We’ve been back from Europe for 6 months. We moved back to NYC in August and hit the ground running. Keogh started a new school, Wren started with the first of what has turned into 3 babysitters (it isn’t her they tell me). And Jib and I started commuting back to Princeton during the week. We hit the road 1 – 2 days per week, depending on the schedule. And I am traveling for business approximately every other month. All in all a workable schedule.
And everything, always, without fail, looks good on paper. Leaving Europe was so bitter sweet that it actually hurt. Half of me wanted to keep our simple life with our tiny apartment, the daily trips to the grocery, the biking everywhere, the kind friends and the beer! And the other half was thrilled to get back to NYC and our families. I’m not sure this feeling will ever change. If only the planet were a little bit smaller. So it has been a transition. To put it nicely it has been a process. To put it bluntly moving sucks. Even when you are moving back to a place you love and to a neighborhood you know very well. There is a canyon of difference between knowing your neighborhood and knowing your neighbors. Apparently, after living in apartments for more than 20 years, our number came up and we now live above very difficult people. And never ever allow a hurricane to strike in the middle of all this. I didn’t know about disallowing hurricanes so in October when one hit I was really pushed over the edge.
Hurricane Sandy destroyed our neighborhood. Here is what we have right now. Very few residential buildings have come back on line. Even fewer restaurants or shops have been able to reopen. Pretty much everything within 2 blocks is gone. We pay thousands of dollars in rent every month for the privilege of living among, well, living among very little. Our tiny building was reopened two weeks after the storm after much scrambling and quick renovating. This only worked because we have no elevator and no basement. Unfortunately our warm oasis draws the mice like flies. And speaking of mice we have downstairs neighbors who bang on the ceiling, apparently to tell us to shut the hell up, even when the only noise happening is from the mice running around. Seriously they recently “sent us a message” when we are all in bed and one of the kids on the floor above us happened to be having a melt down. I’ve even been “sent a message” when I was ironing one night after 10 PM. Yes, our neighbors have the hearing of aliens without the human radar.
All of this will be worked out in time, we know. In the mean time we have decided to commit to a new-to-our-family tradition. We will begin celebrating a Friday night family and friend gathering effective immediately. We plan to have an electronic/screen-no-go zone in our apartment, meaning no screens of any kind from 5 PM until Saturday morning. We also plan to invite at least one loud and heavy-footed guest per week. In addition we will just go ahead and leave a cheese stick right out in the open for the mice. A bit of an apology for the ever expanding surface areas covered in sticky boards.
All this to say we plan to create more time, more moments, more laughs and more meals with all the folks we love. Friday here we come!