Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home... as long as home happens to be in Nolita.
So. When I left you, things were looking up. We were walking on the sunny side of the street. The bedbugs were gone. The wedding gown was fitted. The apartment was cleaner than the surface of the sun. All was calm on the western front. Or so it seemed.
Turns out, there was a problem. Can you guess?
Yes, it is couch related. Or lack-of-couch related to be more accurate. Yes, we’d thrown out the love seat. But you see, we’d won the battle, not the war. There was now the issue of where to sit.
I thought sitting on the love seat was bad. Not sitting at all is worse.
Luckily for me, I happen to work with my dear friend, Roxy of Society Social and I had no shortage of sofas to choose from. Unluckily for me, my doorframe and hallway was still 24 inches wide.
And because Roxy is a self-respecting furniture designer, unlike the evil overlords at IKEA, she does not design foldable love seats, designed to torment your lumbar spine. Meaning, to purchase one of Roxy’s sofas for our current apartment would surely mean it would undergo horrific surgery to fit through the door/hallway. And for what? so that it could be the bright spot in a place haunted by the memory of the Packtite unit? Roxy and I both wanted more for her sofa. It deserved better.
She designs beautiful made-in-america sofas, each with sweet, southern sorority girl names, a myriad of gorgeous fabrics stretched over their classically designed frames, and lush down inserts. To bring such a timeless piece into our hovel seemed wrong. A new couch deserves a new apartment. Right?!
So, much like the old tale of the covetous mouse and that ever so alluring cookie… once I had ordered Roxy’s adorable Charlotte… you guessed it, I needed MORE.
Our lease was due to run out at the end of June. An issue we could easily address upon returning from our honeymoon in late May. But…
What was the harm in just looking around on Street Easy? Perhaps just popping into a few open houses? Nothing serious, just getting a feel for the market now before the wedding…
You can guess how this story ends.
You see, I was beginning to develop a taste for pandemonium. Even though I knew with complete clarity that the apartment search could and should wait, my impossible last few weeks had me all jazzed up to keep looking for trouble.
So, even though, to this day I claim I was just “getting a feel for the market” two months early, somehow things escalated quickly. Very quickly. Couch-murder level of quickly.
After just one night of Street Easy-ing I landed on a charming little one bedroom on the corner of Spring and Mulberry Streets in Nolita.
Did you hear me? Spring. And. Mulberry. I mean… how cute is that? This was exactly where I wanted to move.
Everyone who has any tie to New York City has their favorite thing. Maybe it’s the bodegas selling hydrangeas and sunflowers seemingly on every corner, or maybe it’s Central Park in the snow.
My favorite thing is Nolita. In case you don’t know, Nolita is this tiny little pocket of wholesome, charming tree-lined streets dotted with instagram-able cafes and designer boutiques tucked improbably between the teaming over-population of Soho, the bizarreness of Chinatown and the bums sleeping all over the Bowery.
I can’t really explain why I love this little micro-neighborhood so much. Maybe because it’s the first sign of girl-friendly civilization as you head west from our first neighborhood in manhattan, the East Village - a place I never felt quite like I fit in without any tattoos.
So when Street Easy offered up an apartment within our budget and the confines of Nolita proper, I had to find out more.
Granted, there were a few important things that weren’t ideal, like the fact that it required us to move in a mere 15 days later meaning we'd need to break our current lease, and that it looked like there might not be a refrigerator. But, Street Easy starts to give you a nervous, panicky need to move forward and before I knew what I was doing, I’d contacted the broker for a 12 noon meeting the next day.
And wouldn’t you know it, the apartment was perfect. And yes, there actually was a refrigerator. Although, when I realized how close our potential new apartment would be to my art studio, I would have quite possibly signed the lease without a refrigerator OR a kitchen sink.
I got home that afternoon bursting with enthusiasm about the new place and urged my fiancé to visit it too. He is captain of reigning me in, of teaching me the art of patience, and yet, even he was not impervious to this apartment's charms. The two of us became equally addicted to needing to move into it ASAP.
I now relish the memory of us sharing a mutual fascination-bordering-on-obsession. This rarely happens. Like I said, he does not get easily consumed by needing things, which is usually the perfect foil to my need-it-now tendencies. It was so conspiratorial for once for us to be united by a common desire for this new apartment. We fueled each others’ paranoia. What if it was awarded to someone else!? How could we go on?
We could practically taste the new couch, sunning itself in the cheery light pouring in through those west facing windows with the deep marble sills. We were like twin golums, muttering ravenously as we projected everything we wanted post-marriage onto this future home, cowering in the dark of our pre-marriage apartment, perched on chairs for lack of a couch.
There is something so golum-like about perching on a chair when you're in your own home watching a movie. It just feels weird. Whenever I look back on this time, I think I'll see us as golum and golumette, perching gargoyles on our respective chairs, awaiting the mecca that lay on Mulberry Street. We had to have the precious!!!
By the end of the week we could barely eat we were so busy refreshing our email inboxes awaiting confirmation that we had or hadn’t been awarded the lease. The moment that email finally came in, telling us all our dreams had come true was electric with joy. We were moving to Nolita! We were getting OUT!
And so there we were, planning to move, marry and honeymoon all within a 3 week window. Crazy, but do-able, we justified to everyone who looked at us sideways when we told them our plans. Certainly other people did far more exhausting things in far smaller windows of time.
Our minds were made up, we would begin our life as man and wife on Mulberry Street.
With a couch.