Thursday, November 20, 2008

Real-estate confessionals

It's now sorted out for real - as of mid-December, I'll be in a new apartment. It seems like the window onto a new life!

I've lived in my current place for eight years, in other words for all of the time that I've been on the tenure track at Columbia. Now, I don't mean to grumble, I've been very lucky to teach here and to live in New York and so forth, but there is no doubt that beyond the already nerve-racking aspects of life on the tenure track when tenure is by no means a sure thing, the notion that one's housing is also entirely dependent on one's employment (almost all Columbia faculty rent from the university, because the housing stock is very nice and the rents are below market rates) represents another turn of the screw...

Now I have tenure, something that one of my colleagues (perhaps five years post-tenure) described as in her own experience working like a kind of IV of security, dripping reassurance and stability into her veins in a continuous and ongoing fashion. And I'm moving into a two-bedroom apartment - it's just round the block from my current place - so that I will finally be able to get my office out of my bedroom, an important development given that ninety percent of the time I'm working from home!

More room for triathlon equipment and bicycle, too.

I am still renting from my employer, so there remains a slight grace-and-favor aspect that I'm not crazy about, but given the realities of the New York housing market, that's just the way it's going to have to be, and I can definitely live with it!

I went over there this morning to take a few pictures, which I thought I would share here...

The floor plan, a classic instance of messy Davidsonian note-taking:

What you see when you first walk in (the view goes through to the south-facing bedroom/study at the front of the apartment):

The living room, which is the first room you come to after a short hallway (it's not super-bright, the windows look onto the building courtyard, but it's a gracious room, and the apartment has lovely high ceilings throughout):

Non-functional fireplace!

The kitchen (a dramatic improvement my current one, which has less counter space than you can quite imagine - I am going to get a counter-top coffee-maker, a novel idea!):

The sort of interstitial place that makes this type of apartment appealing:
The main bedroom, very bright (both bedrooms are south-facing and get a lot of light, a priority for me):

The study/second bedroom (corner door is a second bathroom - the other bathroom is in the hallway between kitchen and main bedroom):

The view from the study/second bedroom, which is what initially sold me on the apartment (I am a sucker for this kind of view - also, when I first saw it, there were still painters and workmen and dropcloths and ladders all over the place, it was too chaotic to get a really good sense of the space):

The feature that will change my life:
To the non-New York-dweller, it is inconceivable the extent to which a washer-dryer in the apartment is a luxury rather than a common feature - at my present place, I can do laundry in the machines in the basement, which is definitely a step up from the laundromat arrangement to which I became accustomed during grad school years, but there is something utterly lavish and decadent to me about the notion that I will shortly just be able to throw a few things in the wash without having to make a whole production of it!


  1. Congratulations! And how very fabulous it looks!

  2. It's a beautiful house… I like the interiors.

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  4. Office! Coffee! Laundry!

    I'm sure you will enjoy it.

  5. Grand! Even worth renting from the company store!

  6. Oh, very nice! I know just how wonderful it is to have laundry facilities right nearby. Enjoy!

  7. That's a classic New York view. I love all the water towers. Here's wishing you many productive days (and a comfortable spot for light reading, of course).

  8. Oh-la-la. The view. Easy on the dryer with two pairs of socks in it, though, my environmentally friendly friend...

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