This article is part of the CelebrEighty series by Judy Katz…The move I just made was only seven short blocks away, but forty (yes forty!) years is a long time to live in my old place. I knew my way around every corner of that 2,000 square foot, three bedroom, three bath, terraced apartment. Now others are enjoying its graceful expanse, and I am in an 800 square foot two bedroom, two bath.
In all honesty, it was time to cash out of my co-op. After an exhaustive search, the rental complex I found had killer amenities. There’s an outdoor garden with barbeques, a clubhouse with a huge conference room and kitchen for meetings, and a lounge with a giant TV. There’s a game room, a large pool with a lifeguard, and a fabulous health club with every imaginable exercise machine.
Still, the first night after I moved in felt like being in a strange hotel. The following morning, upon waking, I thought I was still in my old bedroom. The first cup of coffee in my new little kitchen helped sort that out as a new way of life began.
Professionally and personally, I’ve always advocated accepting, even embracing, change. It is, after all, one of the three things you can always count on, the others being death and taxes, and not necessarily in that order.
Transitioning from the building and the immediate neighborhood I’ve lived in for a good part of my adult life (ages 42 to 82) in these early days has not been easy. As you may closely relate, I have patronized a particular pharmacy (CVS, directly across the street), have had several favorite restaurants on a short walk away, love my Fairway and Jubilee supermarkets right nearby, and have been able to easily walk 20,000 steps over to Aquacise, yoga, stretch, and other great classes at the JCC every day of the week for years.
At the same time, I have to point out that my new digs are equally situated between Central and Riverside Parks, there’s a beautiful little park right at my front door, and Brooklyn Fair supermarket recently opened, literally around the corner. Harry’s Table, a Cipriani-owned food court, is a few short blocks away and offers Italian dishes that rival some meals I’ve had in Florence, Italy—especially at the gelato booth. The building link for my new complex is fantastic. It’s where many much younger “boys and girls” in this vast complex—many always moving in and out—sell high-quality furniture and accessories at rock-bottom, flea market prices. Almost everyone here has at least one dog, so it’s a very dog-friendly community. In my co-op, dogs had to be taken into the service elevator. Here they are first-class citizens.
I signed a two-year lease—at a sky-high post-pandemic rent, so I, too, may not stay here forever. I’ve seriously considered moving to Texas near my brother Steve and our large, extended family. Among other considerations, Texas’s driving culture is a significant mitigating factor for me, as I am a non-driver and also love walking long distances. For the moment, I am hunkering down, ghostwriting and promoting books, and enjoying all that Manhattan has to offer culturally and socially. My daughter Heather, son Daryl, best friend Dian, and circle of wonderful women friends live nearby, a walk or cab ride, not a plane ride away, and my decade-long dependence on my genius personal assistant Layla is absolute. All this would change dramatically if I left the state—but my brother Steve needs me, and I need him. So there you are—more choices and changes ahead. But the road issues are windy, and I can’t see around the corners. Not yet, anyway.
For the past several months, I have divested myself of at least half or more of my accumulated possessions—things I thought I could not live without—in other words, “stuff.” Some I sold, some I donated, and some I threw away. I still moved with more than I should have—witnessed the full closets and unopened boxes—more will leave my new nest in the coming weeks and months.
In a world full of significant challenges, wars, wildfires, hunger, homelessness, unsafe drinking water, and an ocean filled with plastic, my difficulties in relocating from one fantastic apartment to another deserve no attention. I sincerely appreciate my privileges and take nothing for granted. I am not complaining—I am sharing my recent big move and life change. It’s a minor conversation, but we need those, too—for comfort and sanity in a crazy world. If you can relate, I’d love to hear about your experiences in moving—or any moving experiences you would care to share.