Just over two years ago, we moved to the Upper West Side. After more than a year of searching the city for the perfect apartment, this day felt like a victory. I can remember it like it was yesterday, but yet it seems so long ago.
At last, the search is over… for the less than perfect apartment in the almost perfect city. After more than one year of scouring this island for our next abode, we have succeeded and will once again be homeowners. We nearly gave up more than once, but determination overcame frustration.
As I was walking on East 58th Street today in the rain and heading toward the 59th street subway entrance, I looked up amid the tall, metal structures scraping the gray sky. Is this my home now? Is New York m destiny? Is this really my dream? Preparing to sign”my life” away or at least most of my life’s savings along with my husband’s, I wondered for just a moment. But the moment passed and I went on with my journey to the Flatiron District for the official ceremony. In about 60 minutes or less, it was over. More than a year of pounding the NYC pavements was over in almost a New York minute.
So the Kalers officially leave the East Side to begin our own “West Side Story.” Our 825 square foot one- bedroom is located on the completely residential avenue called “West End.” The street is on the Upper West Side just one block to the Hudson River, and also miles away from the Second Avenue subway construction and its noise and chaos.
Grandiose pre-war high-rises line the street where families stroll after work and school. Four-legged creatures are plentiful in the area. West End Avenue is home to many arty types including actors, writers and performers of all kinds, and although this oasis may seem dull to many New Yorkers under the age of 30, for us, it is simply divine.
We will be just a 10-minute walk to Zabar’s and less than a 20-minute walk to the Museum of Natural History; one block to Riverside Park and a 10-minute stroll to Central Park in the opposite direction. If you don’t know Manhattan, just watch You’ve Got Mail for a close-up of our new nabe. We could have lived anywhere, but after becoming frequent visitors, the Upper West Side felt like home.
And just like that…by 3:30 p.m. I was back at work. My coworkers were more excited than me. It was still sinking in. Not only do I live in the city of my dreams, but now I own a piece of it –– or at least 281 shares in a co-op.
You see, the condo thing just didn’t make sense for us. We like the small town/big city mentality and that is what a co-op is. Hopefully we will know our neighbors and maybe even like them. Or better yet, may make a friend or two. We had Glenwood and then Berne in Atlanta, and now we have West End in New York.
Perhaps we should be out celebrating instead of awaiting American Idol? Perhaps we should be calling everyone we know to share our good news? Rather, maybe we should take a moment and be happy that we have accomplished this. THIS. Owning real estate in Manhattan is no small task, and we have done it.
As we move “West” we start a new phase of our life here in New York. Our dreams and destiny continue to evolve.