This feels like something I should have written 5 months ago when I made the move from NYC to LA. But tonight, it’s hitting me a bit harder than it did before mainly because this time around when I leave NYC, I’m leaving a bit more than just family and friends. I’m leaving a place. A place that has been my apartment for the last 6 years.
This apartment holds lots of sentimental value for me because it serves as a sort of mile-marker for me. When I first moved in here back in Christmas of 2006, I had just started my sophomore year at Parsons and not too long after moving in I found out that I would be spending a year abroad in Melbourne, Australia. That next summer before leaving for another country, the apartment was home-base for me and a lot of my friends. We would all hang out there, do stupid stuff on the roof, play games, and just chill. It was a time when work was a bit less important and when friends seemed all that mattered in the world. It was pretty great!
And then I left for a year to live in Australia. But the memories made here carried me through that year abroad. The apartment was where I grew closest to the people I still hold dear to me to this very day. It’s where love blossomed between me and an ex-girlfriend of mine and also where it would later fall apart after I got back from Australia. It was the location of lots of late nights, early mornings, and more importantly lots of love.
And when I finally did make it back to my apartment after living in Australia for a year (Summer 2008), the apartment served another purpose — it finally became my home. I finally had the time to furnish it with my stuff. And boy did I do that (with help from my brothers of course)! The 3 of us (Simon, Norman, and I) were notorious for collecting and having some of the weirdest stuff ever. Games, trinkets, gadgets both useful and not, and bike accessories that could fill a small bike shop. We had a sort of organized chaos going on in the apartment and this always seemed much more interesting to me as a living space than some of my friends’ places which looked like they were plucked straight out of a Dwell catalog (BORING!). We never had much artwork or photos hanging in our place and yet the apartment never seemed bare. There was always something to play with at my apartment and I loved that.
But more importantly, the apartment contributed greatly to my love for NYC. I was blessed to have such a place right in the heart of Chelsea/Midtown and over the years I began to realize that living in this apartment helped shape me into the curious and adventure-seeking person I am today. I am the cumulative summary of my past experiences and many of those were had not far from 28th Street. It was as I said before, home-base. The HQ. The bathroom stop in the heart of the city. The 2nd home for friends. The zoo.
Which leads me to another point. Just as moving into the apartment stood for the start of many exciting things in my life, so too does moving out seem like a natural way to end the story for some other parts… Oreo and Dusty, you are still dearly missed!
It’s hard to sum up just how much living at this apartment means to me and how sad I am to see it gone forever after tomorrow. It’s already weird seeing the apartment nearly empty. It brings back memories of when we first moved in. Except now the wood floors are darkened, weathered, and dull, the walls may have turned a slight off-white color. To me, these are good things. It means we’ve all lived our fullest here. We broke this place in and made it our own and even though it’s now our time to go, maybe we can rest knowingthat we lived a life here that can’t easily be forgotten.
It will certainly be weird to come back to NYC in the future and not have a home on 28th Street. I hope this isn’t God’s way of telling me that he wants me to stay in California.
But back to the original point…
The photo above is of me and my brother Simon. I really miss living with my brother. We get into our little fights here and there, but at the end of the day you just can’t go wrong with having your brother as your roommate. He and I have lived in this place the longest and I thought it would be fitting to remember our times here with a photo of us standing in this space. Maybe one day I’ll have the chance to take another photo with him in another space we share. We’ll see…
So long, home! We won’t be meeting again.