Since I so like these changes I tend to be pretty open to trying new places to live. Maybe this comes from the fact that I moved 3 times before I was 8 in my native Romania, at 8 to a whole new continent, country, culture. I lived in 2 apartments in the same building and moved to a new block and apartment between my arrival in NY (3rd grade) and 5th grade. By the time I was finished with high school I was moving to New Jersey, sorry for those of you who love or call it home but I still twitch a little recalling that, at least part time with a shuttle to New York (divorced parents and I was willing to move as long as clubbing, friends, parties, boyfriends were firmly rooted in either the Village or lower parts of the City or Long Island). Once I had my first apartment at 21 the thrill of making what essentially was about the space of a storage locker (650 square feet, mine all mine for a large fee -- hell this was New York - Astoria, the City in the best of times was out of my budget and I could not leave my car which took me to my all time favorite Jones Beach weekends) into a cool looking apartment. This was the stuff of shabby chic before that term became a household name. That apartment lasted 2 years then on to my next move - actually quite a nice apartment, really large (walk in closet -- ahhh) in Forest Hills - parking nightmare - high rent - that old adage that 1 week of pay should cover your rent...yeah was about as accurate as me acting like Mrs. Cleaver -- it was more like 1 week of pay had to cover food, expenses, clothes, outings and essentials because the other 3 were going to rent. Admitting that Kraft Mac and Cheese and cereal dinners were a staple.
I left that apartment for a brief stint with my father and one of the wives he had before I took off to California, San Francisco. There the apartment was near the beach, umm yeah the beach that you really could not go to as was rarely warm enough, the beach were there was shark netting visible from the shore and fins swimming near it, the beach where the water never warmed up .... really Hollywood you seemed to have forgotten in all those super cool surfer movies to tell us that the Pacific is way freaking colder than the Atlantic so keep your bullet bra bikini on Annette it is never getting wet. That lasted for about a year then back to New York, renting my friend's (then boyfriend, now husband - drama) mother's house, then back to Astoria for a while, entertained thought of moving to Europe (for a man yes - break in previous friend/boyfriend/husband drama), then Flushing and here I am. This is maybe the longest I have lived in one place since my stint with my parents between 5th grade to 12th. Actually this year that makes this the longest I have ever lived anywhere. I am itching a little but having a weekend place helps make me feel like I move every weekend for the summer at least.
I have learned that I am bound by soul, blood, need to be near or in NYC -- it is the air polluted and foul and wondrous that I need. I am also bound to a set of friends who I have had in my life forever, through these moves and pre Facebook/text/email/cell phones who called, wrote letters and cards and even visited. I fought moving to the 'burbs with every ounce of my fiber and now I
love really like my town and have made some amazing friends here. Yet the other day I went to Astoria, where I loved growing up, have some blushing and smiling amazing memories in apartments and times there, place that I left gladly and gladly return to visit (only to) and it felt like home. I have fought the Queens girl and borough until I realized I could be comfortable to embrace it. There was a familiarity and a comfort that I needed and found there as the purpose of my visit was a sad one. There was something that reminded me of me, I get it in Astoria and for different reasons in Manhattan. I am the girl in Rod Stewart's "Downtown Train", riding the 6 to Hunter College and NYU and the Village. I am the bridge and tunnel big hair girl on the N train at too late an hour with too short a skirt. I am the weary and wary New York kid who always holds purse close to body and is aware of everyone around her, who steps hard on the foot of the man who thinks her bottom is his rubbing lamp (seriously dude ewww), who took more chances on those subways than she should have and is glad she can laugh about it all. I am the adult who still navigates NY in a subway, on foot, in a bus or in a cab with ease and comfort.
Though I am itching to change my furniture already and still wistfully looking for an apartment for my old age in the City, though I would still like to live in Italy for a part of the time, I know that I
love really like my house and this town and for all the moving I have done still hate packing and unpacking (oh to be wealthy enough to leave it all behind and start again....) and will be here for a long while. It is still Astoria that I feel as home ...this is my life now ...that is who made me. I guess home is different places for different reasons....