B?  let’s see if you can look at the below photos and see for yourself.  here is the view from the living room of unit 4B:

view from 4B

and here is the view from the living room of unit 3B:

view from 3B

you see that?  TREES!  the drop down just one floor puts my windows directly in line with the tops of the young birch trees that line the building’s courtyard, and i’m thrilled at the opportunity to enjoy tree-top views when i wake up every morning and every evening when i come home.

throw in the fact that this unit is a few grand cheaper than the other one i was going to buy, and it’s a decision that seems to make itself.  for me, at least…

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the man in me…

so, i promised myself that i would make no unusual or unnecessary purchases now that i’m officially entering the paying-off-credit-card-bills-and-saving-and-saving-and-saving-for-a-down-payment phase of my existence… but, well, then i met someone.

and he’s just my type:  short.  cute.  strong and silent.  and seemingly into nature…  or actually, made of nature.

meet barkman, a creation of my new friends mike and debbie schramer, amazing artists from utah who recently showed their unfathomably large, diverse and impressive collection of handmade storybook creations in a gallery show at my new condo building.  when i first laid eyes on barkman, i thought he looked like he could be a member of my family (albeit one that is 7″ tall… which is not actually that different than some people in my family).  and then, as i looked more closely, i realized that he was in fact my shorter, quieter, bark-clad twin in miniature.  and how could i not bring him home?  all i need is a long-sought bark cloak and we’d be nyc’s hottest ventriloquistic duo.

what do you think?  twins?

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elfa myselfa

so, those of you that do not live in nyc may not realize that closet space is to new yorkers as “generous lottery winnings” are to the rest of the known universe: it is the holy grail, that the thing after which we all lust and the thing of which we can never seem to get enough.  i’ve seen apartments in this town with no closets at all, and even one where the width of the closet door was roughly the width of the doorknob (i’ve never seen a door so slender… it was absurd.  there was maybe room for three shirts).

and among the many great things about my new condo are a very limited number of not-as-wonderful things, one of which is fairly limited closet space.  to put it simply, i have two of them: one in the bedroom, one in the living room/entry hall, and – because i gravitate toward a generally minimal aesthetic that doesn’t tend to include armoires and unnecessary dressers – it is here that i plan to ultimately store the vast majority of my belongings.

the closets, when delivered to me, will look like this:

once i am through with them, however, i am hoping they look more like this (minus the women’s clothing and high heels):

and they will, for one reason and one reason only: because i am planning to elfa the shit out of them.

elfa is the container store‘s proprietary closet organizing system, and the brackets and rails that make up the basis for the system come pre-installed into my apartment’s closets.  with that i mind, i journeyed to the container store twice in the last week to begin designing the closets of my dreams.

and honestly, i have to first hand it to the container store, who have reigned in an impressive ability to feel that your life would be immeasurably better if you simply shopped there more frequently, and had a more stylish laundry hamper and more organized craft drawer (hell, i don’t even have a craft drawer, but i want to have one now just so that it can be organized as nicely as possible).  these people are geniuses…

with that in mind, i met with my faithful closet consultant, lulu (her actual name), to pimp my closets to the highest degree possible.  i managed to avoid any fancy finishes (i don’t care if my closet looks like it’s made out of wood when you open the doors… it’s a closet) and aimed for maximum utility, selecting drawers, shelves and hanging rods in a relatively innovative layout that should be able to contain the vast majority of my stuff.  i whipped out my credit card…

and then i saw the prices.

(jaw drops)

ho. ly. crap. this. shit. is. ex. pen. sive.

but how can i NOT do it?  after all, did you see how amazing my life will be if i simply have perfectly organized closets?  of course i’m going to buy the components… i drank the kool-aid.  happiness awaits.

i should have my elfa components in-hand by the time i return from vacation next week, so i’ll keep you updated as i install them, begin to store my belongings and reach an inner peace heretofore unknown to modern man.

but in the meantime… i hate you, container store.  and i love you.

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sneak peek

i took a break from enjoying this weekend’s killer weather to stop by the new digs and take some measurements – and some photos.  so here is a sneak peek of my new home-to-be, in all it’s white-boxed new-construction-condo glory.  you’ll notice that it’s nothing super-fancy, and that’s actually one of the things i like about it… i’ve seen plenty of manhattan and brooklyn developments where developers tried very hard to make a statement with cutting-edge kitchen and bathroom designs, and they usually end up looking immediately-dated or just not-that-good.

this one, in contrast, is more of a blank slate… a white kitchen with white stone countertops and stainless appliances, a bathroom with good ol’ fashioned subway tile… i’m excited to make it my own when the timing/money situation is right.  but for now, here’s what it looks like at the moment.

view from the entry

kitchen, where food will live and be cooked and eaten

living room, down the hall into the bedroom

bathroom... vanity! storage!

view of the courtyard outside... looking forward to tree-top views once those birches grow up a bit

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