Waiting on the finalization of our mortgage has felt like a very long nightmare. I’ve been sitting at my kitchen table watching the Citizen app light up my phone, surrounded by new waves of crime in what was once a nice part of Brooklyn.
I constantly turned to my fiancé to ask if there was any news from our broker, only to be met with a slow no-shake of his head. Ding ding, another stabbing, shooting, or person pushed onto train tracks. When you’re raising little ones and you don’t feel safe to take them on walks, or to the park- everyone starts feeling stifled and your kids start acting out.
I’ve wanted to leave NYC for a very long time. It’s been without use to my art since my company’s clothing rep had her showroom building bought out from underneath her. Hundreds of the fashion industry’s middle men and women were suddenly displaced, while buyers at major chains were rearranged or fired. 2007 was the end of it all for me, and with the exception of one more job in the animation industry, New York yielded little except that it housed Enchantments and a few establishments clinging to life.
Despite the home I grew up in being a big place, and our backyard huge by this city’s standards, you can’t go outside without someone from the houses behind you looking at you like a creep through their blinds. You can’t go to a grocery store and come out sane- the aisles are narrow and there’s always someone taking their time, blocking the path with their huge cart while dishing out dirty looks.
You can’t go to a CVS without some lady losing her mind publicly while she cuts everyone in line.
You can’t form your own thoughts without others imposing their presence upon them. Suddenly and without permission.
Where we’re headed, there’s no one in eyesight from our home. And if I want to take my girls out for a walk, I can do that, only having to keep an eye out for bears. I’d rather look for bears than try and predict a drive-by shooting.
I really want that house. I really want its privacy. I want to be in a place where people have no reason to be on our property.
But finally, the day of closing is here- everything is done- the title company has been paid- and on Friday, the two of us are driving to our new town to sign documents and dish out the last of the funds.
And then we get the keys.
New York city was an amazing place to go through my teen years, and I’ll always be grateful that I did so during the end of an era. The 90’s were like a last moment for an old world, and we got to be a part of it. We ran around all the boroughs with 40’s in paper bags, collecting in huge numbers, tribes mixing with other tribes in every hangout spot within 10 miles. It was great. I met so many people and saw so many strange and wonderful things. There were shows, crazy stores with leather outfits, amazing french fries, record stores, and goth clubs. You could work at Canal Jean Company painting mannequins or St. Mark’s Comics (getting yelled at). Indeed it was an incredible time to participate in any social gathering, whether that was in a park or at some bar you were way too young to drink at.
But my New York has been gone for a long time. And I don’t like the new version. I especially don’t like it for my kids.