They’re Closing In

When I first moved into my present apartment 16 years ago, everything about it delighted me.  I’d lived in a studio apt for 32 years – a pretty little thing but no direct sunlight. The offices on my job at all 3 locations got no direct sun at all.  I was quietly starving for sun, but didn’t realize it.

My new apartment, purchased in 2002, is a junior 4 (almost 2 bedrooms) that faces south and east. Oh heavens—Sunlight!  I’d forgotten all about it! Now it poured into my bedroom in the autumn morning and the rest of the apartment during the day.

I didn’t mind at all … it was exciting, and I’m a strong sleeper.  But I would get sad as it moved out of the room … I’d forgotten that’s what happens with sunlight.  It moves!

No problem. I’d head for the living room and den, where the sun was shining strongly. I wrote poem after poem about sunlight … how it looked on the rug, in the cat’s eyes… and took photo after photo: sun at this angle on my window sill, sun cutting diamond shapes on the carpet with half the cat sitting in it, and so on.

Ah, but this is New York City.  Not only does it never sleep, it never stops tearing down and building up.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised when a huge Marriott hotel and residence took away my nice view of rooftops to the southeast and the sunlight that formerly had a smooth course across my kitchen and den was now bro-ken.  Hold your breath for 20 minutes — it’s behind the hotel!

Still, I was happy with the decent amount of sun I had left.  And best of all there’s this odd space between some buildings to the southwest through which a really strong breeze funnels — so in the spring and summer as I sit at my computer writing away, this wonderful breeze fools with my hair and blows papers onto the floor! I love it!

But guess what?  Now I’ve seen tall scaffolding rising up in that very odd space!  It’s only a matter of months until I won’t see the little view of occasional fireworks from Central Park through that space, and the breeze?  It’s days are numbered, I fear.

Meanwhile, I’m starting to incubate an idea about moving north.  There’s a senior residence in Upper Manhattan with a park across the street and no tall buildings anywhere in sight.  Of course I’d be giving up freedoms that matter to me, so I have to wait until the motivation is really strong — until I really can’t walk (two problems intersect in my feet that make walking painful and slow), or until there’s no more sunlight at all.

My sister once said she’d heard not to buy a house (or an apartment) for the view, because (duh) it will change.  I can now add to that: don’t buy one for the sunlight or the oddly-angled breeze, either.

 

 

4 thoughts on “They’re Closing In

  1. Some things I learned after buying my first (and so far only!) house: Do NOT buy a house at the bottom of the hill in a subdivision; every bit of trash thrown out of car windows and every stray leaf blows down to those yards! Don’t buy a house too close to a creek AND at the bottom of a hill; it’s prone to flooding. And for gods’ sakes, DON’T buy a house within a few miles of a popular biker bar; you’ll never get a moment’s peace during the warm months.

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    1. Also I’d completely forgotten – there was a biker bar one block up from here that was pretty awful, though they tried. Eventually it relocated. So now, all we have is all summer long, biker gangs that bike up First Avenue on their way somewhere north, at 2 AM, at full volume. I do not understand – never will – why there simply isn’t a law that no motorbikes are allowed to be ridden in the city after 10 PM. That’s the noise restriction time for other things, like playing the piano!!

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  2. Of course, you could consider something really radical, like living abroad. We searched the ten best places to retire international. the one we liked best is Portugal. Now we are trying a 2 month stay. Sunny California weather and lower costs than anywhere in US, plus friendly people. Good luck on your search for the sun.

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