Friday, June 13, 2008

New 'Kid' on the Block

It was 10 years ago today that I made my big move to the (212). I had just turned 31 and was recovering from the recent breakup of serious five-year romance that ended poorly. One of the issues in our relationship was that I wanted to try life in New York and he didn't. With him out of the picture, it seemed like the perfect moment to move forward. (The similarities between that period of my life and the pilot of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" are eerie.) So on June 13, 1998, a moving van arrived at my apartment on 18th Street N.W. in Dupont Circle and loaded up all my worldly possessions to deliver them to my new apartment on West 18th Street in Chelsea. Moments later, my brother and his then-girlfriend (now wife) picked up Troy (who was on a kitty Xanax) and me (who was on a human Xanax) and a few hours later I became a New Yorker. I wish I had some hilarious horror stories about how long it took me to adapt to my new life, but by the following weekend when my friends Chad and Jean (below) came for a check-up visit I felt like I'd lived here my whole life. (I tell you I've known it since I was a young boy that I was born to live here.) A decade later I've now called New York home (nearly) as long as I've called anywhere else (12 years in Detroit, 11 years in Arizona, 3 in L.A., and 5 in D.C.). Still, being involved with a true native New Yorker I know I'll never really be one myself. But as foreigners are allowed to eventually become U.S. citizens, perhaps I should be at least considered a "naturalized New Yorker." And truth be told if being a native means I'm required to pronounce "Carrie" and "Kerry" as two entirely different words then I don't want a new birth certificate anyway. But I wouldn't turn my nose up at a "permanent resident" sticker on my passport.

My first New York apartment with its requisite futon sofa (and my requisite highlights)


Anonymous said...

It's a very cool thing to realize that you've found your home, isn't? I lived in Princeton for seven years, but because I was just there for grad school, it never felt like home.

Then I moved back to Minneapolis, and for a couple years that didn't feel like home either. All of my college friends were gone, I was single, and I had to find a non-academic job. Fortunately, I found Darren soon after that, and that was the start of making the Twin Cities my real home.

Thanks for sharing the story, Kenneth. I'm happy that you're just where you should be.

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful post.

I just sent to my best friend who moved from LA to NYC. He's 28 and I'm sure he can relate.

He is here in LA for the weekend and it has been great to see his whole transformation, including a new wardrobe. He's hipper than hip!

501bob said...

I lived in NYC for most of my life, moved there in 1965. I truly miss those days, my first apartment was near the 59th Street Bridge, my rent was $119 a month. I must have moved around 8 or 9 times, back then rent was truly affordable. As an older Gay man, I no longer can afford it (I miss the city so much).
I now live in upstate NY, in the country. Your photo on the steps made me both happy and sad; enjoy your life in the city.
Your site is one I read every morning (thank God for the Internet), I also love all the photos of hot guys. Thanks for sharing part of your life experience.

Unknown said...

I remember in the early 70s getting to choose between two apartments in the building that I still live in(I choose the one with the most sunlight) , the same apartment(I lived here on & off through the years but kept the apartment which I eventually bought for pennies)..I was so HAPPY to have my own place with mustard SHAG rug(the previous occupant left the RAKE for the carpet)...I slept on the floor till I could afford my first piece of furniture..the mattress...those days were the most memorable & also the great piers on the Hudson..I live on Christopher Street..what amazing could feel the "ghosts" of days long gone and the closed westside highway, which was so beautiful to take walks on a summer nite...days long ago..things will never be the same :-(


Frank Anthony Polito said...

Happy Anniversary, KW!

I can NOT believe you are 31 y/o in those pictures... You don't look a day over 31 NOW!!

Anonymous said...

I once met a guy with a real southern twang. I ask him where he was from. He said, he was a New Yorker. I asked him how long he had lived in New York? He said, a week.

I think after 10 years you can call yourself a New Yorker.