My apartment

Published September 6, 2012 by Sandee

I work in Riverdale, the part of the Bronx with mansions and luxury apartments.  On the bus I pass neighborhoods and think, “I wonder what it looks like over there?”

After work I walked a different way to the bus stop through private streets with old mansions and got lost.  So I went on an adventure.  The sky was blue with cumulus clouds though it was swampy.  I got sweaty walking.

After walking in circles, I came to a familiar avenue, so I felt comfortable, though the area was strange.  There were swank luxury apartments with pools and terraces.  I figured where west was and walked as far west as I could because I wanted to see what was down by the river.  The streets were quiet, wide and pristine.  The sun glowed on the Whitehall, which actually is a stark white building.  I see it from the parkway, but from this vantage point, it was in another world, facing other privileged dwellings.  From there I walked on the southwest edge of Riverdale which eventually curved east.  There were woods then a school with a big soccer field.  Kids wearing orange uniforms were in there practicing.  Teenagers were in a park hanging out on the swings.  They looked like the cool kids.  I thought of Archie comic books, because the town of Riverdale where they lived is based on here.

My neighborhood is desirable by Manhattan standards, but it’s urban compared to this and in a different sphere.  Since this was a different world when I got home I had a new perspective of my neighborhood.

I felt like a traveler from somewhere else.  My neighborhood was quaint and vibrant.  I appreciated the different types of people, the prewar buildings, tenements, corner stores and congested streets.  The light seemed to shine differently on my own avenue even.  The buildings are neatly lined on the street.  It’s a clean look.  In my lobby I had a new appreciation for the photographs on the wall of this area from the early 1900s.  When I put my key in the grey door, I felt like somebody subleasing from another country.  Inside, I was a guest having a novel experience.  My building is pre-war so though my apartment isn’t big it has character.  I have a dressing area on view from the living room with a fake tiffany lamp and a spotted pig mirror.  I have textured walls and a view of the woods.  I felt like I was experiencing life maybe as an artist in a European apartment on a colorful street.  Sometimes I feel like I could live here forever.  It’s quiet on the street now, because the children are back in school.  Today I’d rather live here than in one of those sprawling Riverdale apartments.

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40 comments on “My apartment

  • Way to see it from another perspective, change it up and re-frame it! I bet those sprawling swanky apartments can feel empty, cold and lonely. It’s all relative. Give me cozy and charming any day of the week. Sometimes going on an adventure and getting a little lost is good for the soul.

    • I actually did see it that way — as being good for the soul.

      I thought about you selling your house the other day. I hope all is going well. Whenever I think of living in a house I imagine it being a small cottage house in the woods.

      • Thanks for thinking of me. Remember when I asked everyone to send good vibes and or pray for me a couple of weeks ago, with regard to my house showing? Well that same couple is coming back tomorrow!!! I may have to do another ‘make it happen’ post. Wouldn’t it be cool if, as a group, we were really able to cause things to move in positive directions?
        My house has a definite cottage feel to it and it’s in a heavily treed area, so there you go!

      • Oh yay! My prayers worked 🙂 I do think we can cause things to happen with energy. Good luck Grippy! I’ll be thinking of you.

        Maybe I should’ve put a bid in for your house — tee hee — sounds kinda cool. Only think I always imagine living as a hermit in the woods 🙂

  • That sounds like kind of a fun afternoon. It’s always fun to walk around and see what’s what. i always try to peek in windows to see how people decorate.

    And for the record, I’d rather live in your neighborhood, too.

    • There are some nooks and crannies close to here that I’ve never been in. I was thinking I should get a car just to take a day to drive around places like this.

      While city living isn’t for everyone, I think this neighborhood does appeal to a lot of people, especially because it’s by the Hudson and that nice woodsy park.

  • Sandee, I love when you write these recaps of your day or something you do. You have such a way of describing it and your voice makes it seems as if I’m right there along with you. I never knew this part of the Bronx existed and your apartment sounds so lovely, comforting and warm. I love those prewar buildings! Except for the mouse thing — are you still feeding it?? ;).

    Lovely, wonderful post — thank you.

    • Thanks for continuing giving me the feed back, it helps me a lot! I thought this might’ve put people to sleep. The Bronx is actually the greenest of all five boroughs. There are a lot of really nice places with big homes and lots of trees.

      Yeah, every now and again one of my “little buddies” pops in to share the quaintness — haha! But I don’t think I want to feed them anymore because they get to at ease, you know what I mean!

  • Dear Sandee,
    I really adored this post of yours. So many of us walk the same path everyday….I remember a friend of mine wanting so badly to LEAVE our boring state of South Dakota. I mean…how farmy…small town…cliche..living in this state. The advice I gave her, was to pretend she was a tourist…and not the girl that has lived in this place all her life.
    To her credit, she DID it!!! She went to state parks and had picnics and hikes with her kids…travelled to Mount Rushmore…and the magic of the Black Hills (where my oldest 2 were born). She still wants to travel…just like me…but she has seen our little corner of the world with a fresh pair of eyes.
    I’ve always wanted to see NewYork. YOu and Brig and Margarita keep wetting my appetite!!!!
    🙂
    Love, LIs
    xoxox

    • Yeah we talked about how one might not visit the national monuments, points of interest, etc. in their own towns because they take them for granted. My dad told me once, ‘walk a another way home this time. See something different.’ That sticks in my head.

      You just ought to come on over to New York, but visit the places that aren’t touristy as well. Upstate New York is gorgeous also.

    • Yeah I’m lucky — I loved it from the beginning. But in between my love has waned at times, more having to do with management. I’ve been here 21 years — whew!

      But I saw an apartment tonight in Riverdale again, jutting out on a natural rock terrace over the Hudson River. It’s strange because it was an average looking building, like an old city prewar structure, but it was in a luxury area — the area is heavenly on a quiet block right on the river — ahhhh — I mean it — I’m taking management’s number for the building to see if I can get an apartment there. I’ll keep you posted!

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