Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stash Stress

For 20 years, I lived in the coolest little apartment in the coolest nabe in the world. Okay, the coolest in NYC -- Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. When I moved in, my rent was $300/month, there was nothing on Smith St. but bodegas and social clubs. When I left 2+ years ago, Smith St. was the most amazing restaurant row in the city and my rent for a 2-bedroom place in the nexus of cool was a whopping $800. How I miss sitting at the kitchen table, looking out on the backyards, hearing the birdies chirping and watching the squirrels sneak up our ladder to the roof to do god-knows-what. Our place was tiny by most normal standards, but quite generous by those of NYC. Yesterday, I had to move the last of my crap from the basement of my old digs (yes, my ex-landlord let me stash my crap in the basement for free - they really loved me) because they are finally selling the place. (For far too much money, I think) So I gathered up my boxes and bags, hired my awesome moving guys, and said goodbye to my beloved house for the last time. It's sounds so trite, but a lot happens in 20 years. It was hard to think of never going in there again. And I know that many of you will be shocked by this revelation, but I actually had yarns and old projects stashed in that basement! Whoda thunk it? So now I have even more yarn to play with, completely dashing some impure thoughts I'd entertained about acquiring more.

Okay, a quick story about this old place: almost 3 years ago, I had acute gangrenous appendicitis. I was very ill and was home from work for a month recovering from it. At the same time, my very beloved Spunky, a 16 year old tuxedo kitty that I'd known since the day he was born, was quite ill with cancer. I knew he didn't have much time left, so I relished those days at home with him. One day, I left the apartment door open for some reason. Hours after closing it, I realized that Spunky was nowhere in the apartment, so I went searching for him. I ended up in the basement, calling his name. Immediately I heard his familiar "Raow!" and he came running out of one of the piles, muzzle covered with cobwebs, marshmallow white paws and feet almost as black as the rest of him, and absolutely joyful at the adventure! I loved the fact that he had so much fun that day, especially since he was so happy to see me and follow me back up the stairs to our home. The long and short of this is that cleaning out that basement was the end of an era for me. Memories billowed up like the dust on my crap stashed down there for way too long. But those were happy years (mostly) for me. I loved that neighborhood, but it's not mine anymore. But I will always cherish those days.


Christina said...

$800? Whoa, what I wouldn't give for a 2 bedroom apartment for that price, and in Carroll Gardens no less!

I moved into my current digs this past September and we hate it. To make it worse, we're paying WAY too much money for it. We're going to have to move again in September. I'd love to find a great apartment that I could stay at for 20 years!

Sorry about the end of an era...but a new one is beginning!

Your kitty is adorable. I'm a cat lover too!

Scarlett said...

Awww, Spunky! How I miss the stories of his exploits! I remember when you first told me about his subterranean adventure. I didn't fully understand your deep affection for him then, but now that I have my Tiger, I totally do!