Yesterday morning I woke to a scene of glorious white snow flurries falling on Manhattan. I watched out the 16th floor window as minutes passed on the clock, without a care I might be late, soaking up the last moments of my ‘vacation’. On a typical day, if snow happened to be falling, I wouldn’t notice until well into my morning routine. The windows in my shoebox apartment are decent in scale, yes, but they are few and far between. And the view to the city outside is anything but spectacular—the weathered brick on the back’s of three buildings that stand adjacent to mine, fire escapes littered with random junk and dead plants, and a small slice of the sky beyond.
Ok, so I didn’t actually go on a vacation. I was dog-sitting for the week, residing in an apartment with far more square feet than my own. So even though it was only a few blocks from my place, it felt like a vacation! For seven days as I played caregiver to my four-legged friend, I relished in the luxuries of a D-luxe apartment in the sky, à la George and Weezie Jefferson. And so quickly I became comfortable with the amenities—the doorman’s friendly greeting every time I came and went, an elevator rather than the five flights of stairs that take my breath away on a daily basis (and not the way I’d like for it to be taken away!), laundry in the building, a kitchen separate from the rest of the apartment where I actually had counter space to prep myself a meal, enough floor space to do cartwheels back and forth if I so desired, and a view of the city lights out of original metal casement windows that are sadly near extinction. So quickly I fell into a rhythm that this life was my norm. And so soon after, it came to an end.
I’m back at my place now, back in the groove of my regular day-to-day, sardine style. It’s not the Ritz, and I won’t be doing cartwheels, but it’s mine and it’s cozy. I don’t have the counter space I dream of or jaw-dropping views, but I get a good laugh tripping over my own feet trying to prepare myself a meal and find a smile at seeing a bright blue sky, no matter how small the slice of it is. There’s no doorman to greet me, but the guy at the coffee shop downstairs who never forgets to say hello and no elevator, but a good workout every time I climb the stairs. I wonder if someday like George and Weezie I’ll get to say I’m really movin on up, but for now I’ll appreciate the quirks of my little place…and agree to dog-sit any chance I get!